It is with a heavy heart that I write this blog post.
We are fortunate to be a part of the SF&F industry and community, one filled with extraordinary people. Sean Shepard was one of them. He was an avid Terry Brooks reader and collector, he loved all things SF&F, and he was one of the sweetest readers I’ve ever met. Sadly, he was diagnosed with cancer and a few days ago he lost his battle.
I promised Sean when he was first diagnosed that I would help him in any way I could. I was happy to do it. I am a two-time cancer survivor and I lent him my experience, my care, my friendship. I helped raise money for him so he could travel closer to his family. And we spoke often over Facebook—not only about his cancer but about our families and the books we were reading and any number of other topics.
Now that he is gone, I miss my friend. So when I saw his daughter and her husband needed some financial help to attend their father’s funeral, I knew I had to help.
The eBay auction I just created will help with that. As of this writing, the family needs another $700. We can raise that. And if this auction goes over that amount, the extra funds will be donated to the Grim Oak Shield non-profit charity foundation that helps authors and artists with medical debt. Sean supported it and I can think of no better way to honor his legacy.
You can read more about the family’s situation here.
What is being auctioned? A rare book, one that is not published yet. A few months ago, I finished a new SF&F adult/YA novel titled The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey. It is currently being read by several science fiction literary agents, and two NYC publishers have already requested full manuscripts. Sean read the first 60 pages of it several months ago and he was surprised to find I had tuckerized him (used his name for a character). I felt I owed him that. I can think of no better way to help his family right now than to raise money with the book he had read—one that contains his name.
On the auction, I have added extra pictures of the book’s first 11 pages. Even if you can’t bid, feel free to read them. All I ask is that you share the auction on your social media to help spread word about Sean and the auction.
The galley will be printed on standard paper and bound, with a clear sheet over its top. It will include the Marc Simonetti artwork that you see in the pictures. I will sign it to the winner of the auction—and personalize if they like. Only one of these will ever be produced, making it a rare item.
Share please. Bid often if you can. And love your loved ones. Sean would want that.