Monday, January 22, 2007

Barbara Seranella, 1956-2007

I'm so very sad to learn of the death of Barbara Seranella on January 21.

The mystery-writing community is a relatively collegial one. You meet some fine people within it. Barbara was one of the finest.

Her talent as a writer is unquestioned. I met her at an event in Laguna Beach, just after her first book was published. We were in the same general neck of the woods, and our paths kept crossing. Lucky me.

She was such a good person. And a hell of a lot of fun.

She had a smile that could light up a room. If you can't tell that from the photo above, look at this picture and you'll see what I mean. No one ever spent much time around her without realizing that she had a marvelous sense of humor and a quick wit. The last time I saw her, at Bouchercon, she made an auditorium full of people laugh — and accepted an Anthony Award for Best Short Story.

She never tried to fool anyone about who she was or where she had been. She had a kind of rare courage. Walking redemption. I admired her.

But that description doesn't let you know how very kind she was, or a dozen other things you should know about her.

Her life was a story of second chances. She was brave enough to take them and made the most of them. I kept hoping she'd keep getting them, but it wasn't to be.

Our profound loss.

Photo above from an AAUW in Torrance event about five or six years ago. Me, Stephen Cannell, Barbara Seranella, Martin Smith.

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