L.A. Bank Has Died

Leslie Esdaile (LA Banks) has died after a battle of adrenal cancer. The death was announced on Banks's Facebook fanpage:

It is with profound sadness that I announce that Leslie Esdaile Banks, our Queen literary pen passed this morning. I will share details of funeral arrangements as soon as they become available.
Adrienne King
Leslie Esdaile Banks FanClub

I have never read her, but when I was a bookseller, she was perhaps one of the more popular authors, at least at the particular store I worked at (think 2009-10 vampire craze). But she was known for not only her urban fantasy--where she was of course one of the few successful black authors--but she also wrote romance, thrillers, nonfiction, and the occasional spin-off book (Soul Food and Scarface). This year, she also self-published what was supposed to be the first in a young adult series: the Neteru Academy.

Despite being a bestseller, Banks's family is still struggling with her medical bills, which perhaps highlight the financial problems any writer might have. Health insurance for writers? Forget about it! A fund has been set up to help her family.

Below, Banks talks about her work, the political and social themes of her work, and how speculative fiction is part of the African American experience:

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