Every so often I like to get inspired by reading about the writer Robert B. Parker

Parker died in 2010. Here’s what Sarah Weinman wrote about him at the LA Times:

Robert B. Parker, who died Monday in his Cambridge, Mass., home at age 77, spent his final moments doing exactly what he’d done for almost four decades: sitting at his desk, working on his next novel. He didn’t concern himself with looking back. Instead, he wrote, and in the process irrevocably altered American detective fiction, forging a link between classic depictions and more contemporary approaches to the form.

Steven Axelrod at Salon:

Parker taught me to appreciate scotch and soda, stand up to bullies and finish the extra set of sit-ups. He taught me how to make a fast meal and break into a window by chipping out the glazing. He taught me that solving a case has more to do with poking at a situation waiting for things to happen than finding clues. He made Boston appealing (even without a GPS). More than that, he made adulthood appealing, for three generations of my family – my brilliant, alcoholic father, my hesitant pre-adolescent son, and me. Someone once remarked that I was always in search of father figures. Maybe it’s true. I know I lost another one on Monday morning.

He died at his desk, writing. That’s the way any writer would want to go. The police said there was no sign of foul play. That was oddly disappointing, a brackish dousing of reality. A writer found dead at his desk in a Parker novel would spark another fascinating case for Spenser and Hawk. Susan would chime in with the psychiatric angle: an angry editor? A pathological fan? A jealous mystery writer? They would track it down, between runs along the Charles and workouts at Henry Cimoli’s regrettably gentrified gym. (It has potted plants now.)

“He died at his desk, writing. That’s the way any writer would want to go.” Respectfully, that’s romantic nonsense. Parker himself—who thought of writing primarily as a job—might roll his eyes at it. Still, Parker died doing something he loved, and that’s not a bad way to go. Too young, though. We should have had 20 more years of books from him.

Alison Flood at The Guardian:

Parker, who would publish up to three books a year, said he would write 10 pages a day, often not knowing “who did it” until near the end of the book. “I don’t rewrite, I don’t write a second draft,” he said in a 2005 interview. “When I am finished, I don’t reread it. Joan [his wife] reads it to make sure I haven’t committed a public disgrace, and, if I haven’t, I send it in. Then I begin the next book.”

Weinman again, writing about the final Spenser novels, which were not Parker’s best work.

… spending time in Parker’s company these last several years was akin to attending a concert by Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald late in their careers: There was just enough juice to revisit the standards, and it hardly mattered if the tone warbled into an echo of former melodious glory.

Mitch W @MitchW