I Lost A Great Friend

Gordon Ryan (October 5, 1943 – November 14, 2012)

I lost a tremendous friend and mentor on November 14th with the untimely death of Gordon Ryan, an author of exceptionally realistic political thrillers and historical novels.  Gordon was more than just a friend, he was my first friend in the burgeoning world of independent publishing using electronic media.  His advice, guidance, and prodding were always welcomed as I worked my way through this new landscape.

Gordon was a Recon Marine and served in Vietnam where he was exposed to Agent Orange.  After the war, he worked for over twenty-five years as the chief administrator of many municipalities around the United States before retiring to Christchurch, New Zealand with his beloved wife, Colleen.  I cannot do justice to his remarkable career as a marine, a city administrator, and author.  A devout Mormon, Gordon was eulogized in detail on the blog, Dawning of a Brighter Day, a website that promotes Mormon literature.  I encourage you to read his memorial HERE.

Gordon succumbed to Cardiac AL Amyloidosis, which developed as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange.  In a very real sense, this Marine died because he fought for our country.

Gordon wasn’t just my friend, he was a friend and mentor to so many of the new voices that have been unlocked through the wonder of electronic media and Kindles.  Although he had been a published author for some years, he embraced this new movement and quickly became a leader in its development.  He was a teacher to all of us struggling authors.

Gordon, Mike Wallace, and I partnered on a very successful joint venture combining our works into a box set that showed how thrillers can be done in different ways, each with a different voice, but all with the element of thrills that kept you reading to the last page.  Gordon’s specialty was very realistic political thrillers that foretold events that could easily be lifted from the pages of today’s newspapers.  Rather than highlighting just one book, I recommend that you visit Gordon;s website,

Gordon Ryan was my friend, confidant, mentor, and partner, but I never met him, shook his hand, or heard his voice.

Our friendship solely existed in this electronic world we call the internet and through emails.  He was nonetheless one of the best friends that I have ever had.

Philip Chen

5 comments on “I Lost A Great Friend

  1. Thank you for a very moving memorial to my father. He has been my number one supporter in life, and I can see by the many comments from his friends that they have felt the same. He was never too busy to encourage and support. I appreciate you sharing your friendship.

    • Kate,

      Your Dad was that rare individual who helped everyone he met without any expectation of something in return. I hope that your Mom and all of your family are doing well and celebrating a life well lived.


  2. Beautiful.

    I, too, met Gordon through independent publishing. Actually came across him for the first time when looking for a book to buy on Amazon. I liked one of his reviews so much that I went ahead and bought one of his books instead.

    Over the last couple years, Gordon has been a mentor to me in my writing and an advisor on life in general. He was one of the first to congratulate me on my marriage and just this week we exchanged emails on our latest books and politics (an area where I wasn’t shy about telling Gordon he was wrong!).

    Still can’t believe he’s gone, but I am glad that he was travelling and corresponding until the end.

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