Cally Phillips writes:
I’ve never met Brendan Gisby, but he’s been a profound influence on my writing life over the past few years and I consider him a friend albeit virtual. He has singlehandedly formed a community of interest in McStorytellers and the ‘spin off’s ‘McVoices’ and ‘McRenegades are examples of how he is tireless in his desire to be inclusive and open to all diverse voices. And right now, Brendan is facing the worst possible time in life. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that the loss of a beloved partner, one with whom you’ve shared your creative thoughts, hopes and dreams, must be the most terrible thing imaginable – a dark place from which we would find it hard to come back – so dark perhaps that we try not to think of it. We might think of this possibility from time to time but Brendan is actually experiencing it right now, and now is the time he needs what small comfort is to be found in the ‘virtual’ world of friends he has helped create and nurtured over the past few years.
There is little we can do for ‘virtual’ friends when the dark days hit – but perhaps one thing we can do is let Brendan know how much we appreciate both himself and his work. So, in the next wee while, why not read one of his books, or write a short review – it doesn’t have to be Jeremy/Victoria style reviews, just your thoughts from your heart to Brendan - because about all we can do at the moment is to let Brendan know in what high regard he is held. It’s something we don’t do enough, always thinking there will time anon. But time is finite. Loss is great and final and the time to tell people you appreciate them is while they are here, and especially when in need of friends. It scares me to put myself in Brendan’s position, and I hate to think it is one I may well face myself. If you feel the same, the thing to do is not to stay quiet, not to reflect on your own ‘what if’s’ but to reach out to Brendan, give him a virtual pat on the shoulder and say – you know what, you’ve really been a friend to me, you’ve really helped me, and I really appreciate you for everything you are. If that seems overly sentimental I don’t apologise. I think there is a time for emotion and this is it. Time for appreciation and for doing all that we can as virtual friends. Brendan, you are an absolute legend. I hope to meet you one day.
Angus Shoor Caan writes:
The first of Brendan's books I read was 'The Island of Whispers'. Now, I'm not the biggest fantasy fan but in spite of that I found myself totally engrossed in it. Not the subject matter in particular but in the exquisite penmanship, the man has a way with words for sure.
However, my favourite Mr. McStoryteller novel just has to be 'The Bookie's Runner', again, for the prose, but more perhaps for the memories the piece evoked since my own father was a bookie's runner as a younger man before he went all respectable and got a job digging holes for a living. This beautiful book is a true work of art and sits way up high on my list of favourites.
I've only met Brendan virtually but each consultation has been the most pleasant of experiences. I, like many others, am in his debt in respect of his patience, his humour and his tireless efforts within the self publishing industry and I can only hope and pray for many more years of his virtual company. Thank you, Brendan.
Alasdair McPherson writes:
Brendan has let my voice be heard, encouraging me without trying to change me. The only things McStorytellers, McVoices and McRenegades share are a love of writing and an enormous debt of gratitude to him. He had the wit to see a need and the determination to make the idea work. As if that wasn’t enough to make me envious, he is an accomplished author.
Thanks very much, young Brendan, for everything.
Lee Carrick writes:
Brendan Gisby is man I've never met, maybe a man I will never meet, yet his influence on my life in the past five years has been great. He published my short stories when no one else would, he published my book when no one else would, he has always been there with words of support and he has encouraged me to continue writing at times when I felt dejected and unmotivated.
His enthusiasm for online literature has inspired me and many others to write just for the sake of writing and not for fame or fortune. For this I will be eternally grateful.
Of course I never met Alison either. But knowing what I know of Brendan she must have been a woman of impeccable judgement, patience and enthusiasm. I imagine that Brendan's online and literary life must have taken a large amount of his time and I don't believe that would have been possible without the support of Alison. So to Alison I say thank you for allowing and encouraging Brendan to be a part of my life and to Brendan I say I am deeply saddened by your loss and I want you to know that you have a great deal of people who genuinely care about you and that is a testament to both you and Alison.
John McGroarty writes:
Brendan, we would like to express our condolences to you and yours in this time of deep sadness for you and your family. We know that there is nothing we can say or do which will make your grief any less so but we would like to show our solidarity with you at this time. You have been an inspiration and an unfailing guiding light to all of the writers on McStorytellers and the spirit of true literature and art lives and breathes in you and we can never fully express our gratitude for all of the efforts you have made over the years for all of the different writers on the site. You are a truly exceptional person. Your wonderful books, which I know have touched and inspired many people over the years. For you are not only an exceptional human being, Brendan, but you are also a wonderful writer. And the proof of that is to be seen in the reviews that follow over the next week.