I first met Niki in 2013 at GRL in Atlanta, GA, where she was doing video interviews with authors and publishers for her vlog and video book club. Here she is interviewing me with Anne Tenino:
I remember the interview being a delightful experience, Niki was clever and kind and just a lot of fun. I also enjoyed going back to her YouTube channel and watching the video book club sessions, of which I wish there had been more.
I met her again in 2014 at GRL, which she had used crowdfunding to attend. The first night we were there, we had dinner together with four or five other people. I think Heidi Belleau might have been there? The whole evening is a bit fuzzy because–as I infamously announced to everyone, and you’d better believe Niki kept teasing me about it all weekend–I was plastered after one and a half margaritas due to the fact that all I’d had to eat that day was two pancakes and a mocha. But we hung out several times during the course of that GRL, since I attended as a reader and not an author and therefore had no particular duties, and really she was one of my favorite parts of the experience that year.
I admit, I didn’t know Niki incredibly well. I followed her on Tumblr for quite some time, until she stopped being active on Tumblr, and always found the material she posted and reblogged to be insightful and thought-provoking and sometimes just plain fun. She was a huge fan of Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series, but I knew she was having financial troubles, so when the final book came out, I bought it and gifted it to her so she wouldn’t have to wait to read it.
After that, we sort of lost contact, mostly since she drifted away from Tumblr and that’s really the only social media platform I’m active on. If news of her passing last week has circulated in the M/M romance community, I haven’t seen it. So it wasn’t until today when I tagged her in the hopes of congratulating her on the release of her latest book (the release of which I hadn’t been aware of, most likely because we had fallen out of touch) that someone let me know what had happened.
I’m incredibly saddened, despite the fact that I didn’t know her well, because what I did know of her was so altogether wonderful.
RIP Niki. You’ll be missed in many communities.