Science fiction writer Ann Crispin passed away today. My heart goes out to her husband Michael Capobianco and their family.

She wrote as AC Crispin and that is how I discovered her Star Wars and Star Trek tie-in novels. Her Star Trek novel Sarek opened my eyes to how good quality writing could  existing franchises. Her Han Solo series was terrific.

As I became more serious about writing, I discovered that she was a co-founder of Writer Beware along with Victoria Strauss, and I read their warnings carefully.

When I started hanging around Balticon in 2006-2007, she quickly made my list of authors I was just too awestruck to approach. I mean, she had put words in the mouths of Han Solo and Captain Kirk! I had no idea that she lived in the Mid-Atlantic.

Writer Beware is, if you don’t know, a small, scrappy organization that fights those trying to scam authors. They have a never-ending, thankless task, but it is absolutely critical to keeping scammers at bay. Writer Beware held several sessions at Balticon to teach noobs like me about how to spot and avoid scams.

I learned that money always flows to the author.

I was there for the Balticon reading of Atlanta Nights, an intentionally bad novel published unedited by Publish America, that made for hilarious reading and stories about how it came about. Ann and company also did sessions on pitches where we noobs got to test out our pitches on real pros and then they politely ripped them to tiny little confetti shreds.

So I was entertained, educated and critiqued by Ann Crispin, and for that, I’m very grateful.

In her memory, I will buy one of her books. You should too.

RIP, Ann Crispin
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