Friday, November 11, 2011

L.A. Banks: R.I.P.

Back in May (2011), I reviewed the first book in a new urban paranormal series called Surrender the Dark by L.A. Banks. There are so many Angel romance and paranormal series circulating in recent years, but there was something about her new series that stood out. I immediately connected with the setting of the novel which is in Philadelpha, PA, literally 40 minutes from where I live. Ms. Banks has an amazing ability in giving her characters authentic accents--not every author has the patience or talent to write dialogue the way she does.

I recently just purchased the 2nd book in this particular series called Conquer the Dark. Right before I did, I noticed there was a contest giveaway for the novel on someone's blog. While I was on there, I learned the very sad news that L.A. Banks, at only 51 years of age, has died of adrenal cancer. Apparently she passed away on August 2nd, a few months before I even found out.

Leslie Esdaile Banks was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She was an African American writer who enjoyed dabbling in several different genres which included everything from crime/suspense, to paranormal/horror, to African American literature, and romance. She wrote under numerous pseudonyms, such as LA Banks, Leslie Esdaile, Leslie Banks, and Leslie Esdaile Banks. She was a New York Times bestselling author and her most popular series, called Vampire Huntress Legend, have been optioned for Hollywood films by GothamBeach Entertainment and Griot Entertainment.

I think the thing that saddens me the most is despite her success and popularity as a writer, her medical expensives were so great that her family had to start a charity in her name. Other authors helped show their support (such as Charlaine Harris and Heather Graham) by helping the literary community start several auctions where the proceeds went to Bank's medical care.

I wish I could have known her sooner. And I hope this does not sound selfish, but I wonder if Conquer the Dark ends on a cliffhanger or if she was able to tie up loose ends. I am assuming this was her last book since it was published in September of 2011 and only book 2 in the new series she started. My heart goes out to her family and her fans. I know that sounds strange to say considering I am technically a fan as well. But I feel like I missed something, like I am the last one to jump on a train that has already been traveling for days. She has readers that have most likely been with her since the beginning that will mourn her greatly.


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