Well, I just heard that my favourite writer as a schoolchild, Anne McCaffrey, died of a stroke. I’m not sure why we think the writers we love will be immortal, but there it is – I’m rather bowled over.
I lived and breathed Anne McCaffrey for about two years, between the ages of eleven and thirteen. It was just the right time to be reading books with a sweet, bright centre to them, all about finding your way and beating the odds and generally socking it to the world. I grew so obsessed with her dragons that I dreamed of them at night. My school dinners were baked wherry. My bracelet with the snake’s head was a small golden queen… Sure, the faddishness of my love for the books passed, in time. But my respect for McCaffrey has always remained. She was the first to write about girls growing up in fantasy worlds, doing exactly what the boys did – making their mark, finding their voice, riding their dragon. She blazed the trail.
Vale, Anne. Thank you for the dreams and the reality.