Friday, December 2, 2011

Farewell To A Great Man & A Wonderful Author




Milton T. Burton, aged 63, passed away in his sleep on December 1, 2011 at 3:30 am after a brief illness.

Simple words to say that my best friend, a man of incredible literary talent and immense curiousity, compassion, knowledge and joy, has left my life.

His renewed literary success, which began with 2005's The Rogue's Game and the subsequent The Sweet and the Dead, gave us last year's The Nights of the Red Moon and his stellar anthology of Southern noir tales, Texas Noir which was published by Down and Out Books in 2011.

It will be a posthumous release, The Devil's Odds, however, in February 2012 and his last contracted book, Mortal Remains, I guess is up in the air.

A wealth of output in a few short years from this Texas native who received critical acclaim for all his writings.

I loved, and will miss him, as a wonderful person. But beyond our personal relationship, was our relationship as writers. And not just myself, but dozens of writers have had the great pleasure of meeting Milton and participating in discussions with him, and we have all come away better writers for it. He was unfailingly supportive to those of us who were his friends. He encouraged our literary ambitions, bought our books and touted them on his blog, Obscure Destinies, and had gruff sympathy for the rejections many of us incured.

He wrote from his soul. He put everything into his books, from political leanings, to romance, to his outlook on man's inhumanity to man, his reverence of women and respect for lawmen. His characters were deftly drawn - the best of men had flaws, and the worst had redeeming qualities. There was humor and thrills, sadness and poignant recollections of bygone Texas times.

I have all his books and will cherish them now that he is gone. For anyone unfamiliar with his writing, you'd be well advised to pick up all of them. They teach many lessons about story craft and characterization. But most of all they teach that a great story can only be great if your heart is in the telling.

Milton's heart was always in the tale. He was a true bard and I will mourn his marvelous stories.

To his friends and family, and his beloved grandkids, he was a friend, father and grandfather. To the world at large? He was a writer of the highest order.

He will be sorely missed.

Godspeed, dear man.

13 comments:

Karen said...

Hi Lise -- It sounds like his passing is a great loss for all of us. I'm sorry I never had a chance to meet him. That's my loss

Jean said...

So sorry for your loss, Lise, but I enjoyed your eloquent eulogy and I'm guessing your friend, Milton, would have, too.

Jeannie Moon said...

Lise, I am very sorry for your loss. He sounds like the kind of friend everyone should have. Blessings.

Jeanine said...

So sorry to hear about your friend. He sounds like a wonderful person and writer.

Nicholas Genovese said...

Hi Lise, You are so lucky to have known and collaborated with such a wonderful and knowledgable gentleman. I can see that you are better for having known him.

My deepest condolences for your loss.

Nick

Nicholas Genovese said...

Hi Lise, You are so lucky to have known and collaborated with such a wonderful and knowledgable gentleman. I can see that you are better for having known him.

My deepest condolences for your loss.

Nick

Santa said...

What a tresure! I'm sorry to have heard about him at his passing. My sympathies to you, his family and the literary world. You did him a great honor here.

Lise said...

Thanks to everyone for visiting. Keep writing and enjoy the process and embrace that which brings you joy. Milton dud.

Native NYer said...

Milton...friend, mentor, author. I am so so sorry to hear of his passing. My condolences to all those who knew and loved him.

Beautiful words, Lise. You honor him beautifully.

Donna Coe-Velleman said...

Sorry to hear of your friend's passing. My condolences to his family and you, Lise.

Unfortunately I've never read any of his writings but I shall remedy that soon.

Mageela Troche said...

Lise, I'm sorry for your loss. One life lesson I learned is that the people we've lost are never gone because their lessons, their memories and everything else is part of us.

Carly Carson said...

I only read some of Milton's work because Lise introduced me to it. He was not just a teller of tales, but a true writer. Not every published author is both. Your tribute, Lise, is very moving.

Hope Tarr said...

What a wonderful tribute, Lise. I'm sure Milton approves. Hugs