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In May 2011, I covered the World Horror Convention, which was held in Austin, TX. I interviewed many great authors and got to hang out with folks like Jack Ketchum and Carlton Mellick. I also took home a handful of book flyers. One of those really caught my attention. It was for a book titled As Fate Would Have It. Wanting to do a review, I reached out to the author, Michael Louis Calvillo. We exchanged some messages and he provided me with a PDF of the book. I loved the story and Calvillo's voice struck me as truly unique. After the glowing review was published, he sent me an email praising my work. Besides being incredibly talented, Michael was also one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet.
Even though we never had a chance to talk face-to-face, many Facebook messages came and went between Michael and I during the following year. One day I came home and a package was waiting for me by the door. Michelle, Michael's wife, had put together a great package full of books and a thank you note. I sent messages to both of them and told them they'd made my day.
A few weeks later I learned Michael was sick and my heart went out to him and his loved ones. As he became thinner and thinner, which many of us witnessed via his Facebook pictures, the unfairness of it all filled many of us with anger, but his smile never wavered. Although the hospital visits were scary, Michelle kept all of us updated and hope was always there.
This morning, after a long struggle with cancer, Michael Louis Calvillo passed away. As recently as February, I had been trading jokes with him. When I learned of his Stoker nomination, I sent him a message about a future celebration. He was the one who received the recognition, yet his message back to me included the words "You the man!" That was the kind of person he was.
We've lost a true gentleman, a great friend, a truly talented author with a unique voice and a man who made the horror community better just by being part of it. I feel honored to have known him and happy to have most of his work sitting on my shelves. My heart goes out to his family, especially Michelle, who was the incarnation of stoic strength throughout this ordeal, and his friends. Michael, you will be missed, my friend. Rest in peace.
-Gabino Iglesias, 05.01.2012
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