Mourning a Passing

Reflections on the written and human legacy left behind with the death of a published author.

March 11, 2007

Recently, two of our author-clients died due to illness.

Both were fine writers whose careers were cut off much too quickly. We had anticipated a bright future with many more book projects from each.

Beyond that, working together leads to a special kind of closeness between writers and those who champion and support their work. We are mourning the loss not only of fine talent, but the memorable personalities behind that talent.

Authors might be surprised to know that people in busy publishing houses feel this loss, too. When I shared the sad news with a senior publishing house official, someone who had never met my author or directly interacted with her, he replied, “I guess when you have 2000 authors this sort of thing happens, but it sure is a slap to the face.”

An author’s legacy includes not only the words themselves, but also how they impacted others.

Not only the readers who buy and enjoy his or her printed words, but the full range of people who were involved in the whole process from bringing those words into publication, promoting and reviewing them, to selling them, and ultimately to those who acquire the finished product and post comments at places like or discuss them in book clubs.

It’s quite a legacy.

The part I contributed to this process for these authors makes me feel good.

Copyright 2007 by Barbara Doyen. All rights reserved.


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