Kathi Kamen Goldmark, a writer, musician and literary publicist who founded the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock group composed of authors that is always a popular draw at Miami Book Fair International, died of cancer on Thursday.
Goldmark, sister-in-law of humorist and Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry, was 63.
Some people collect books. Goldmark collected authors.
Theyd step into her car in San Francisco, where for many years she ran a business escorting writers on book tours, and be forever drawn into her universe, Barry said.
Kathi was a great gatherer of people, a collector of people and she was always up for a party, he said. She was like this wild woman, in a good way, always playing in a band or making music.
In 1992, Goldmark tapped into the frustrated rock star dreams of some of her clients, recruiting a dozen writers for what was supposed to be a one-time gig at the American Booksellers Association meeting in California. Twenty years later, the band continues to play and has raised almost $2 million for charity.
Its members have included Goldmark and Barry, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Matt Groening, Roy Blount Jr., Mitch Albom and others all of whom have since become good friends, Barry said.
Barrys brother Sam, also a writer and musician, first met Goldmark when his older brother called to ask if he could fill in for Albom, who couldnt make a gig. The couple married in 2009.
Were all family because of Kathi Goldmark, Barry said.
In a posting noting Goldmarks death on its book blog, The Los Angeles Times called her a beloved figure in the San Francisco literary scene.
Goldmark wrote numerous songs, essays, columns and a novel, And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You, which was published in 2002. She also co-wrote with her husband a 2010 book on how to get published.
In addition to playing with The Remainders, Goldmark was a musical producer and leader of a band called Los Train Wreck, which included her husband on keyboards and harmonica. Friends and authors also filled her Facebook page with tributes, including links to some of Goldmarks songs, which can be found on YouTube.