beyondpoolstarsI generally put a little thought into each book dedication I write, but yesterday the one I drafted stopped me cold and left a very long shadow through the rest of the day.

As I’d hoped, I finished revising my fourth Pathfinder novel last week and sent it back in first thing Monday morning. The only part left on its to-do list when I got up was to draft the acknowledgments and dedication. The acknowledgments were simple enough — I was grateful to several people who’d provided guided and feedback, and thanked them accordingly.

But the dedication… When I sat down to write this book two summers ago, my friend Kris was alive and well. And last summer, when I revised it, he was doing fine. Last fall he passed away on an operating procedure after a perfectly normal minor surgery went terribly wrong. And so the book is now dedicated to his memory.

I still recall when I pitched the book to James Sutter while we sat in a noisy hallway at GenCon (we couldn’t find an empty room!). I’ll never forget working on the outline at The Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Dr_Kris_GhoshHow could I have known that when it was finally ready for publication I’d be dedicating it to the memory of a man who’s been like a brother to me since grade school?

Had I know this was how it was going to end I sure as hell would have found a way to get to San Diego to spend a week with him instead of putting it off for another year. Man, I miss hearing the sound of his voice.

Don’t delay time with the ones you love, people. All I’ve got now are the memories and a handful of photographs.  I’d rather hear the phone ring, see it’s from San Diego, and smile as I readied myself for the tale of Kris’ newest adventure.