A.C. CRISPIN > AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY
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
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,
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
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.
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
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"
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.