I have little skill with remembering names and faces. Though I try my best, repeating names after I'm told them and creating mnemonic devices in my head to help my memory along, all too frequently the names of people I've met (and liked!) slip through my head like breeze through branches, just rattling me enough to let me remember that once again, I've forgotten something important.
I can count on one hand the number of times I've interacted with LA Banks, and she made such an impression on me from the first moment I met her that I never lost her face or name. I met her first at PhilCon, and her charm, wit and kindness made a heavy imprint on me. I saw in her the kind of author, and the kind of person I'd like to be, a person who lives with grace towards everyone she meets. Though her schedule must have been busy, she took the time to talk to me as a new author, and her encouragement and sweetness is something I shall never forget.
On the last panel we were on together, I introduced her to my parents and she was gracious and kind to them as she was to everyone she met. She was a lady of grace. In a world where there are so many people who tell you whats impossible, she was a voice of encouragement.
LA Banks has passed away after a struggle with cancer, and my heart goes out to her family, friends and fans. She a person who wrote for an under-served audience, a friend to new writers and a pillar in many communities. Today, I am very sad, but I am so grateful that I got to know her, if just a little bit, for just a little while. She was a gift to the world.