2016 was the saddest and most difficult year of my life. It started well and busy as usual, mixing my business commitments with my ongoing burning desire to write. I had four able and loving sons and a happy marriage to a wonderful woman that just passed the forty-year mark.
My oldest son is Victor Kloss. Over the last ten years we had shared the binding love of writing. A couple of years ago he wrote a series called ‘The Royal Institute of Magic.’ It is a young adult fantasy and was immediately loved by readers of all ages.
By the third book it was a best seller in its category, by the fifth book, sales of the whole series had rocketed and at the age of 35, with his own loving wife and their 4-year-old child he had made it as a writer!
You can well imagine the excitement felt by all of us, as well as my heart-felt pride for my son’s breakthrough. Not to mention the inspiration it fed me to follow his success with my own writing. The excitement and joy with each new release was felt and experienced by the whole family and he was well on his way to becoming a major writer.
However, on the complete other end of life a black cloud was forming. Although through his youth he had been good at sports and lived a full life, he also intermittently suffered lung and liver problems. The last two years had seen both getting worse, with increasing time spent in the hospital, so much so that he finished his last two books from a hospital bed.
In early November 2016 two things occurred, one from heaven, one from the deepest depths of hell.
With his series rocketing, the income finally allowed his family to afford their own house. And he was able to work as a full time professional writer.
While in hospital yet again, the doctors finally got to the terrible bottom of his deteriorating condition. He had an advanced form of cancer. As the darkest month went by they treated him with chemotherapy. They couldn’t use the full concentration of poisons normally used, as his already damaged liver couldn’t take it.
It was a three-week course and the results would determine if he would live or die. At the end of those three weeks, his closest brother, who had been with him every day in hospital, called me to say the treatment had failed and he had actually gotten much worse.
I admit that I raged, cried and banged the car in anger the whole hour it took me to get home and comfort my distraught wife.
Three weeks later he was gone.
He left behind a talented and loving wife and daughter. Five of his six book series, hundreds of fans and his loving family. We all miss him so very much to this day.
The immediate destroying shock was soon replaced with waves of shock, as the reality of losing my son hit me afresh again and again. It sucked the life out of me. Any enthusiasm I did happen upon, quickly became buried by the renewed numbing memory.
Writing helped me through the next dark nine months. It seemed to bring me closer to Victor.
During this time, I worked on a book we initially wrote together quite a few years ago, well before his success. It’s a young adult fantasy called Download and has a lot of his very clever imaginative ideas running through it.
Like all artists, I write to move people’s emotions; personally I aim to leave them with a smile and desire for more. Like hundreds of thousands of other writers, the dream is to write as a full-time professional! This never-ending desire is what drives me to write; it was the same with Victor.
I still feel keenly the loss of Victor, and I am sure I always will. But it’s getting easier, and I still feel that as long as I write I haven’t lost him completely.