I just found out that author and all around great guy, Dave Wolverton (penname, Dave Farland) has passed away. That sucks. Dave was probably one of the nicest people in the writing business, who helped out more newbs and passed on more advice than any writer ever.
I’ve written about Dave before, specifically in that big post trying to explain why there are so many successful writers in Utah. He was one of the main reasons. He was a mentor, teacher, and elder statesman, who always made the time to help new writers. The man had a technical grasp on story and ability to explain it like no other.
I met Dave at a book signing in Utah, a really long time ago, when some bookstore gathered like twenty authors together for a mega signing… And then hardly any fans showed up so the writers just ended up hanging out and shooting the bull. (Brad Torgersen found some pics of that event and sent them to me this morning)
My very first book tour was driving Dave’s giant ancient Cadillac (I think it was a Caddy? Or something. It was very very wide) around southern California. He was going on tour with some other authors, some of them had to back out at the last minute, so they grabbed me and John Brown, because we were new guys, to fill in. Dave was who showed me how to go schmooze at book stores.
The scariest moment was me trying to park Dave’s giant tuna boat of a car in the only space left in an indoor parking garage in LA, between a Bugatti and a Maserati, and not dinging anybody’s doors. We hit dozens of bookstores in San Diego and LA over a few days, and we did this before GPS. So we spent a lot of time lost. 😀
I was with Dave the very first time I ever sat down and ate lunch with Hollywood producer types. I’ve often told the story about being with another writer in a trendy Hollywood restaurant while the studio people came up with increasingly awful ideas for who they wanted to cast as my characters, I’m freaking out, and how the other writer just whispered to me “Just let it go, they never care what the writers think.” That bit of career advice was from Dave.
Dave was a hell of a story teller, not just in books, but in person. He had a crazy upbringing. His childhood made mine look like Leave it to Beaver. But his all time greatest tale involved him going to China. There was crime, attempted blackmail, drugs, gun running, and undercover agents. The works. I’m laughing just thinking about it.
He is going to be missed by a lot of people. Dave made a difference in many lives.