This past fall has been brutal. I lost a very dear friend, and one of my favorite people on the planet.
Bobby was a jazz musician in Tucson, who I first met in 2012. He was part of a band which had a regular Sunday night gig at venue called Monterey Court. Cynthia, my editor, was a tenant at Monterey Court at the time, so I was a regular there myself. Every Sunday night she and I hung out and listened to live jazz. It was a happy time.
As I got to know Bobby, and the other musicians he performed with, I began to realize there was something special about him. He was a good soul, and people like him are rare. I soon found out he enjoyed reading, so I gave him a copy of one of my Luke and Jenny books. (Which I wrote as Gayle Martin.) He loved it, so now we were more than friends. We were mutual fans.
I soon became a regular at his other gigs. I also got to know his family, and we even did a little traveling together. Bobby introduced me to some of his other friends, many of whom became some of my closest friends too.
Bobby may not have been into romance novels, but he was nonetheless very supportive of me as an author. He was always the first person to open my newsletters, and he always read my Facebook posts. In fact, he used to joke about stalking me on Facebook.
Unfortunately, Bobby was a smoker, and from what I understand, nicotine is a very difficult addiction to break. He was diagnosed with cancer after I moved to New Mexico, and he passed away in late August. I went back to Tucson to attend his funeral, and I couldn’t get over how many other people attended as well. He was well loved by many, and he will most certainly be missed by all who knew him.