According to several tweets and email messages from her friends and colleagues, Leslie Esdaile, also known as LA Banks, passed away this morning after battling adrenal cancer.
I am more sad about this than I can say. I spent a weekend with Leslie last year at Heather Graham’s “Writers for New Orleans” conference, and she was one of the most incredible people I’ve met. Funny and warm, generous and inspirational, with a very healthy dose of “Not taking any crap from anyone,” Leslie was simply amazing. And her “first call” story is still the funniest one.
Leslie was a founding member of The Liars Club of Philadelphia, and they’d scheduled a silent auction and bar party with live music to help offset her medical expenses. The silent auction items are awesome and include full manuscript critiques from several agents and editors. The party is this Saturday, 6 August, beginning at 7 p.m. at Smokey Joe’s bar located at 208 S. 40th Street in University City on the University of Pennsylvania campus. I imagine this will be one hell of a wake now. Tickets are $20 or $10 with a student ID.
ETA: I’m going to the party which is now called a celebration of Leslie’s life. If you’re planning to go, let me know by comment or email? I’ll look for you there.
My sympathies to her daughter and her family.