I'm sure many of you have already heard about this, but we've lost a legend today. Elmer Kelton crossed the divide this morning. He wasn't just a fine writer, he was also one of the most genuinely decent men I've ever met. I interviewed him in front of a packed house at the Bouchercon in Austin several years ago, and his easygoing grace and charm made it a fine experience for me as well as for everyone in the audience. We also visited at every WWA convention I attended and I saw him numerous times at the annual TCU Press group book signing in Fort Worth. He got his start writing fiction by selling stories to the pulp RANCH ROMANCES, and we had several conversations about the pulps and what a fan of them he was as a kid, citing WILD WEST WEEKLY as his favorite. He'd been in bad health recently, but the last I'd heard, he had improved some, so while this doesn't come as a shock, it's certainly a surprise.
Nearly twenty years ago, I attended the WWA convention in San Angelo, Elmer's hometown. Someone at that convention, in talking about Elmer said, "He's the genuine article." I can't say it any better than that.