Aretha Franklin, We'll Miss You

Every book I write has a soundtrack. My first novel, the book that taught me how to write a novel, was set in Detroit, and it was so evocative that my first readers asked me if I'd grown up there. Its soundtrack was Aretha's Gold.

I like to think that she'll be singing in Heaven, alongside her friends and colleagues in life, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, who could also sing of earthly and heavenly love with equal power and equal joy. But it's a small consolation today.

Oh, Doctor Ree, as they called her in Detroit, how we'll miss you.