I received an email from the husband of one of my favorite writers last night informing me that my author had passed away that morning.
It shook me.
I knew Ryan Field was sick. He told me in August that he wouldn’t be able to work on any new projects for the immediate future because he had started chemo, but I hoped he would push through and rally after treatment (as I did with my own breast cancer) and because I didn’t even want to consider a world without Ryan Field.
I started working with Ryan in 2007 when we spoke on the phone and he told me he used to love het rom coms, but always switched the sexes in his mind. We both agreed that we loved An Officer and a Gentleman and he quickly dashed off An Officer and His Gentleman for Ravenous Romance, where I was then the Editorial Director. It not only charmed me but many of our readers, and he went on to re-tell many of the rom coms of popular culture from a gay point of view — When Harry Met Sal, Gay Pride and Prejudice, Pretty Man, etc. One of my favorite titles that he wrote for me was Valley of the Dudes, his retelling of the Jacqueline Susann classic Valley of the Dolls.
He brought so much creativity and joy to the romances he wrote for us. I was always eager to see what he came up with.
The last original title we worked on together was The Wizard of Pride, a gay retelling of The Wizard of Oz, and it is classic Ryan Field.
I will miss him so much, although he must have written close to 100 books over the past 25 years when he was making his living as a writer. I haven’t read them all, so I know where to go when I need a friend.
But I will miss him every day.
Don’t ever think that an editor doesn’t truly adore her authors. He was really a part of my editorial family.
We’re going to try to work on putting together some sort of award/grant/memorial/prize in Ryan’s name, so please look here for that announcement. And if you want to help, or have ideas, please feel free to reach out to me, firstname.lastname@example.org.