I was just getting ready to do my big excited release-day post this afternoon when I heard that L.A. Banks has died.
That just sucks.
I didn’t know Leslie well; I didn’t really know her at all, to be honest. But I met her at my first RT ever (Orlando 09), at a dinner for St. Martins authors. My good friend Caitlin Kittredge writes for St. Martins, and while we had a different event we’d already committed to, Caitlin asked me if I’d like to tag along with her to stop in and at least say hello to everyone etc. etc.
I was pretty nervous and felt a bit out of place, (like I often do) especially since at that point I only had one small-press book on the shelves. And of course didn’t have any deals in the works with St. Martins. So I just kind of hung back; I met Caitlin’s editor Rose and we chitchatted for a few minutes–she was great–and just sort of hoped I didn’t look too conspicuous.
Then L.A. Banks walked in, with a couple of other people. I think the noise level in the restaurant rose a few decibels, because Leslie was so happy to see everyone, and everyone was so happy to see her, and it was like the party was really starting.
So Caitlin introduced me to Leslie, and I probably blushed and looked awkward, but Leslie gave me this big warm hug and asked me about myself and my work and my upcoming series with Del Rey (Caitlin had mentioned it) etc. etc., and seemed genuinely interested in my answers.
That’s the kind of person we lost today. Someone who went out of their way to make other people feel comfortable and welcome, someone genuinely kind and friendly.
And of course someone who wrote great books.
That’s a loss for all of us. There are so few people like that in the world, and now we’re down one more, and that just sucks.
My heart goes out to Leslie’s family and close friends.
I don’t much feel like promoting my release today, sorry. I’ll come back tomorrow with that one.
Hugs to all of you.