A personal note

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Donald Westlake.

The new year marks the one-year anniversary of the relaunch of The Violent World of Parker. Although the relaunch wasn’t official until a month later, January 31st, I think of it as being born when I got word of Westlake’s death. I had been meaning to get started on it for months if not years, and, unfortunately, it took sad news for me to start putting in the hard work to get it done.

And it was a lot of work! A new format, a new blog, migration and revision of one hundred pages, screwing around with new features. And it was worth every bit of that work. I’ve really enjoyed reacquainting myself with old readers, engaging with new ones, and, perhaps most important, jumping back into the terrific fictional world that Westlake created for us.

Working on the site, has, in its own way, helped me through what’s been a tough year for me. Like so many others, I lost my job this year. Because I had to cut back on some of the things I love to do (live music; dinner, drinks, and a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse) I had to find less expensive ways to entertain myself. Reading and writing are (or can be) free, and while I’m sorry I missed any number of events I would have liked to have attended, I’m happy that I’ve been spending more time reading and writing about good books.

Thank you for making the first year of the revived Violent World of Parker an unqualified success, and thanks for all of your kind words and insightful comments. You make it all worth the effort.

And Happy New Year! Whether 2009 was a hard one for you or the best year of your life, I pray 2010 is better.