Farewell to Anne McCaffrey

I haven’t had a lot of time for Twitter the past while, but last night I flipped over to see what everyone was talking about. To say I was stunned by the conversation would be a major understatement.

Anne McCaffrey had passed away at the age of 85 on November 21, 2011.

I was never fortunate enough to meet Anne in person but she still had a major impact on my life. I was a big reader when I was young. I still am, to be honest, but hers was some of the first writing I can truly say I fell in love with. Those formative, lonely years of junior high school were made brighter by her DragonRider and Crystal Singer books. Menolly and Killashandra were both characters I could identify with and celebrate victories with.

My mom, a teacher/librarian, had the opportunity to go to a teacher’s retreat where Anne was the guest of honor. I sent all my Anne McCaffrey books to be signed which she graciously did. They are among my most treasured possessions.

I can easily say that Ms. McCaffrey is one of the single biggest influences on me as a writer. I am a writer today because she inspired me to build my own worlds and tell stories that would resonate with people as hers did with me.

I had always hoped to one day meet her at her home in Ireland. As the years have passed I knew that was less and less likely. Still, I cherished the dream and knew I would always love her through her stories.

The one bright spot in this is that I did meet her son, Todd McCaffrey at World Fantasy Convention 2011. I told him how happy I was that he was continuing her legacy and what her books have meant to me. I invited him to appear on my podcast “Get Published” which he generously agreed to. I still hope to, but the email I sent last night was in commiseration, not invitation.

I just hope he knows that so many of us are grieving right along with him.

I’m afraid my poor words don’t do my feelings justice. Perhaps it is because I am numb from the news or maybe I just don’t have the words to truly express what it means to me.

All I can say is rest in peace wonderful lady. Thank you for all that you did for me, even without knowing. I will carry on the tradition you gave to me. That of the author sharing and hopefully changing people’s lives for the better.


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