Leslie Esdaile Banks was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 11, 1959. She received an undergraduate degree from The University of Pennsylvania and a master of fine arts degree in filmmaking from Temple University. She wrote under the pseudonyms L. A. Banks, Leslie Esdaile, Leslie E. Banks, Leslie Banks, and Leslie Esdaile Banks. She wrote in several genres including crime, thriller, romance, science fiction, and fantasy. Writing as L. A. Banks, she was best known for the Vampire Huntress Legend series and the Crimson Moon series. She received the 2009 Romantic Times Booklover's Convention Career Achievement Award for Paranormal Fiction and the 2008 Essence Magazine Storyteller of the Year Award. She died of adrenal cancer on August 2, 2011 at the age of 51.Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman was born in Portchester, England on November 10, 1960. Gaiman worked as a journalist and freelance writer for a time, before deciding to try his hand at comic books. Some of his work has appeared in publications such as Time Out, The Sunday Times, Punch and The Observer. His first comic endeavor was the graphic novel series The Sandman. It is the comic book he is most famous for and the series has won every major industry award, including nine Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, three Harvey Awards, and the 1991 World Fantasy Award for best short story, making it the first comic ever to win a literary award. Gaiman writes both children and adult books. His most recent adult title, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, has won numerous awards, most notably: the British National Book Awards, Book of the Year for 2013, and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel for 2014 . His other adult books include: Stardust, which won the Mythopoeic Award as best novel for adults in 1999; American Gods, which won the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, SFX, and Locus awards; and Anansi Boys. His children's books include The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish; Coraline, which won the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla, the BSFA, the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Bram Stoker awards; The Wolves in the Walls; and The Graveyard Book, which won the Newbery Award in 2009. He also co-wrote Good Omens with Terry Pratchett.Tanith Lee, September 19, 1947 - Tanith Lee was born on September 19, 1947 in London, England, the daughter of ballroom dancers. She attended various primary schools and had a variety of jobs, from file clerk and assistant librarian to shop assistant and waitress. Lee attended an art college for one year, but felt she would be better writing her ideas than painting them. Her first professional sale was "Eustace," a 90 page vignette which appeared in The Ninth Pan Book of Horror Stories in 1968. While Lee was working as an assistant librarian, she wrote a children's story that was accepted for publication. Others of her stories were also bought but never published. In 1971, Macmillan published "The Dragon Hoard," another children's book, which was followed by "Animal Castle" and "Princess Hynchatti and Other Stories" in 1972. Lee had been looking for a British publisher for her book "The Birthgrave," but has been denied at every House she went. She then wrote to American publisher DAW, known for it's fantasy and horror selections, who immediately accepted her manuscript and published the book in 1975. Thus began a partnership between the two that lasted till 1989 and resulted in 28 books. After the publication of her third book by DAW, Lee quit her job and became a full time freelance writer. Lee has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, the August Derleth Award and the Nebula. She has had more than 40 novels published, along with over 200 short stories.