Share Share Share June 24, 2015 Biography Celebrating Seniors: Mercedes Lackey Turns 65 New senior citizen and prolific fantasy fiction author Mercedes Lackey (nee Ritchie) was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 24th in 1950 (a baby boomer child). She became a science fiction writing fan as a pre-teen - sci-fi author Andre Norton was a favourite and would later become a mentor for her - and started writing stories for her own amusement. (Mercedes Lackey 2008 Photo: Elkman | Wikimedia CC 3.0) In 1972 Mercedes graduated from Purdue University and married first husband Tony Lackey (they divorced in 1990). She began work as a computer programmer and wound up working for American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Faced with extra free time on her hands after her computer programming day ended (she didn't know anyone in Tulsa), she began writing fan fiction based on (fans of an author, writing about characters and/or settings from the author's original work of fiction), submitting short stories to different magazines. She also became interested in filk (which she describes as science fiction folk music), writing filk lyrics and getting them published. Mercedes Lackey's first published story was in a Marion Zimmer Bradley anthology. In 1987 her first full-length novel Arrows of the Queen (in the Heralds of Valdemar series) book was published, soon followed by many others (over 140 so far). She continued writing in every free moment, eventually becoming a full-time writer (fantasy and filk). She has published over 140 novels and in any given year you can expect 3-7 new books from her. Mercedes (Misty) Lackey married her second husband, artist and illustrator Larry Dixon (16 years her junior), in 1992 and in addition to Larry illustrating many book covers, they have collaborated on authoring as well. They still live near Tulsa, Oklahoma and share interests in raptor rehabilitation and falconry, sci-fi/fantasy and gaming conventions (ie, Dragon Con), and participation in role-playing groups, all of which have influenced her/their writing. (Photo: WNJohnson | Flickr Some rights reserved) Lackey has collaborated with her mentors Andre Norton and Marion Zimmer Bradley, as well as other fantasy authors (Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, etc.), on many novels. Her newest book Collision: Book Four of the Secret World Chronicle, is set for publication in October 2015 and is a collaboration with authors Veronica Giguere, Cody Martin and Dennnis Lee. Mercedes Lackey on why she writes (from her website, mercedeslackey.com): "I began writing out of boredom; I continue out of addiction." Happy Birthday to baby boomer and new senior citizen Mercedes Lackey!