A Message from Lucienne Diver
Roxanne/Rachel's Literary Agent and Faithful Friend
Roxanne is one of those rare people who… I typed that sentence, and realized that I had to replace the “is” with “was” and the numbness that had been protecting me since I learned of her death flooded away. I cried so hard I couldn’t see the keyboard. And then I shook so hard I couldn’t hit the right keys. And when I got it out of my system, I went right back to work, because that’s what Roxanne would do.
Roxanne is-was-and-ever-will-be one of those rare people every bit as amazing as she was talented. She put others first. Not just when it was convenient. Not just when she had nothing better to do or felt there might be something in it for her. During even her hardest times, including this latest, life-ending battle with cancer, she was an activist, an ally, a philanthropist, an author uplifting other voices. This is the person she was, day in and day out.
During her first battle with breast cancer years ago, Roxanne wrote incredibly funny “Still Not Dead” posts to inform others going through cancer what to expect, but also to reassure those who loved her. I felt terrible laughing as I read the posts out loud to my husband, but had to think that if she didn’t want me (and others) to laugh, she wouldn’t have made them so funny. But that was the person she was.
When I first met Roxanne and during that first bout, she was working sixty to ninety hour weeks (with drive time) doing crisis management and writing multiple books a year and battling cancer with radiation treatment and still managing to more or less meet her deadlines. This is why I knew I wasn’t allowed to let a little thing like grief get in my way. She felt terrible if we had to push back deadlines – and not because she was a pushover, because Roxanne, as giving as she was, also knew how to set boundaries, which can be a very tricky thing. She felt badly because of her work ethic and because there were schedules to keep and her readers to consider. She had a good thing going, and she didn’t want to lose it or disappoint a single person. Because that’s who she was.
Roxanne had all of those readers and such an amazing career because she was so empathetic. Because she could put herself in other people’s heads and hearts and put us there too. She could consider how it might feel to be an unsponsored (and therefore fair game) human in a town run by vampires or the unknowing wife of a serial killer having to change identities and go on the run with your kids when internet trolls are sure that you did know and are prepared to hunt you down and administer “justice,” so you could imagine it as well. Or…well, the list goes on. But when you can empathize and explore, then others can expand their understanding along with you, and that is an amazing thing. A world-changing thing. And the best any of us can ask is to leave our mark on this world.
Roxanne did that. She left her mark on all who knew her. We are all richer for having her in our world, and I won’t say poorer for her having left it, because she leaves behind her legacy that will always be with us. Her spirit and the way she’s inspired and uplifted all of us.