Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Tribute to Lou Allin by Leanne Dyck

On Friday, July 11th, I held my friend in my arms and spoke softly, “I have bad news. Lou Allin passed away.” It was hard news to share—hard for me to say; hard for her to hear.

A few minutes later, my friend found a magazine and flipped to an article she'd written. “Without Lou's gentle nudge I won't have submitted this; without her gentle nudge I won't have been published in this magazine.”

I wonder how many authors can credit Lou's gentle nudge for helping to develop their careers? My guess—many. I know I can. I know an entire organization can—Crime Writers of Canada.

How did I meet Lou?

Lou Allin was an award winning mystery author. And so, appropriately, how I met her is a mystery.

Back in 2009, I had newly self-published a mystery. I wanted to learn more about the publishing industry and thought finding a writers association would help. A search engine delivered me to the Mystery Writers of America website. I emailed them asking if I could join and explaining that I was Canadian. Their polite reply directed me to the Crime Writers of Canada. And I made a mental note to learn more about this association. A few months later, I received an email from Lou Allin (then membership chair) informing me that the Crime Writers of Canada was holding a free mini conference. How she found me will remain a mystery. But I'm very glad she did.

During that first conference, I participated in a one-on-one blue pencil session with Lou. (Learn more about how that went here.) And I invited her to visit me on Mayne Island. She accepted my offer and we became friends. Like a good friend, Lou was always there to offer me opportunities like sitting on panels, give me feedback on my writing and write articles for this blog.


Lou will live on not only in her writing but also in the authors she gently nudged.