Last Saturday was the Once Upon a Crime Write of Spring event in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A fantastic turnout. The kind of thing where you open the door to a wall of heat and bodies and have to slide sideways (scuse me, scuse me) to get from point A to point B. This was the fifth Write of Spring, and I think it was the best yet.
Once Upon a Crime probably ranks top ten in the nation as far as independent bookstores go. It’s been around for twenty years. Five years ago Pat and Gary bought it from well-known book curmudgeon Steve Stillwell. Pat has this whiskey voice that could belong to the coolest noir dame. Gary has the unique talent for zeroing in on your reading tastes, then putting a book in your hand by an author you’ve never heard of who quickly becomes your favorite.
About a year and a half ago Gary was diagnosed with leukemia. Things were going well and he looked good at the last Write of Spring, but this fall the cancer returned. I was thrilled to see Gary at the event last Saturday, and even more thrilled to hear that a recent biopsy was clean and that they found a bone marrow donor – Gary’s brother. The transplant will be taking place in about five weeks. I know a lot of people in the writing and reading community have been worried about Gary and have wondered how he’s doing, so I’m glad to pass along some positive news about this much-loved guy.