NIKKI HEAT AUTHOR DIES AT AGE 101
The New York Times Online
October 12, 2073
Richard Castle, author of 49 novels, 39 of them debuting at the top of the New York Times best-seller list, including the most popular mystery series of all-time Nikki Heat, passed away yesterday evening in the comfort of his home in New York. He was 101 years old.
Born on April Fool's Day in 1972, Richard Castle was destined to lead a dramatic life, his mother being the late, Tony Award winning actress Martha Rodgers. He grew up without a father, instead spending his time backstage with his mother at her shows and scouring the aisles of the New York Public Library. He took up writing as a hobby during his time in boarding school. He changed his name from Richard Alexander Rodgers to Richard Edgar Castle.
And then, after being rejected by over 20 publishing houses, he published his first novel, In a Hail of Bullets, with Black Pawn at the age of 21.
In 1993, the same year he published his first novel, he met Meredith Williams, a budding young actress with a penchant for partying. He married her the following year and they had their daughter, Alexis, only 6 months later. The couple divorced in 1998 after Meredith was caught having an affair with one of her directors, Richard Castle getting sole custody of his daughter. After the divorce, he started a new series of books about a CIA agent named Derrick Storm, which was an immediate hit. In 2006, he married his publisher, Gina Griffin. They divorced in late 2008, citing irreconcilable differences. That same year, Richard Castle wrote Storm Fall, in which Derrick Storm made his untimely and dramatic exit in the final book in the 10 book series.
And then he met Kate Beckett.
He met her at his book launch party for Storm Fall. She was a detective, investigating the murder of self-made millionaire, Jonathon Tisdale's (who died of cancer in 2011) daughter, Allison Tisdale in 2009. She, according to him, pulled him out of his own party to question him, and he was immediately hooked. In a week he wrote a third of what would be his next book, Heat Wave, the start of a 27 book award-winning series starring Detective Nikki Heat, an NYPD homicide detective, and Jameson Rook, a Pulitzer Prize winning magazine reporter who follows her to research an article he's writing.
He used his influence with the late, former Mayor of New York, Robert Weldon and the late Captain Roy Montgomery of the Twelfth Precinct, and got permission to shadow Detective Kate Beckett as a consultant for a on her cases until he had enough material to finish his book. Richard Castle was known for his research methodologies; typically spending anywhere from a few days to a few weeks engrossed in a topic to make sure that the details were accurate.
However, weeks turned into months which turned into years, and one book quickly turned into 4 books and a movie and he still hadn't left. Instead, he bought a bar; The Old Haunt (run now by his grandson, James Castle). He started the Johanna Beckett Scholarship Fund to honor the murdered mother of his partner, Detective Kate Beckett. He diffused a dirty bomb.
Instead of leaving, he fell in love.
He proposed to Kate Beckett 5 years and exactly 5 launch parties after meeting her at his party for the fifth book in the Nikki Heat series, Heat of the Moment. The two married in a small, private ceremony in the New York Library on May 10, 2014.
They remained married until she died of heart failure on September 19, 2065, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in 2064.
During their marriage, Richard Castle published 22 more novels about the fictional Detective he based on his wife, capturing the hearts of readers all over the globe. The two had a son in 2016 and named him Jonathon. Four of their best friends died. He won the Grand Master Edgar award in 2027 for turning the Nikki Heat series into graphic novels. His wife became a Lieutenant, and was eventually promoted to Captain. His children had children of their own. Their parents died and long lost fathers came back to haunt them.
For fans of Richard Castle, his life and body of work can easily be separated into two parts: his work before Kate Beckett, and his work after. While Derrick Storm sold well, Nikki Heat was a star from the start. The authenticity of his work provided by his relationship with Kate Beckett (-Castle) and the Twelfth Precinct made his words jump off the page. Readers were captivated by the tension between Nikki Heat and Jameson Rook, fascinated by Nikki's past and her personality, as well as the pair's relationships with the other characters in the books. The series is filled with banter and teasing, sexual tension and relief, crippling pain and sadness, overwhelming joy and peace.
The multi-faceted Nikki Heat series is the best-selling mystery series of all time.
Richard Castle's mentee, Alex Conrad, who published 10 best-sellers during his time as a professional writer, says that the death of Richard Castle, even now when his life was so full and complete, is a tragic loss.
"Rick never stopped writing," he said, "No writer ever does. He was always writing a story in his head, spinning theories about people and places and why things were the way they were. If you were lucky, you got to hear some of them, no more than passing thoughts before his mind was elsewhere, but they were special. Those are now thoughts that the world will never get to read. Richard Castle's mind was a library in and of itself and the doors have been closed on it forever."
"But it was time," he continued, "it was time for Richard Castle to go back."
When asked what he meant by that, he responded with 2 words.
It's undeniable: Richard Castle, through his own love story and stories he's created in his mind that he transferred through the tips of his fingers, has left his signature on the hearts of readers all over the world that will not fade or be erased anytime soon. His name will be remembered in the mystery genre for years and years to come, and his contributions to New York and the NYPD will be fresh on the minds of it people for a long time, and Richard Castle and his wife, Kate Beckett-Castle will go down in history as one of the greatest NYPD partnerships of all time. His legacy will continue to live on through his words and the stories he's left behind for us to enjoy, a glimpse onto the shelves of his library of a mind.
Richard Castle – the writer; the consultant; the partner; the father; the son; the husband; the friend; the man - will never be forgotten.
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