There will be a lot of posts and and comments like this about Rocky Wood today.
Sadly, this great man of horror and great man all round, has passed away after a four year battle with Motor Neurone Disease.
Rocky was not only regarded as the world’s expert on Stephen King, having published several tomes on the author’s work, and the president of the Horror Writers Association, but he was also a father and grandfather, who had a lot of compassion for people. He was also an advocate for animals and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind on important issues. His Facebook feed was always full of insight and I admired his tenacity – oh, and he loved his All Blacks!
I feel extremely privileged to have known Rocky. Not only did I have the chance to work with him on our graphic novel Witch Hunts, with Lisa Morton, but I also benefitted directly from his wisdom and guidance, through the HWA. He was always supportive of my work, both writing and art and always encouraged me to “keep kicking goals”. He did this for everyone in the HWA horror community and really he has been the glue that has kept everyone together. Despite his illness, Rocky’s mind was always the driving force behind the HWA’s success.
Earlier this year, Rocky invited me to travel with him to the World Horror Convention in the United States as his helper. I helped push him in his wheelchair and with his feeding machine, among other things and I was proud to do so. Not having cared for someone in that condition I didn’t always get it right, but I’ll always remember how he told me I’d done a good job looking after him. Rocky I thank you for believing in me.
I wish I’d known you longer Rocky, and spent more time working with you, but I’m grateful for the times we had and the work we created together.
Thank you my friend, may you Rest In Peace.