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 with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She co-publishes Space and Time magazine with author husband Ryan Aussie Smith. For more information visit
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