Last year, when my good friend CJ Henderson was diagnosed with lymphoma, many of his friends, fans, and colleagues rallied to help him and his family through a difficult, horrible time. Several fund-raising efforts were launched, including one spearheaded by Danielle Ackley McPhail, The Society for the Preservation of CJ Henderson. Over the course of several months, several thousand dollars were raised and directed to CJ and his family to help defray medical bills and everyday costs while CJ was unable to write or attend conventions, his primary source of income. The Society anthology was intended as a fundraiser, with all proceeds to go to CJ and his family, and as a tribute from CJ’s friends in recognition of all the years of friendship, support, and mentorship CJ shared with us.
Sadly, CJ passed away on July 4, 2014, before the anthology was completed.
Thanks to tireless efforts of Danielle and co-editor Greg Schauer, though, The Society for the Preservation of CJ Henderson has now been published by eSpec Books and all proceeds will continue going to help CJ’s family recover from medical expenses and keep on their feet.
My story, “Every Second of Every Day,” was inspired by one of my favorite stories of CJ’s, “All Around the Mulberry Bush.” It happens to be CJ’s first Monkey King story, and it was published in Weird Trails, an anthology which also included my first published piece of short fiction, “The Last Stand of Black Danny O’Barry.” CJ helped me connect with the editor and encouraged me while writing the story, so in that sense, my piece for the Society anthology comes back full circle to my short fiction beginnings. The title comes from one of the principles by which CJ lived, the idea being that we are free at any moment to choose another path, to be who we want to be or not, and that every second of every day, we make that choice. It’s a powerful idea that has stayed with me a long time, and I hope the story does it justice.
Other contributors include John L. French, Jean Rabe, Patrick Thomas, David Boop, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jeff Young, Leona Wisoker Robert M. Price–and featured is a previously unpublished story by CJ Henderson. Jason Whitley provided illustrations for all of the stories, and Ben Fogletto painted the cover.