LA Banks (1959-2011)

LA Banks

Leslie Esdaile Banks – LA Banks as the author was known to fans of her Crimson Moon and Vampire Huntress novels – passed away August 2 after a struggle with a rare form of adrenal cancer.

A New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Banks wrote over 40 novels and 21 novellas in a variety of genres that included fantasy, horror, crime, thriller, and romance.

She once told a group of Atlanta high school students the reasons she became a full-time writer:

She had to quit her job because her daughter was hurt and she needed to stay home and take care of her, but her job wouldn’t allow it.  So, she began freelancing and wrote for an Essence magazine short story contest.  What she wrote was so good that her friends started sending her story to publishers without her knowledge.

The Liars Club, a Philadelphia writer’s group to which Banks belonged, will host a fundraising event August 6 to help her young daughter.

[Via William Wagner and Andrew Porter.]

Octavia Butler Symposium

“The Work and Life of Octavia Butler” will be the theme of The National Black Writers Conference Bi-Annual Symposium presented by The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York on March 28. Participants will include L.A. Banks, Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due, and Nnedi Okorafor. There is a call for papers online.

The complete press release appears after the jump.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

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