Since I became an author in late 2014 I have met MANY others in the profession. Most of those people I have “only” met online. Jessica Strong was one of those people.
I say it past tense because, unfortunately, I learned today she passed away. She was young; it was sudden and it was unexpected.
I met her as I have met many of the other authors I know – online. In this instance it was on Facebook, in an author support group named Clean Indie Reads. (There are many readers in there as well, but I believe it is fundamentally more authors).
Many people will view their online friendships with some prejudice along the lines of “well they aren’t the same as knowing people in the real world.”
I agree. In the real world, all too often, I can’t catch up with people. I miss their calls, the email interactions are fractured, and we never get together anymore. If it isn’t work, or the kids, or the weather, or the writing, then it surely is [THE NEXT THING ON THE LIST].
In small circles and in certain groups, like Clean Indie Reads, you interact with people enough to get to know them a little. Sometimes you get to know them better than some of your neighbors.
I never had a conversation with Jessica. I read along some of the posts and conversations she had in the group, and I looked over her work at Amazon when I first joined, but that was the extent of it.
And now she’s gone.
The Clean Indie Reads group is pushing an effort to get our membership that are interested to do a little something in memory of her. On December 26th, as a little remembrance / coordinated effort to do something to honor her passing, we are going to buy her books all on that day.
As part of my own comments in that thread I said “I’d like to think we could get her to #1 with a coordinated effort such as this on Saturday 12/26…” “If I lived nearby and brought flowers or something to the family to say goodbye, I would spend so much more (and it would be equally worth it).”
So that is what I am going to do. I am going to log in at 9AM EST, “drop” $16.00, and get all her books.
Between now and then, I am going to show case her books on my blog and on my author page over at Facebook.
I’ve lost my opportunity to get to know her personally as a member of that group, but I will do what I can to try to get to know her posthumously in her writings.
She left a part of herself behind in those and I will not waste a second chance.
“Some opportunities come once in a lifetime; as needed, live as many lifetimes as you can.” #Zandriism
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“Life generally offers you a second chance called “tomorrow” but why leave things to chance in case that tomorrow never arrives? Do something today.” #Zandriism