The other day there was a “heavens yes, email that author whose books you love and tell them that you loved them!” thing going around on Twitter, and I was reminded that as a teen who wanted to be a writer and loved AC Crispin’s STARBRIDGE books, I wrote her a letter in which I presumably said both of those things. I really don’t remember *what* I said, honestly.
What I do remember is that she wrote me back a 4 page handwritten in red ink on yellow legal pad letter full of encouragement, enthusiasm, and love. I still have it somewhere. It was an incredibly kind, thoughtful gesture from someone who surely had better things to do, but took the time to do it anyway.
Years later, not terribly long before Ann’s death, we became friends. We even discussed collaborating on a new Starbridge novel, a thing I’d dreamed of since I read the first of them. She knew she was ill then, and that I would have to do the heavy lifting on such a collaboration, but she loved the idea of it, which even now is just…such an extraordinary gift, really.
She was too sick for us to pursue it the way we’d hoped to, but I tell you, some days for no reason at all I remember the story I’d hoped to write, and how happy we both were that even for a moment, it seemed possible. I’ve been so terribly lucky in the people I’ve gotten to know over my career, even if only briefly.
(For those of you who’ve read the books and know their structure: my first-contact aliens for the book were going to be an otter-like species. Their spaceship was going to be designed for FUN. It would have been amazing. <3 :) )