It was with great sadness that I learned this week of the death from cancer of fantasy author Debbie Miller (AKA Deborah J Miller and Miller Lau).
I’m not exactly sure when Deb and I first met, but I think we were both with Earthlight back when my Structure novels were approaching publication. I know I spent a lot of time with Debbie and her daughter Tiffany at the 2005 World Fantasy Convention in Glasgow, and then at various Eastercons.
I most recently saw her at NewCon in Northampton, which I think was a few years ago. I thought she seemed a little dispirited, which I assumed was due to career problems she mentioned at the time – but perhaps her illness had kicked in again too. I knew she’d suffered from cancer some years earlier, but thought she was winning the battle.
Debbie was one of the few people I’ve met in life who I got on with from the get-go, and who I felt I’d know far longer than I had. Looking back, the number of hours I spent in her company was probably in the single digits, but it felt much more than that.
Always smiling and laughing and full of banter, Deb was one of the good guys. And judging from post by others I’ve seen since news of her death emerged, universally liked. She will be sorely missed.