Tuesday, June 01, 2010

“A Writer of the Old School”

If you were wondering over this last lazy weekend what had become of me, I hope your questions were answered by last evening’s posting, in my Killer Covers blog, of my rather lengthy (and thus hard to put together) profile of once-renowned author William Campbell Gault.

After being asked to write about Gault and half a dozen other wordsmiths for an upcoming encyclopedic work, 100 American Crime Writers, I started gathering and reading Gault’s novels, most of which feature one of two Southern California private eyes: Joe Puma or Brock Callahan. In addition, I began researching this author’s background, which is interesting in its own right. (He apparently managed a hotel in Wisconsin before embarking on a literary career.) When I found that my knowledge of Gault could never be contained within the limited space of the piece I had been commissioned to write, I decided to try my hand at a longer article for Killer Covers, and then use that as the starting point for my shorter encyclopedia entry.

One thing I haven’t been able to find out about the author, and which I hope somebody reading this post can supply, is the correct date of Gault’s death. It’s supposed to have been sometime in 1995, probably after March of that year, but I don’t find the date anywhere. If you know the answer to this question, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me here.

Meanwhile, why don’t you take a detour over to Killer Covers to learn more about an author who, though now largely forgotten, was once touted by Bill Pronzini as “a living legend.”

1 comment:

RJR said...

I;m going to read the Gauklt article. I met Gault and Soillane at the same convention in 1981. Gault later became a friend, and a president of PWA. He was a gentleman and a helluva writer, and I'm ashamed to say I don't know the exact date of his death. I'll email his daughter, Shelley, to find out.