I lost a dear friend

June 20, 2017     admin     Random

Hey Everyone, if you happen to subscribe to my newsletter than you have an idea of whats been going on with my lately but if you don’t, now that some time has passed, I thought I’d fill everyone in.

A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine passed away. He was the Christina Yang to my Meredith Grey and I’ve been pretty lost without him. He died at the age of 25 while writing at his computer. I suppose for an author, there’s no better way to go, but he passed too young, entirely unexpected, and there is just this void that makes everything so empty.

Tom Shutt was my editor, my college, my co-author, and my friend. He was one of the few people that really understood this little author bubble I live in. We never met in person, he lived in PA while I’m in WA but we spoke on an almost daily basis, messaging and video chatting for the last 3 years about everything from ideas for books to life and love, ups and downs. I don’t think I realized what an impact he had on my life until he was gone. It’s rare, to develop such a pure platonic relationship with someone else where you genuinely care for the other persons success and well-being.

We’d always joke about our plans for world domination (in the author world) lol, and all of the amazing things we were going to do and all of the fantastic books we were going to write. We were going to meet in person for the first time this summer. I talked him in to attending RWA 2017 in Orlando FL.

Now, I haven’t written anything in nearly a month. I’m behind on deadlines but I almost don’t care. I’m beyond frustrated and angry and just plain sad and much like my little author bubble, no one seems to understand why. He was someone I’d never met in person. Why does it hurt so much? Why does grief strike at the worst times when things get quiet and you’re all alone.

As someone fairly decencetized to death, his is hitting me a lot harder than I would have imagined it could. I’ve lost 11 relatives in 14 years. Death seems so common and frequent in my life but he was only 25. Death is never fair but 25 feels down right cruel.

Anyway, I wanted you to know why I’ve been MIA and why the release for Branded by Fire is going to be pushed to Winter 2017 instead of Fall. Tom and I were co-writing the Hunters Gone Rogue series. We’d finished the 1st draft of book1 and were working on edits and re-writes. I worry about releasing book1 when I’m not sure if I can finish 2 and 3 so I’ve decided to release book 1, The Red Hood, chapter by chapter here on my blog. I want to share his words, but I don’t want the stress of a launch right now.

Keep an eye out for the first installment. It’ll be posted by this coming weekend and if you haven’t checked out Tom’s book, I highly recommend you do so. Tom has this wicked sense of humor that comes out in his characters. He truly has a brilliant mind.



8 responses to “I lost a dear friend

  1. Wanda Bryant

    Hi Danielle
    Thank you for writing this about Thomas and for all you’ve done for us.
    I trudge thru each day. It’s like walking thru waist high mud. I miss him so much I can’t stand it.
    How do I sign up for your blog?

  2. Danielle, I am so sorry for your loss. You were lucky to have found a writing soulmate. He was lucky to have found you too. Not all of us get that gift.

    Who knows why people leave us so young, or even have to leave us at all. After my mom passed, I didn’t write for nearly a year. My blog was virtually untouched. Whenever I sat down to write, I couldn’t. I am only now starting to see the sunshine. I think we have no idea how the people in our lives are actually a part of us. There is no “that’s them, and this is me.” There is “we.” Take part of that out of the equation and part of us goes missing. The reason we get out of bed is largely because of the life they breathe into us.

    Grief has a life of its own. You have a great talent, and your readers know that. They will still be here for you. Be kind to yourself and above all, take all the silence you need. The good news is that even though loss cuts to the core, in the end we are stronger and more sensitive because of it.

    I wish you only the best in your writing journey, Danielle. You are a very special lady. Your tribute to your friend says so much about you.


  3. Ganin Lovell

    Thank you for sharing. I am not desensitized to death and this has been a hell of a year full of abundance and earth shattering loss. I like knowing you are out *there* somewhere going through the unavoidable steps of processing your emotions. I can feel you at the opposite of the Country. I’m waving. Can you see my hand?

    I look forward to reading the first chapter on your blog.

    Love and blessings,


  4. admin

    Thank you so much for the kind words and I hope you’re year begins to look brighter

  5. admin

    Hi Wanda. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss and I know there really isnt anything that I can say but know that I am always here should you ever need me.
    As for signing up for my blog, there isnt really anything to do. You can just pop in from time to time or subscribe to my newsletter at https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/k2j4a3 and you’ll get emailed updates whenever something important is posted (but you’ll also get other random bookish news too) just a heads up.


  6. Mann

    Danielle, I feel the same way about Tom and I can’t explain it. He was my #1 favorite new author that I just discovered this year. This sounds harsh, but authors and actors are products to me. I’m not interested in them as people, they’re not real to me. If their books and movies are good, I’ll remember their names to get the next product produced.

    I feel more with Tom’s passing than I did when my favorite author Robert Ludlum died. Since the 60s, I have all of his books and his are the only books I’ve kept. Even my ebooks are deleted. I felt sorry RL passed, but never thought about him again. But with Tom, I’m still sad today.

    Rethink The Hunters Gone Rogue series, you both deserve it. Best wishes to your success.

  7. admin

    Thanks! I actually did rethink it and decided to post the first book, The Red Hood, scene by scene here on the blog so that our readers could still enjoy his words and brilliant stories after he’s gone.
    I’m glad he made an impact on you and that you’ve enjoyed his books 🙂

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