Ann Carol Crispin was born in Stamford, Connecticut on April 5, 1950. She is the daughter of George Arthur Tickell and Eleanor Hope Hooker. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature in 1972.
Ms. Crispin, who wrote under the name A.C. Crispin, was a New York Times bestselling author who was recently named the 2013 Grandmaster by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. She wrote prolifically in many different tie-in universes, and was a master at filling in the histories of beloved TV and movie characters. Over the years, she became the unofficial “Queen of Backstory.” Ms. Crispin had a unique talent for writing dialog that captured the essence of those characters. She began publishing in 1983 with the Star Trek novel Yesterday’s Son, written in her spare time while working for the US Census Bureau. Shortly thereafter, Tor Books commissioned her to write what is perhaps still her most widely read work, the 1984 novelization of the television miniseries, V, which sold more than a million copies. She went on to collaborate on two more books in the V series, East Coast Crisis with Howard Weinstein, and Death Tide with Deborah Marshall.
For Star Wars, she wrote the bestselling Han Solo Trilogy: The Paradise Snare, The Hutt Gambit, and Rebel Dawn, which tell the story of Han Solo from his early years right up to the moment he walks into the cantina in Star Wars: A New Hope. She wrote three other bestselling Star Trek novels: Time for Yesterday, The Eyes of the Beholders, and Sarek.
Crispin and noted author Andre Norton wrote two Witch World novels together, Gryphon’s Eyrie and Songsmith. Ann Crispin and Andre Norton were friends for nearly 30 years. Ms. Norton was the first woman to be declared a Grand Master in the field of science fiction and fantasy by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Andre Norton’s passing brought increasing demand for her works, but a legal battle has tied up the rights to her collaborations with Ms. Crispin.
A.C. Crispin was active in SFWA since soon after joining the organization in 1983. She served as Eastern Regional Director for almost 10 years, and then served as Vice President for two terms. Ms. Crispin was a fierce advocate for writers. She and author Victoria Strauss created and co-chaired SFWA’s “scam watchdog” committee, Writer Beware, in 1998. Crispin still serves as the Chair. Writer Beware is the only professionally sponsored group that warns aspiring writers about scam agents and fraudulent publishers that infest the internet. Crispin and Strauss have assisted law enforcement in bringing several of these con artists to justice.
Ms. Crispin didn’t confine herself to writing media-related fiction. Much of her work was in her own original universes. Her major original science fiction undertaking is the StarBridge series for Berkley/Putnam. These books, written solo or in collaboration, centered around a school for young diplomats, translators and explorers, both alien and human, located on an asteroid far from Earth. Series titles are: StarBridge, Silent Dances, Shadow World, Serpent’s Gift, Silent Songs, Voices of Chaos, and Ancestor’s World. They have all recently been re-issued as ebooks and will soon have audio book editions.
StarBridge (Book One) was placed on the American Library Association’s Young Adult Services Division’s list of Best Books of 1991, and Silent Dances (Book Two, co-authored with Kathleen O’Malley) made the 1991 Preliminary ballot for the Nebula, the award given by SFWA for outstanding writing. Serpent’s Gift (Book Four, with Deborah A. Marshall) was placed on the 1993 Recommended Books for the Teen Age by the New York Public Library. Book Five, Silent Songs (also written with Kathleen O’Malley) was nominated for the A.L.A Young Adults “Best Books” list.
A.C. Crispin’s newest original book is the fantasy stand-alone book The Exiles of Boq’urain: Storms of Destiny. Her newest “backstory” is Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom and is a prologue to the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean films released by Disney. In it, Ms. Crispin told the story of how Disney’s most famous buccaneer became the man we meet in the first PoTC film. A YA novel, Time Horse, will be released posthumously.
Ms. Crispin taught many writing workshops since becoming a full time professional in 1983. Her teaching credits include a semester-long “Writing for Profit” course at Charles County Community College, two two-day writing workshops for Harrisburg Area Community College, a two-day writing seminar at Towson State University, and numerous mini-workshops at science-fiction and Star Trek conventions, where she was a frequent guest. She taught a writing course at Anne Arundel Community College and was the writing teacher in residence at Dragoncon from 2005 to 2011.
Ms. Crispin is survived by her son, Jason Paul Crispin, her spouse, Michael Capobianco, a sister, Faith Treadwell, and mother, Eleanor Hope Tickell.
Tor.com Obituary: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/09/ac-crispin-obit