Anne McCaffrey was the first fantasy author I read. I fell in love with the Dragons of Pern and had to have the entire series no matter what.
The Crystal Singer was also one of my fav reads. I've read her work repeatedly over the years, and I found inspiration within those pages.
Anne, along with the late Andre Norton, sparked my imganiation to write on my own stories. I've never written of dragons, nor of telepaths or sentient ships. I chose my own worlds to build, but it is thanks to Anne that I first felt the urge.
Ms McCaffrey was a great exponent of paying it forward, guiding careers and co-authoring with Elizabeth Moon, Mercedes Lackey and Jody Lynn Nye to name three.
I always thought she should have been made a Grand Master of the genre years ago rather than in 2005 - but that's just me.
Today, an astonishing talent has passed and leaves the world poorer. But her body of work will live on.
As my Nano reward, I'm going to re-read her collection and appreciate her art all over again.