Several news sources as well as numerous friends and colleagues have reported some very sad news today: Leslie Banks, who wrote under her own name as well several pen names in a variety of genres, passed away this morning after a short, brutal battle with cancer. This brief announcement was also posted to her official website, LeslieEsdaileBanks.com:
Aug 2, 2011
It is with profound sadness that I announce that Leslie Esdaile Banks, our Queen literary passed this morning. I will share details of funeral arrangements as soon as they become available.
Leslie Esdaile Banks FanClub
I had the privilege of meeting Leslie a few year ago, when she came to Kansas City as the keynote speaker for the annual convention held by the Missouri Writers Guild. She blew the doors off the joint with her speech, during which she recounted the uphill struggles she faced on numerous personal and professional fronts, and how she refused to surrender even when life continued to throw every challenge, obstacle, and dirty trick it could find. She was passionate, funny, pissed-off, and awe-inspiring. I could’ve listened to her talk all day, and then every day after that.
But the real shock came when Kevin and I introduced ourselves to her after her speech, and she insisted we sit down and talk about our writing, because SHE wanted to write a Star Trek novel. We spent an hour in the hotel bar, talking shop and whatever other topics which came across our table. Then she was called away to fulfill some other task or responsibility to the convention, and our time with her was over. We exchanged the occasional e-Mail after that, but our paths never again crossed after that day.
She was and will continue to be an inspiration to me, and not just because she was a successful writer I came to admire for her tenacity and “All Go-No Quit” attitude. She was a damned fine example of a fantastic human being, and the world could use a lot more like her.
Rest in peace, Leslie.