I cannot allow the death of Dick Francis to pass without comment. He have provided me with a lifetime of exciting, “can’t put this down” reading pleasure. In fact, two weeks ago I had read Shattered once again. It held me spellbound, although I had read it several times previously. Mr. Francis wrote over forty books throughout his long award winning career. I have read every one of his books at least once except the latest. I can assure you that I will be reading Even Money very soon. Crossfire is scheduled to come out later this year. I will be anxiously awaiting this release.
My entire realm of knowledge of horses and horseracing has come from Dick Francis. He wrote such wonderful descriptions of the horses, tracks, jockeys, trainers, and the various races that I feel like I have been to each and everyone one of them. Each of his main characters seems like old friends.
Mr. Francis is my inspiration. Just imagine he is a champion jockey riding for the Queen Mother in the 1956 Grand National and his horse collapses just before crossing the finish line in first place. Then the horse gets back up apparently unhurt. What a mystery! How embarrassing. He retires from racing soon afterwards.
The inspiration lies in the fact that a year his autobiography, The Sport of Queens, was published. He worked as a sports writer for a while. Dead Cert was published in 1962 followed by a book a year for over forty years. Amazing!
A marriage of 53 years is also inspiring. His beloved Mary edited and proof read all of his books. She even helped with the research. It has been said that research led to Mary taking flying lessons. I need to stay clear of flying scenes in my stories because I am quite sure my husband will not taking flying lessons. What wonderful devotion on Mary’s part. Mr. Francis did not write any books for several years after Mary died in 2000. It seems the devotion was felt both ways.
Give rest, O Christ, to your servant with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”