|Posted on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 08:30 pm: |
My literary agent, Dan Hooker, passed away just after Thanksgiving, following a long bout with cancer. His memorial service will be this Saturday, December 10th, in Orange, California. He was a lifelong fan of science fiction and horror and was a friend to many of the greats, both writers and filmmakers. Here's a brief remembrance that I wrote to be read by his sisters at the memorial service.
Dan Hooker was a good friend, a kind, warm, patient, and generous man whom I was extremely fortunate to have as my first literary agent. No first-time novelist could have wished for a better partner, advocate, enthusiast, and cheerleader. From our very first phone call, Dan took it upon himself to gently guide me towards more successful manuscripts and a more promising career. He sold my first novel, FAT WHITE VAMPIRE BLUES, and its sequel, BRIDE OF THE FAT WHITE VAMPIRE, to a major publisher only two months after taking me on as a client. Even more importantly to me, he was a solace and a support during the long months of trouble and disappointment that I experienced at that publisher following the publication of my second book, never letting me lose faith in my muse or my career.
But more than a supportive agent, he was a dear, dear friend. We shared many interests in common, including old-time pulp writers, the classic masters of science fiction, and the great films of Hollywood's heyday. He was a marvelous storyteller. He attended Dara's and my wedding in 2003 and charmed my friends and family with stories about his client, science fiction great A. E. van Vogt, and Dan's relationship with the world's biggest horror and science fiction fan, Forry Ackerman. When my publisher invited me to attend the Comic Con International in San Diego in 2004, Dan joined me and my family there and got to meet my son, Levi, and my father. He immediately befriended virtually everyone he met. During the tough, discouraging times that followed our get-together at that convention, I knew that Dan always stood in my corner and that he genuinely cared for me, not just as a writer and a client, but as a human being, and that he genuinely cared for my family's welfare. I haven't yet reached the point where I quite realize how much I will miss him. I do know that, like many of you here today, I feel robbed of his presence, cheated of more years to spend with him. I was privileged to have been his friend and his client for just less than four years. I know that. But it is only human to want more, and four years seems like a terribly, terribly short time.