L.E. Modesitt, Jr. was the second professional writer I ever met—as well as the second science fiction writer and second Tor writer, in fact which perhaps explains some of my lifelong fondness for both SF and Tor. (The other writer, by the way, was James Patrick Kelly, about whom I’ve written elsewhere.)
I first met the man I still mostly think of as Mr. Modesitt in, I think, the winter of 1990, or maybe the fall of 1989. He and his family had recently moved to New Hampshire, and his daughter attended my school. He came to talk to an afterschool club I was a member of, and eventually he and I started corresponding—I know it was before the summer of 1990, because he sent me an advanced copy of the cover for The Ecologic Secession, which was, at least according to ISFDB, released in July 1990.
For a summer job, I usually worked at the Plymouth State College Bookstore, stocking the shelves for the coming semester. That fall, Modesitt would be teaching an intro to lit class, and I vividly remember putting his books onto the shelf—including, I believe, Gordon Dickson’s Soldier, Ask Not and Sherri Tepper’s The Gate to Women’s Country. Seeing those books alongside big intro to lit anthologies and books by folks like Shakespeare and Kafka warmed my heart.
[And then came The Magic of Recluce]