The Passing of Jack

Jack Ketchum and me at the premier StokerCon event 2016

Today I woke up to a world without Jack Ketchum. I won’t say we were friends, but I knew him well enough to know I liked him, and after I read The Girl Next Door, I worried about liking him. When I first met him it was to bum a cigarette off him at World Horror Con in 2015.

We were both hanging out outside the hotel. Almost everyone had gone to bed. We struck up a conversation about cats. I had no idea who he was. Later, I pointed him out to a friend.

“That guy really loves cats,” I said. She asked me how I knew and I told her about the early morning conversation in the parking lot as I bummed all his cigarettes.  Then she told me who he was.

This was my first horror convention and I was in the middle of a soul searching quest to stop myself from writing horror or accept and embrace it. Because of meeting people like Jack Ketchum, I accepted. He was supportive and warm.

At WorldHorrorCon 2015

I would have liked to know Jack better. One of the last conversations we had he asked me where I lived and I mentioned in Northwest Florida near Destin. He said he visited a friend in Destin about once a year and next time he did we should get together and have a few drinks.

Who wouldn’t want the opportunity to chat over drinks with a man like that, chit chatting over a beer about horror and writing? At the same time, the idea was a frightening one… probably because I’d read The Girl Next Door. Sadly, I don’t have to worry about it now.

I am happy that I was able to have an interview with Jack on my blog, courtesy of my dear friend and Spanish correspondent Soraya Murillo Hernandez. I link it here.

First Ursula, and now Jack. I am starting to think of January as a cruel month.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit or
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