Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Robert B. Parker, R.I.P., January 19, 2010

Author Robert B. Parker (who died yesterday at age 77) was one of my father's favorites.

Parker's best known character was Spenser (no first name), a tough Boston detective with an appreciation for the finer things in life. In all, Parker wrote over 60 book -- 37 of them Spenser novels. "Spenser: For Hire," the 80's TV series starring Robert Urich left him unimpressed.

I went with my dad to hear him speak at Bass Hall in Fort Worth about a year and a half ago, and captured the following pithy observations (see the full post for more):

On writing

    "It's never fun to write a novel."
On inspiration
    "Inspiration is one of the most vastly overrated things there is...If you wait for inspiration, you'll end up teaching night courses..."
On editors
    "They catch a lot. I'm capable of spelling dog C-A-T if the spell checker doesn't catch it...Just don't let me make a fool of myself in public."
On mentoring
    "I just say, don't do that.'They say, 'What should I do?' I say, I don't know, but don't do that."

According to the news reports I've seen, Parker died of a heart attack at his writing desk, after having breakfast with his wife of many years. I can can think of no better way to exit this veil of tears than while doing something you love.

More on Robert B. Parker can be found at Yahoo, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. Wikipedia has a list of his works.

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