Monday, February 04, 2008

Checking In

Awe-struck. Humbled. And very, very grateful. That pretty much describes how I feel about the incredible outpouring of love, concern, and support from all over the world following our fire last week. I just can't tell you how much we appreciate each and every one of you.

We have some laptops to use now and should be on-line with some regularity from now on. We're staying with Livia's parents for now, but we've made arrangements to have a mobile home moved onto our property so that we can live there while our house is being rebuilt. After some debate, we've decided to rebuild in exactly the same spot -- just a lot more fireproof this time!

Physically we're okay, although we breathed enough smoke on Tuesday and enough ashes since then that we're coughing and sneezing and hacking a lot. Couldn't sleep or eat much for several days, but that's slowly getting back to normal. Max, the big dog who escaped from the front yard, has a burned paw and is limping around, but he's okay otherwise. We lost three wonderful cats, Fulton, Rockport (aka Rocky), and Montana; Cotton Candy, the World's Oldest Parakeet; and Festus, the last of our Nigerian dwarf goats. Here's to them, good animals all.

The fire department has determined that the fire started about half a mile from our house, behind another house where the owner had burned a trash pile the day before. The theory is that even though the trash pile appeared to be out, the high winds stirred it up and rekindled it. Can't prove it, though.

To those of you who have sent money, thank you so, so much. Even though the place was insured, there are going to be a lot of extra expenses that insurance won't cover. You never realize how much you have to replace when you lose everything. To those who are sending books . . . this is absolutely wonderful. To go from being surrounded by tens of thousands of books to none in a matter of minutes is almost more than the mind can comprehend. Any and all book donations will be hugely appreciated. We can use copies of the books we wrote, research books, fiction of all sorts. Luckily my in-laws have a few books and I've been going through them for reading material, even though I haven't always been in much of a mood to read.

Lastly, I'm just now starting to go through the hundreds of emails I've gotten in the past week. I plan to answer all of them in the coming days, but for now let me say again, thank you all so much. We are truly blessed to have you for friends.


Anonymous said...


I was heartbroken to hear of the fire. That you and your family survived is wonderful news.

I'll be sending some books for you in the coming days. My wife will be glad to help and will also be glad to see some of them go away. ;-)

You need anything, just holler.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your animals. There will be books sent along from this direction. I'm looking for some stuff I think you might like.

Take care,

David Cranmer said...

James, It's frustrating to think that somebody's carelessness caused this, and I am saddened for the loss of your animals.
May God continue to help you on your road to recovery.

AndyDecker said...

Glad everything is okay - if you can call it that way.

I´ll be sending a few books in the coming days :-)

Take care


Graham Powell said...

Allow me to join everyone else and say I'm glad to hear you're doing better. Now get back to work so we can all buy your next book!

Anonymous said...


Got some books, holding them for a bit until you're more settled. And you'll get one of the first copies of Ranger's Revenge when it's released later this year.

I'm sorry to find out about your pets. You know how I feel about animals. Most of them are better friends than humans.

Jim Griffin

Cap'n Bob said...

James and Livia,

You're showing tremendous courage and fortitude in the face of this tragedy. I don't know if I'd have it in me to respond as you have. I weep for your lost pets, home, books, personal mementoes, and photos. My donation to the fund is going to your PO box and I'll have a box of books for you as soon as you're ready to take them. Just say when.

Jeff Rutherford said...


Is there an address in Texas where we can send books? I just thought if we mailed them to your agent in New Jersey, there'd be a lot of extra expense in shipping them to you.

Post an address in Texas if you want books sent your way there.

Jeff Rutherford

Juri said...

It almost breaks my heart to read that Festus died.

Been checking my shelves for something to send. And do answer my e-mail, James, whenever you get the time!

James Reasoner said...


I don't find an email from you in my inbox or other folders, but considering everything that's been going on, it's entirely possible that I lost it. Resend it if you'd like, and I'll certainly answer it.


I should know within a week or so what our living situation is going to be and how much storage room I'm going to have. So if anyone wants to hold off on sending books until later, they can be sent directly to me then. I'll post the address once we've got things settled.

Jeff Rutherford said...


Another thought re: books. There are a lot of people out here who have expressed interest in sending you books to help you try and recover in some small way.

So that we're not duplicating efforts and sending you duplicate copies, have you considered doing an Amazon wishlist or just posting a wishlist.

Of course, with everything that is going on in your life (I can't even imagine it) that's probably low on your priority list.

But, just a thought . . .


B.E. Sanderson said...

I heard about your loss on the BookEnds blog. I don't have the words to describe how bad I feel for you all. Kim Lionetti said you both are fans of the west and mysteries, and that you lost some old pulp fiction. I run a used bookstore and with luck, should be able to get you some things you like. I might even be able to come up with a few you lost. If you'd like to e-mail me some authors/titles, I'll see what I can put together. It won't be much, but I'd like to help. I just don't want to send things you won't enjoy.

Juri said...


I resent the e-mail. It could be in your trash or junk box.