Leighton Gage, writer extraordinaire and tireless campaigner for fellow authors, died on July 27. He was a very youthful 71 and deserved many more years with us. I will not honor the miserable disease of cancer to say that he lost his battle with it. Instead, I will say that he graced the world with his seven-plus decades of life.
He was a mensch.
I’d been writing books for decades by the time I finally started a blog, and Leighton was my first victim to interview. He was so open about the promotional process, such a consummate pro, I thought he had been around forever in publishing. But he came to the game late in life and made the publishing world better for his contributions, both with his wonderful series set in Brazil (where he made his home for years) featuring Chief Inspector Mario Silva, and for his role as ombudsman for writers.
Leighton was the kind of guy who would offer–I repeat, offer–to write Amazon and goodreads.com reviews of your new book, knowing how important it was to get that little but of edge of public acceptance on publication. And he never asked for anything in return.
He was positive, upbeat, he had the numbers and the reasons people were buying or not buying your books. He was full of energy and a joy of life. We had only ever met online, but he treated me as part of an inner circle, and I felt honored by that.
I will miss Leighton as I am sure a host of others in and out of publishing will. Here’s thinking of you, good sir.