Twenty-three years ago when I was just starting out as an editorial assistant, I learned Bill Crider’s name through my work on Berkley’s western line. In those years, I edited both mysteries and westerns and he was well regarded among so many of my authors in both genres that I almost felt I knew him. But it wasn’t until 2006 that I actually made his acquaintance. He was in the market for representation and some of those mutual friends had given him my name.
Bill was one of the most professional, kind, polite people – not just authors – I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. He made my job so easy. And while it doesn’t seem enough to call him a “gentleman”, he truly epitomized that word.
Bill meant so much to so many. He didn’t merely have fans, followers or mentees… they were really all just friends. Whether he met you at a conference, sat next to you on a panel, received fan mail from you, responded to your comment on his blog, or accepted your Facebook request, you immediately felt you knew Bill Crider, the man, not just the author.
He was an award-winning author of dozens of books in multiple genres, and has one of the genre’s longest-running mystery series in Sheriff Rhodes (which is still going, with the last book set to release next winter). But his legendary reputation in crime fiction is as much a result of his kind soul and generous heart as it is his wonderful way with words.
Rest in Peace, Bill. Thank you for the great reads, and for the wonderful friendship.