I first met Sandrine Gasq Dion in Atlanta, October 2013.
Up until I met her, we had a FB friendship that mostly consisted of teasing each other. See, we used to get to number 1 on Amazon in those days, and I used to joke that I would only be at number one long enough for her, or Amber Kell, to release a book and knock me off. So when I met her for the first time, it was just more teasing, more of the same.
She met Steve (RJ's hubby) in smoker's corner along with others like Tim Brehme, and they would disappear for half an hour at a time, talking, laughing, and basically putting the world to rights.
That was a good con. My first one and one of my clearest memories was of the teasing.
We met again at GRL again, still with the teasing, but then sometimes more serious. She saw the same things I did in some of the new authors, and we would talk on FB about issues we had, and sometimes share new releases. She shared the last Railers' hockey book for me on her timeline, and backed a thunderclap; she was that kind of person, and we really thought of ourselves as two of the *old authors* with less of the *old* LOL.
The last I spoke to her ‘face to face' was a Skype session, but without video, because I don't handle skype video very well. But she sounded well, and was happy, apart from the crap we talked about like scammy authors, and midlisters being knocked out, and the heady days before KU when there wasn't the same level of people out there taking readers for a ride. She was strongly passionate about her fellow authors, about fairness, and about looking out for her friends.
The last I spoke to her on Facebook, she had just read a short story of mine, and she demanded I carry on the story to a full book. She wanted to Facetime me, but I was out with family, and yeah, i'm not good with Facetime. I wish I had made the time to do it, sorry Sandy for my stupid fucking anxieties.
She wanted to help me with the rest of the story when I was initially horrified at the concept of having to write a book that went outside of my comfort zone. I told her that I felt like it was a finished short story.
Her response, in true Sandy fashion – “Oh hell no. lol. You need to go on with that. lol”
I promised her I would in 2018. Never imagined she wouldn't be here to read it, because things like dying, and leaving her family, was never in her plans, or in my thoughts.
I look at her Facebook now, at the fact she planned a book with her co-author for next year, and it makes me so sad. So fucking sad.
RIP Sandrine, I'm sorry I didn't write the story fast enough for you to read, and I'm sorry the world has lost such a bright light.