I've just learned that the nineteen-year-old son of one of my beta readers, Kathleen Livingston
, was brutally murdered last year. (She gave me permission to mention her by name here.)
Ms. Livingston, characteristically, responded to my note of sympathy by expressing concern about my own health issues. We got to talking about the finiteness of life, and how important it is not to dilly-dally in accomplishing goals, because who knows what tomorrow will bring? I said to her:
"I wrote an Eternal Dungeon story five years ago in which a character says: 'That's what I need. . . . A small chance of dying, every now and then, to remind me of how great my fortune is.' Perhaps your son's death will serve as a reminder to others of the fleetingness of life, and he'll have enriched the world thereby."
Last year, just a few months before the murder, Ms. Livingston betaed my latest novel, Law Links
. (She was also one of the beta readers for Blood Vow
and my upcoming Three Lands novel Law of Vengeance
.) If you happen to be reading Law Links
(which, by horrible coincidence, features a teenager embroiled in bloody events), I hope you'll spare a thought for Kathleen Livingston and her family in their time of mourning.