By A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly
The M/M author community lost a friend and wonderful author in the recent passing of Stone Richards. It shocked me because I knew I hadn’t heard from Stone for a while but had no idea he was struggling with the return of a very virulent form of cancer.
When I first started writing at eXtasy Books three and a half years ago, Stone, D.J. Manly and I were the company’s three M/M authors. Stone and I became friends via email and like D.J., was friendly, supportive and determined to keep writing the stories he loved. In spite of the continual whispers in the background of our chosen genre being a passing fad, Stone kept writing. And so did I.
Of course, it was not a fad, but had Stone not said to me during a Christmas chat we co-hosted when I had just two published books under my belt, “AJ, write the stories you want to write. Just have fun” I may have felt more pressure to write other things.
Stone wrote under a few names and who Stone really was makes no difference. But, as D.J. said when we learned of Stone’s passing, “He was one of us.”
For me, the genre of M/M was a comfortable fit. I feel passionately about my work. Stone felt passionately about work…but most passionately about living. He was always off on some big adventure. He loved casinos and I remember him cutting an author chat short to visit a riverboat casino one December afternoon. He didn’t tell the readers that. Just me.
I was a newbie and felt out of my depth when he left me alone to handle the e crowd, but I soon relaxed and found it was fun. I was also pleased to hear that he won that day.
We have all lost a great friend. A true original who wrote what he wanted to write. I hope Stone Richards is somewhere in that big casino in the sky having fun. And winning the big jackpot. I will miss him for a long, long time.
A.J. and I spoke on the phone this morning about the passing of Stone Richards. And as I reflected on his passing, I thought the one thing I fear most about leaving this world is not being about to create and to write. So, I’m thinking that maybe since Stone put so much heart into his work, his reward will be to have a nice desk with a first class computer and a constantly brewed carafe of coffee beside him. And he can write twenty four hours a day without needing to stop the flow to do menial tasks or sleep. His audience will be a roomful of devoted readers in the form of angels who will adore everything he writes. And as he reads his work aloud, they will applaud and comment and ask a billion questions, and beg him to write more. That’s where I think Stone is.
To Stone’s many wonderful family members, friends and fans, read one of his books today and then go out and do something grand. Do something that makes you feel lucky. I think he would love that.
A.J. and D.J.