If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

WWK's May interviews will be: 5/2--indie author Bobbi Holmes, 5/9--TG Wolff (aka--Anita Devito), 5/16--Chocolate Bonbon author Dorothy St. James, 5/23--Lida Sideris, 5/30--Food Lovers' Village (and multiple Agatha winner) Leslie Budwitz. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our May Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 5/5--John Carenen, 5/12--Judy Penz Sheluk, 5/19--Margaret S. Hamilton, 5/26--Kait Carson.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here.

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with the authors in this anthology on 4/14! Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Remembering Tanya Gee

Judge Tanya Gee

by Paula Gail Benson

In August of 2013, I had the privilege of introducing WWK’s readers to Tanya Gee. Here’s a link to that interview, “Tanya Gee, My Hero.”

Now, I sadly must report her passing. Even though Tanya faced an aggressive form of cancer, she did so with grace, dignity, and humor. Writing was a critical part of Tanya’s life. Her efforts weren’t fiction, although she appreciated it. Tanya was a lawyer. A very good one. Her undergraduate degree was in sociology, and she was a student of people. But, she was more than just an observer. She reached out to others to help and encourage them. During her memorial service, her colleague, S. C. Supreme Court Justice Kaye Hearn, spoke of a sweet note Tanya kept on her desk from a child she spent time reading with at an elementary school. Tanya realized the value of words and used them well.

Perhaps the best example of Tanya’s effective communication is her final message she left on Facebook, which was later reprinted with the family’s permission in The State, Columbia, S.C.’s daily newspaper. She eloquently called it “her concession speech.” No one who knew and loved Tanya wanted to read those words. We had watched on the sidelines, cheering as she valiantly took on the dreaded cancer. She was our warrior. If anyone could beat it, she must have the essential skill. And, there were so many reasons that she needed to be a victor.

Even though she knew her body was failing her, Tanya’s mind and spirit remained strong. Here are her own words from her “concession speech”:

“We all die, right? And we all know we’re going to die someday. That’s part of living. Perhaps it’s because of this that I feel strangely calm about knowing that it will be cancer that kills me. I have many nights in the hospital room to reflect on life and death, and I tell you truly that I am not scared to die. I do feel a sense of guilt that I have let my body betray me and I will cause other people sadness. My children, my parents, my husband, and my dear friends will cry, and wonder, and question their faith. I wish that I were able to make everyone feel as calm as I do. I am damn proud of the life I lived, the children I have, the husband I married, and the circle of friends I leave behind. I hate that I’m leaving the party early, but am awed by being on the brink of taking the next step which we all should be looking forward to. . . .

“Writing this update is also difficult. I always talk about cancer using terms like ‘fight,’ ‘kicking ass,’ and ‘winning.’ I don’t like conceding that I have lost the fight because I don’t feel like a loser right now. I feel like I have one last battle in front of me, and that is to die well. That’s a battle I pledge to win.”

In the time since I interviewed Tanya, she became a judge. Her practice had been in appellate work, so it’s not surprising that she aspired to be a jurist. The fact that she achieved her dream and earned the overwhelming respect of the bench and bar was extraordinary considering that her own personal battle would have been enough to consume her time and energy.

But Tanya was a person who wanted to give back to her community. Even more, she wanted to be there for her wonderful family, her doting husband Chris and intelligent, courageous son Will and daughter Sabin.

Her Facebook page was full of happy references to her children’s activities and discoveries. She adored them. They are strong, beautiful human beings, a very large part of her incredible legacy. In Chris’ message to friends of Tanya’s passing, he said Sabin had been proud that her mother lived “an epic life.”

Thank you Chris, Will, and Sabin for sharing Tanya with us. We are equally proud and appreciative that our lives have been touched by hers.

Have you lost someone whose actions and words made an impact on your life?

Photo of Tanya Gee from FitsNews.com


E. B. Davis said...

Tanya must have been an extraordinary person, Paula. I'm sorry for the losses of everyone who knew and loved her.

Shari Randall said...

Paula, I am so sorry to hear this. Tanya seemed like a wonderful person. I pray that her family will be supported by the memory of her spirit and grace.

Gloria Alden said...

Paula, what a loss Tanya's death is to all who knew and loved her, which sounds like many, many people. How lucky are those people, though, who got to know and love her. The memory of her will live on in you and all who knew her and that is something good.

Barb Goffman said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Paula. Sorry for you and everyone who knew Tanya. She sounds like an extraordinary woman.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I hope her family receives the continued loving care and support that they need during this sad time.

KM Rockwood said...

A touching and heartfelt memorial. I'm sure Tanya would be (or possibly, looking down and is?) pleased with it.

I lost my beloved older sister two years ago to cancer. She was gracious and brave (and working full time) until the very end.


Kait said...

What a lovely post and a wonderful legacy. So sad to lose her so soon. Hugs to the family.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Truly, Tanya was an extraordinary individual. Thank you for the kind words you have written for her family and friends. Her influence will be enduring.

Grace Topping said...

Paula, I am so sorry about your friend Tanya. She sound like such a courageous woman.