Farewell, Joseph McGee

mcgeejoseph I woke up Friday morning to some tragic news. Joseph McGee, 23 years old, author of Snow Hill and The Reaper and a score of wonderful short stories, was found dead in his apartment Thursday morning. His death was due to complications from diabetes.

Joe was a good friend of mine. We communicated regularly through email, several times on the phone, and he was kind enough to show me early versions of his manuscripts for The Reaper and Snow Hill. I was honored that he listed me in the acknowledgements section of his beautifully haunting tale The Reaper.

For me, Joe embodied all that is so very right about the writing community. He was young, enthusiastic, smart, and generous with his time. I wish I could say I saw a lot of myself in him, but the truth is my head wasn’t on nearly as straight as his when I was that age. Joe was always looking for a way to improve the world around him. He had a charitable spirit, and a genuine interest in helping those in need, a tradition that his family is carrying on in his honor.

I’ll miss you, Joe. There is so much tragedy in the world, but it gives me hope that the same world we see on the news each night could also produce a heart as kind as yours.

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