THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY
LEFT BLANK . . . OR?
After decades as a professional writer, the blank page still intimidates me. I ramble like a disorganized seventh
grader while I decide how to begin a book, an article, or a blog post. On a bad day, even a simple email
can stump me. I might say ‘I’m blank” or “I have no idea.” What I mean is there are too many words, too
many ideas, all of them racing, tumbling, bumping, dancing, and crashing about in my mind, and at that moment
I haven’t sufficient mental discipline to whip them into the proper order.
Steadfast professionalism saves me most of the time. Thirty-six years of writing under deadline has engrained
certain habits, and one of them is the ability to grit my teeth and type words that can be edited into
useable prose. Maintaining that sense of professionalism would be ten times as difficult during this evolving era
in the publishing industry were it not for the camaraderie, the inspiring examples, and the wealth of
knowledge in this organization.
NINC, more than any other writers organization, helps this lone writer maintain perspective and a sense
of balance about the industry and my potential within it. That, in turn allows me to maintain the kind of flexibility
which allows me to adapt to whatever the day — or the market — throws at me, all the while dealing
with life’s squeaky wheels, nattering doubts, and the figurative (or real) nibbling ducks that eat up the last bit
of time and patience I have on any given day.
Nevertheless, my balance and my priorities aren’t necessarily yours. While I’ve attempted in my role as
Nink editor to provide a range of offerings in each issue, I’m sure there are many ways Nink could be more
relevant to more members. So please, email me with your ideas, articles, and wish lists at
— Laura Phillips, Nink 2013 Editor
NINC member Leighton Gage died July 26 at his home in Ocala, Florida. He
was 71. The New York Times reported the cause of death as pancreatic cancer.
Gage, whose previous career was in advertising, was 66 when his first book,
Blood of the Wicked, was published in 2008. He went on to write six more crime
novels set in Brazil featuring lead character Chief Inspector Mario Silva. The
most recent installment, what is now his last book, is due to be published in January
2014 under the title, The Ways of Evil Men. His books have been translated
into Dutch, Finnish, French, and Italian.
Juliet Grames, Soho Press senior editor, wrote this tribute to Gage on the
Soho Press website: “Leighton was a backbone of the crime fiction community
as well as the Soho Crime family. A tireless author advocate with a powerful social
media presence (he founded the blog Murder Is Everywhere,
http://murderiseverywhere.blogspot.com/, which is devoted to international
crime fiction). Leighton was a mentor and friend to many authors at various stages in their careers.”
Gage is survived by his wife, Eide, four daughters, and five grandchildren. The Soho Press tribute to Gage
noted that the family had requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be directed to pancan.org, the Pancreatic
Cancer Action Network.
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