I’m sad to report that one of my writing group’s former members has passed away. Over the weekend, I got the news that Jim Freund had a fatal heart attack and stroke this past May.
When I first met Jim in 2002, he had an idea for a novel – a very detailed, well-plotted idea. During our writer’s group meetings, Jim was brash but polite, keeping discussions lively with his feisty opinions. He always gave us a warning before reading any piece with blue language, which for Jim was most of his work. He had an innate sense of dialogue, and Jim’s characters talked like the truckers, soldiers, and con men they were. Jim completed his book, Tripwire, and opted to self-publish because he said he didn’t have time to mess around with the waiting game of conventional publishing. A born salesman, Jim was a tireless promoter of Tripwire, attending book conferences and calling up Norm Clark at the Las Vegas Review Journal to pitch his book.
Besides being a good writer, Jim was also an artist, a former car salesman, an avid golfer, and an incredibly proud grandfather – and that only scratches the surface. He had a wealth of great stories guaranteed to make you laugh, and a sharp mind that he used to beat the casinos’ games. I’m grateful I got the chance to know him, and saddened that he’s no longer with us. I hope that when he got to the pearly gates the angel said, “Jim, I hope you’re ready to tee off, because we have hundreds of golf courses just waiting for you!” That, I think, is a welcome he would enjoy.