Storm Constantine a sci-fi writer who was a huge influence on my writing has died, she was 64.
Her death is a shock to me as I had no idea she was sick and spoke to her on Facebook a few weeks ago about my book Helios Unbound which she edited and published through her own company, Immanion Press.
Constantine was a huge influence on her fans particularly for her Wraeththu series and there has been an outpouring of grief from them, but while I did read her stuff, that was not Storm’s influence over me.
I met Storm while trying to find a home for my book Gathering the Magic which was not getting any interest from the main publishers. It was so long ago I can’t remember how I got her name. Immanion was new and occult titles like mine where sitting alongside some of my Sci-Fi heroes such as Michael Moorcock.
She decided to take a punt with it and workshopped Gathering the Magic and knocked it into shape over the Internet. Gathering the Magic did well over the years and went into two editions. I had always been meaning to revise it but my focus went elsewhere.
More importantly for me, Storm encouraged me to write my novel “Tree Falls.” I had always wanted to write a novel, but really lacked the confidence. She helped me develop the book and keep it within the style I wanted. She then published it.
As a novel, it was not a commercial success, but I am really proud of it and it was one of those things on my bucket list as a writer and something I would be ok to try again. It is still in print, and it would not have existed without Storm.
When I wrote Helios Unbound I thought immediately of Storm as the publisher. I felt it was too advanced for the mainstream press and I was sure she would take a risk on it. She did and got it to press. At the time she must have been sick, but I did not know.
There will be many writers out there like who owe Storm a debt because she took a risk on them and helped them get into print.
So I would certainly tell the 42 assessors that Storm had a worthwhile and successful life and I am glad she lived.