A Tribute to Mark Nichols

We at Compass Flower Press are deeply saddened by the death of one of our authors, Leland “Mark” Nichols. He passed away in March of 2019 after a two year battle with cancer.

Mark was a gifted writer of fiction, and in his career he worked as a Public Health Scientist for the state of Missouri, then contributed to bio-terrorism research, and worked on pulsed-power theory with the University of Missouri Electrical Engineering Department.

During the process of publishing his fiction work, The Ruby, he and I developed a special relationship. I also got to know his wife, Becky, who is a wonderful woman I will always consider my friend.

His insightful and imaginative book centers on time travel science fiction set in the Missouri Ozarks with a timeless love story and philosophic allegory.

I think this short excerpt from The Ruby (p. 134) tells a lot about Mark’s life and experience, his genius and wisdom:

“Wisdom and knowledge. It’s a funny thing, you know. Many people of so-called ‘genius’ know very well what others have learned and taught, but they are incapable of having an original thought of their own—no creativity. Genius can only be measured through creativity, like an artist or a musical composer, the ability to express ourselves artistically. It’s like the renaissance painters; if Leonardo da Vinci hadn’t painted the Mona Lisa, nobody else would have either. It was an original thought. …Maybe we need to teach the artist the sciences, physics especially? And see where his creativity takes him; see if new ideas can emerge. But wisdom is the collective essence of everything that has ever been.”

Those of us who knew him will miss Mark Nichols for his sharp, solid personality and his warm genuine friendship.

-Yolanda Ciolli

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *