Thank You Sister L.A. Banks
I’m just going to come out and say it: when I decided to write a science-fiction/horror novel, I was in the middle of reading two books that made me feel this was possible. One was a book by a local author (and old friend) Tim Farrington, “The California Book of the Dead”, and another was a vampire slaying urban fiction paranormal romance called “Forsaken” by L.A. Banks, which was the seventh book in this series:
So I was incredibly saddened when I learned for the first time today that this brave and groundbreaking woman passed away last year:
I just found out about this today, and I am incredibly saddened by her passing. I was going to write her a note to thank her for being such an inspiration to me, for although many people have asked me if I was inspired to write because of Octavia Butler, the truth is, it was LA Banks I was reading when I decided that it was okay for me to write horror and science fiction. She was a talented and brave woman who broke down doors for every black woman who writes genre fiction. She will be truly missed. I hope the world will understand how important this lady and her work are.
As a young lady named Divinia told me not so long ago, until very recently black women were not really allowed to write genre fiction: we were all to believe that we could only write in one unified voice of literary fiction and all sound like Toni Morrison. I love Toni Morrison, but it is the LA Banks of the world who are breaking down new doors now.
I am so sorry I did not get to let her know she was my hero when she was alive.