Anne McCaffrey passed away today. I keep searching for ways to express the feelings. I can start with the shock. This is an ending of an era. She created one of the best Sci-Fi/Fantasy worlds. The world of Pern is classic Sci-Fi with dragon riders, harpers, wyrs, and other terms that bring back fond memories. I loved her Crystal Singer and Acorna series. When I listed authors that I enjoy, she is on the list. Always.
I feel so fortunate I got to meet her once. She attended a book signing in the mall where I worked in Sunnyvale, CA. My family waited in line for two hours. I was scheduled to work, but my mom and sister knew how much I loved her books. So they stood in line for me.
Later, I took my lunch off to stand in line with them for another 20 minutes and got to meet her. She signed her current book, The Rowan(1991), and one other book. I brought the first book of the Dragon Rider Series in comic book form. OK, so it was the early 90s. That’s what I had at the time.
I remember her being very nice, a bit like anyone’s grandmother. In fact, she talked a lot of like “Grandma Kettle”. She seemed very down home and country like, and was very easy to talk to.
I read The Crystal Singer while I was going to school in Paris. I paid the $60 tax to get it into the country. All English books have this huge fee. I was desperate for good Sci-Fi. It was 1992, and the internet was not established. I had to get books the old fashioned way, shipped from home by relatives. It was worth it. I followed the rest of the series, and still comment about being “lost in crystal” if I get too absorbed by something.
I read she lived in Ireland and wrote her stories. That would be so fabulous. To live in a castle and write Sci-Fi/Fantasy. So, I strived to be a great creator of worlds. It’s the one thing my favorite writers of fantasy would do; create the world you could get lost in.
So, as I wrote my first book, The Lost Secret of Fairies, I tried to create a world my readers could be engrossed by. I worked on my second book, The Lost Secret of the Green Man, while visiting Ireland. In the back of my mind, I would imagine Ms. McCaffrey working away creating her books. I was going to do that too.
I’m working on my third book in my own fantasy world now. It involves crystals too. I hope that this is a fitting tribute. To write as many books as possible, leave a legacy, and become a legend. Isn’t this what we all strive to do as a writer? Thank you Anne McCaffrey for your books and inspiration. I want to be like you when I grow up. I’m 43. Still a long way to go. *wink*