Monday, February 13, 2006

Sad news

Herbert Scott, my editor at New Issues, passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was a delightful, sweet man and I'll always be grateful to him. The last time I saw him was in Vancouver, I believe, and before that in Carbondale, where I had barbeque with him and his wife.

I love the book he made for me, and will always remember his gruff voice on the phone that day he called to give me the good news. I had just walked back from lunch with my then girlfriend and we were chatting a bit in her lab (she was finishing a ph.d. in genetics) when her cell phone rang. I'd provided my home number and her cell number since my voice mail never worked.

It was great news, but also nauseating in that I had just been offered publication by another press and suddenly this embarassment of riches was kind of mind-blowing. I mentioned this to him, and he kind of sold me right then and there on New Issues.

I've never regretted that choice.

So, if you have ever enjoyed a New Issues book, mine or Matthew Thorburn's or anyone else's, give them a read tonight.

4 comments:

A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz said...

Will do, my friend. I've got your book right here.

louise said...

I am so sad about this. Everything I have heard about Herb told me he cared so much about the press, I think even to the point of sometimes putting his own work aside. It puts things in perspective when people grumble about the publishing world. There are real, sincere, sweet people and they do it for all the right reasons. It's a tremendous loss.

C. Dale said...

Paul, I am sorry to hear this. You have done well to remember him here like this.

Matthew Thorburn said...

I was so sorry to hear this news -- and am sad that I never got to meet Herb. We spoke just once, on the phone, when he called me to say he'd be publishing my book. I remember that gruff voice too. I didn't catch his name at first, and so when it clicked whom I was talking to, I was doubly surprised and elated. Everything I've heard about him echoes what Louise wrote -- that he was so dedicated to creating and establishing New Issues.