I lost a special friend (or perhaps a quirky uncle) with the passing of Donald Westlake yesterday. I wish I were speaking of a literal friendship. It would have been a wonderful takeaway from my experience in adapting his novel Trust Me on This for our stage in 2003. But the truth is we met only once, when he visited our production. He was the perfect author in attendance—embracing, gracious, funny—I cherish the meeting but it did not lead to further correspondence or meetings of the minds. It was the exclamation mark on a satisfying piece of stage work. No, the friendship was of the nature we all have with a favorite author—we welcome them to our homes with each new book, setting expectations on this new visit and savoring it until it comes to all too soon end. I will continue to cherish his comic fiction, his ability to make me laugh out loud, alone in the privacy of my home–a vary rare accomplishment. And to relish in his knack for the masterful turn of a phrase and his joy of playing with language leaping from the pages of his books. I shed some tears today for this friend who has brought me so much laughter. Luckily, I have one more new visit with his forthcoming novel Get Real. And the constant opportunity to revisit with him by pulling an old favorite off my bookshelf—something not always as easy to do when an actual friend or relative passes. And when I revisit it will be with smiles and laughs. Thank you, if I may presume, Donald.