Mark Shepherd, a fantasy author who was Mercedes Lackey’s secretary and co-author for a time, committed suicide in May. I just found out reading the obituary section of Locus, and was shocked and saddened by the news. Mark was the author who ran the ArmadilloCon writer’s workshop back in the late 1990s, before long-time Austin writer and workshopper Wendy Wheeler and Jennifer Evans took it over and ran it for years (it was then handed off to Melissa Mead Tyler and Jayme Blaschke, then me and Jayme, and now Stina Leicht and Melissa).
Mark’s critiques were kind and thoughtful. There were some glitches that year and the workshop was chaotic and disorganized, but he was gracious and apologetic and gave everyone CDs he had recorded — the soundtrack to his book Elvendude. I used it for years to write to — you know that I need music to get into the mood to write, and the Elvendude music worked for me for years.
I’m sorry to hear that he was in such pain that he committed suicide. I didn’t know him well, but he seemed a decent guy and a valuable member of the writing community. Rest in peace, Mark Shepherd. I’m so sorry that you are gone.