Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics




Debbie Miller – Valediction

Sad to recount, Debbie Miller, a good friend and great fantasy writer, has passed away. I first met Debbie when her first novel, Talisker, was published by Simon & Schuster’s Earthlight imprint at the same time as Shadowkings, part one of my fantasy trilogy. We were both ’discovered’ by the redoubtable John Jarrold, prince among men, who was head honcho for Earthlight. At that time she was writing under the name Miller Lau, having adopted her (formerly) married surname as a nom-de-plume. Talisker was book of her determinedly Scottish fantasy sequence, The Last Clansman trilogy. Round about the time that the final volumes of both our trilogies were due to appear, Simon & Schuster had a fit of deck-clearing; having already dispensed with John Jarrold and promoted Darren Nash to editor, they then decided that Earthlight was unnecessary and ditched Darren too, with upsetting consequences for their stable of writers. (Its worth pointing out that John and Darren went on to higher, greater greener pastures in subsequent years.)

Anyway, not wishing to laboriously go into a detailed historical account (although it should certainly be noted that the David Gemmell Award would not exist were it not for Debbie’s iron resolve and cheery and creative persistence) I need only say that the last time I saw Debbie last year she was looking better than she had for a while, having been through gruelling courses of chemo, and was looking forward to regaining some of her former energies and forward momentum.

But it was not to be. In January of this year the cancer reappeared and this time she was not able to overcome it and on May 7th she passed away. The field has lost one of its champions, and I have lost a good friend – part of me feels diminished by the loss, but my memories of her genuine nature and her indefatigable joy more than makes up for it.

Vale, Debs. Safe journey.

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2 Comments already, do join in...

  1. Peter Turner Says:

    September 10th, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Thanks for the insight – I have just put down Talisker – having read it for the umpteenth time and felt moved to Google Miller Lau. A tragic loss and nice to know that she was such a vibrant character!

  2. joe crawford Says:

    March 27th, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Debs was an angel to me after i melded with the Gemmellians.
    I ll not soon be forgettin her

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