Sunday 9 March 2014


With a very heavy heart, and with AJ's wife's blessing, we hand you over to his close friend, Richard Godwin...

"AJ Hayes, exceptional crime writer, poet, and endless supporter of other writers, sadly passed away at 3 AM West Coast time on Saturday 8th March. He was battling lung cancer with the kind of courage that is an example to us all. He was an omnivorous reader, a man who deeply understood literature in its many forms, and who always had time for other writers. His kind words, and wise encouragements were widely appreciated. He will be sadly missed."

Tributes from the Editors...

From Col Bury:
"I'm so proud to call AJ (Bill) a friend. He was a selfless gent with boundless wisdom and great wit, and was one helluva writer to boot. His classic short, DARK GENESIS gleaned the most comments (and most 'wows') on this site in 2012. He was always on hand with unwavering encouragement and pertinent advice. I'll always cherish meeting him and his lovely wife, Thury, down in London (sincere condolences to you and your family, Thury). The writing community will ensure that AJ Hayes lives forever. R.I.P. mate."

From Matt Hilton:
"Sadly I never had the pleasure of meeting AJ Hayes in life, but I did have the opportunity of discovering his incredibly atmospheric, poetic skill as a writer through the pages of Thrillers, Killers 'N' Chillers, where I recall his "Dark Genesis" tale evoked a buzz for its incredible and sheer poetic inventiveness. Not only was AJ a real talent when it came to writing, but he was incredibly open and supportive of his fellow authors, regularly offering feedback at the site that was thoughtful and meaningful, and I'm certain his advice went a long way in making better writers of us all. His sage words and advice are a legacy many of his friends and peers will remember AJ for."

From Lily Childs:

"An outstanding writer in the Noir and crime genres, it was my absolute pleasure to publish AJ Hayes, ‘Bill’ on Thrillers Killers ‘n’ Chillers. Not only was Bill a unique voice in the genre, he also spent his valuable time supporting and promoting the writers he believed in. To say he will be missed is an understatement. I wish his family and friends peace and send them my sincere condolences."

From David Barber:

"AJ was a gent in the truest meaning of the word, always there to give advice and inspiration. He was a true professional when it came to the writing game and was also a fine editor in his own right, having taken the time to edit and enhance a couple of stories and a poem of mine recently. The man in the fedora will be greatly missed, not only by his family and friends but also by the online community who he helped and inspired over the years. R.I.P. Bill Hayes."

From Absolutely Kate:
"The 'Fedora Fella' was, IS and ever shall be the razz-a-ma-tazz and every bit of the smoothest, smokiest jazz to how I write and think and love and laugh, and even wear my own fedora. We share authors saluting all the good stuff in authors, the grittiest crime tales crunching delight outta our keyboards and the most gloriest music heard between all the right lines. AJ ~ Bill ~ and 'Clyde' in good 1940's lingo to me is an extra part of why my heart grows. Here's my Tribute reveal: In ANGEL TOUGH, from Matt Hilton's 'ACTION: Pulse Pounding Tales', I created the ongoing character Doc Aloysious Jeremiah Nelson to honour our friend and authorly colleague. Angel said she'd just call him Doc because all those other AJ names were too much a mouthful to say quickly, but she'd know his essence for all of time itself. As I type this - "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" is playing now. I know the Guardian Angel under the fedora... just made it so. Love you, man, with all that swing."

Read AJ Hayes' classic short story, DARK GENESIS here.

And please feel free to leave your own tributes in the comments.