For black history month this year I wanted to try something that spoke to the blog itself while still shedding light on fantasy and writers of color. Each Friday for the rest of February. I’ll be sharing another talented author and their body of work.
This week I have the special pleasure of highlighting not only an amazing, award winning author, but also a legendary Philadelphia native whose body of work crossed genres.
I’m describing none of other than author Leslie Ann Esdaile Banks. She has written under the pen name Leslie Esdaile, Leslie E. Banks, Leslie Banks, Leslie Esdaile Banks and L. A. Banks. With the latter penning at least 19 books in the dark fantasy/horror.
Inspired by her life experiences and the abnormal intensity of crime and political injustice in the city. She created a world where she could express her political views and cultural experiences to the world. A world where the CEOs of major companies were vampires draining the life’s blood from African American youth.
Born in 1959, Leslie has won numerous awards but is most noted for snagging the 2008 Essence Storyteller of the Year literary award. As L. A. Banks she wrote The Vampire Huntress, Crimson Moon, Dark Avengers and The Dark series. However she has written in multiple genres, including African-American literature, romance, women’s fiction, crime suspense, dark fantasy/horror and non-fiction.exploring different nationalities and cultures within her work.
I recall hearing the name but never actually read anything from her. I honestly wouldn’t have known about her if I wasn’t actively looking for authors of color who wrote in the fantasy genre. She lived in Philly this entire time!
Sadly Mrs. Banks passed away from cancer on August 2, 2011, at the age of 51. She left behind a daughter, Helena Esdaile and a literary catalog to make any book-lover drool. That’s what makes L. A. Banks this week’s featured author. I’ve already added Bad Blood and Minion to my TBR.
Have You Read The Vampire Huntress Legend or Crimson Moon series? Leave A Comment Below!
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Check out this video of the late, great Ms. L. A. Banks Queen of the Vampires, tamer of Shadow wolves.