Saturday, January 20, 2018

Another Crossroad

Dave and Trish, lurking in the dark, as usual!
I met author/editor/publisher David Niall Wilson for the first time in the late 1980s—most likely 1989—at Necon in Bristol, RI. At the time, Dave was in the U.S. Navy, and in addition to writing his own fiction, he had recently started editing and publishing The Tome magazine. My first exposure to his work was a vampire story that had appeared in After Hours magazine, and I was so taken with it, I actually wrote him a fan letter—not something I have been known to do with any frequency. When we did get together face-to-face, we had such a blast that it became a regular thing. Our respective families would gather either at Chez Wilson—in Norfolk, VA, in the early days; later in Hertford, NC—or here in Greensboro.

But that was a long time ago. While we've remained close with each other online, until last night, it had been far too many years since we actually got together. Since our first meeting, we've shared too many life experiences to count, some together, some roughly paralleling. Both of us have divorced and found the life partners we were meant to be with (a special shout-out here to author/editor Patricia Lee Macomber, a.k.a. Mrs. Wilson, who has been the one to put Dave right where he needs to be—take that however you wish!). We've both gone all kinds of places with our respective writing careers, some fantastic, some bloody awful. Perhaps most noteworthy, Dave is founder and CEO of Crossroad Press, which has gone from its relatively meager beginning as a specialty e-book publisher to an influential publishing house boasting thousands of titles and many bestselling authors, publishing not only e-books but paperbacks, hardbacks, and audio books (not to mention being publisher of my novels The Lebo Coven, The Nightmare Frontier, Blue Devil Island, and The Monarchs).
A spot of delicious not-terribly-dead fish
(and tamago) at Sushi Republic

This weekend, Dave and Trish's daughter is taking part in a First Lego League competition here in Greensboro, so it was preordained that our wayward souls should, at long last, meet face-to-face again. With this week's major snowfall, things were starting to look a bit dicey, but in the end, it happened: after setting daughter Katie loose at the competition, Dave and Trish found themselves being abducted by Ms. Brugger and me for a night of Japanese food, wine, and general debauchery*. Dinner was at the always excellent Sushi Republic on Tate Street. I believe Dave can thank me for setting him on the sushi road back in the day, and in fact, for this service, the man should be paying me royally for perpetuity; Trish and Brugger, on the other hand, have never been bitten by the raw fish bug, poor souls. We followed up dinner with some top-notch spirits at Rioja! A Wine Bar, one of our favorite local establishments. As with many true friends, even after quite a few years apart, the four of us can fall right into our comfortable, familiar roles (Dave and Trish bowing to our superior character and moral fiber) and enjoy ourselves as if virtually no time had passed.

Today, the Wilsons are supporting their daughter in her competition, and will soon enough be returning to Hertford. We shall have to ensure that, next time, so many years do not pass between our gatherings. Frankly, I don't know how they've stood it this long.

Visit David Niall Wilson's website. Visit Crossroad Press. Visit Patricia Lee Macomber at Fantastic Fiction.

*Sitting around bitching about the creaking and moaning of our respective aging bodies.

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