Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bill Crider


     As many of you know, Bill Crider is facing a very serious health issue right now. To say I'm devastated is an understatement. Bill and I have been friends since the 1980 Bouchercon. We were in Dapa-Em together from when I joined in 1979 until it stopped publishing in 2004. Bill never missed contributing to a mailing. He never missed contributing to MDM, my letterzine (200 issues), or OWLHOOT, the Western apa I ramrod (55 issues to date). He tuckerized me in many of his writings. Bill claims authorship of about 60 books but the total is much higher. He ghosted scores of books for friends over the years, many in the male action or Western line. He's too modest or honest to claim credit for them.
     If not for Bill my paltry two books wouldn't have been published. He's the one who recommended me to Five Star and I wouldn't be surprised if he put in a good word.
     When I was Fan Guest of Honor at the 1997 Bouchercon, Bill introduced me.
     Bill Crider has been a solid constant in my life for decades. Sometimes I wonder why. He's modest, quiet, and unassuming. I'm lacking in tact and many other social graces (but I'm working on it). He's a hard-working achiever. I'm lazy. He runs, I haunt my recliner. Maybe it's the odd couple phenomenon.
     Whatever it may be, I admire, respect, and envy Bill Crider for who he is, what he's done, and his subtle wit. Did you know he's a PhD.? A lot of people with that accomplishment would insist on being called Doctor. Not Bill, not in his dealings with the public or among friends.
     I'm hoping as hard as I can that the next time I write about him it'll be to tell you that he's back as big as ever, healthy and strong and still modest. Whatever your spiritual leanings, it might be nice to offer up a prayer, dance around a fire, draw a pentagram, chant, or whatever you do to invoke good spirits to help with his recovery.
     Thank you.

Bill is the one with the book. I'm the wise guy giving him horns. 

5 comments:

Rick Ollerman said...

Bill Crider has been a supporter of my books since day one. You think you know vintage or PBO era paperbacks? Just get in a conversation with Bill and you'll quickly find out what's what.

Get well, soon, Bill. It's difficult to imagine the writing community without you in it.

Jerry House said...

Bill is absolutely the nicest person on the internet as well as being one of the best writers around.

If everyone were like Bill, this would be a much better world. (Of course, then there wouldn't be enough vintage paperbacks to go around.)

Richard Robinson said...

Very nice, Bob. We're all devistated at the news, but it will be worse if things don't improve. Let's hope for a miracle.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Thanks, Cap'n. Very well put. I met Bill in 1980 at the D.C. Bouchercon as well, though I knew him for years in the apa before that. He never missed an issue of my fanzine either, contributing witty and informative letters of comment as well as reviews.

As recently as last year's Raleigh convention he was still introducing and touting new authors.

Some other memories: driving Bill to see the MOONSTRUCK house in Brooklyn Heights after the last New York Bouchercon. Meeting Bill and Judy at their hotel on 42 Street after the Edgars in 2007 and walking them (in stages) all the way to Ground Zero, with a stop at the Flatiron Building on 23 Street where Jackie prevailed on him to take us up to St. Martin's Press to see his editor, the legendary Ruth Cavin.

There are so many more over the years, including my excitement at having one of Bill's Sheriff Rhodes books dedicated to me. (It was RED, WHITE, AND BLUE MURDER.)

I know he has one more fight in him and we're all pulling that he can get through this one too.

George said...

I'm still in shock over the news of Bill Crider's health problems. Diane and I know a dozen friends and family who are battle some form of cancer. It's an epidemic! Your words about Bill are very moving.