Mercedes Lackey (born June 24, 1950) (also known as Misty Lackey) is a prolific American author of fantasy novels. Many of her novels and trilogies are interlinked and set in the world of Velgarth, mostly in and around the country of Valdemar. Her Valdemar novels form a complex tapestry of interaction between human and non-human protagonists.
Lackey has gone on to create multiple best-selling fairy tale and magic series.
Lackey's birth in 1950 prevented her father from being called to fight in the Korean War.
She places her meeting with science fiction at age 10 or 11, when she happened to pick up her father's copy of James H. Schmitz's Agent of Vega. She then read Andre Norton's Beast Master and Lord of Thunder, and continued to read all of Norton's works - Lackey noted with chagrined amusement the difficulties of obtaining enough interesting books from the public library to sate her passion for reading. She wrote for herself but without real direction or purpose until she attended Purdue University. Lackey graduated from Purdue in 1972.
While at Purdue, she took a one-on-one class of English Literature Independent Studies with a professor who was a fellow sci-fi fan. He helped her analyze books she enjoyed and then use that knowledge. Lackey then encountered fan fiction, which further encouraged her writing. She began publishing work in fanzines, and then discovered filk and had some filk lyrics published by Off Centaur Publications. She submitted a story to Sword and Sorceress, then sold the rewritten story to Fantasy Book Magazine. Her first sale was to Friends of Darkover.
She met C. J. Cherryh through filk, who mentored her during the writing of her 'Arrows' series. During this time, Marion Zimmer Bradley included her short stories in an anthology and Cherryh helped Lackey through 17 rewrites of 'Arrows'. During this time, she claims to have been writing so much that she had no social life at all. She divorced Tony Lackey, and eventually remarried to Larry Dixon.
Mercedes Lackey lives with her husband outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in an unusual house. She describes it as a "2½-story concrete dome with an octagonal wooden shell over it to make it look more like a normal house ... it's round with curved outer walls, which makes placement of furniture kind of awkward."
She and Larry Dixon have in the past worked in raptor rehabilitation. She often refers to her various parrots as her "feathered children". The afterwords to some of her books refer to rehabilitation and falconry, and it is clear that this interest has influenced and informed her writing. She also enjoys beadwork, costuming, and needlework. She claims, however, to be a "wretched housekeeper, and by and large an indifferent cook" Besides this, she does radar-reading during tornado season. She also helps support the Alex Foundation.
Lackey has been active in the filking community. She was a major contributor to an early album of space filk, Minus Ten and Counting. She has won 5 Pegasus Awards, mostly for her songwriting.
Lackey's dream cast list for her best-known books is as follows:
- Falconsbane: David Bowie
- Firesong: Sting
- Kerowyn: Cher
- Lavan Firestorm: Haley Joel Osment
- Tarma: Lucy Lawless
- Vanyel: Johnny Depp
A prolific writer, Lackey has published numerous works, both standalones and works in series. In addition to her Valdemar-related work, she has also created several other world settings to play in, both alone and jointly with other authors. A complete list, divided by world setting, is available at Wikipedia.
Most of her Velgarth novels are solo projects, but some volumes in the Valdemar saga are illustrated by her husband Larry Dixon, and in some w1orks he is also credited as co-author.
Many of her other novels are collaborations. She worked with famous fantasy authors Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, C.J. Cherryh, and Piers Anthony early in her career. As an established writer, she has co-authored books and series with Rosemary Edghill, James Mallory, Mark Shepherd, Ellen Guon, Josepha Sherman, Roberta Gellis, Cody Martin, and others.
In addition to writing the Valdemar novels, Lackey also edits the short story anthologies, and has written numerous individual Valdemar stories. The Tarma and Kethry stories originally published in Sword and Sorceress anthologies were mostly compiled in Oathblood. Most other stories have appeared in various Valdemar anthologies, but a few were published elsewhere, and have not been collected into any single Valdemar volume.
Valdemar Short Stories
- "Stolen Silver" in Horse Fantastic edited by Martin Harry and Rosalind M. Greenberg, and later incorporated into Exile's Honor
- "Sunlancer" in Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 1 (Co-authored with Philip M. Austin)
- "Sword of Ice" in Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 1 (Co-authored with John Yezegulalian)
- "Blue Heart" in Sword of Ice and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 1 (Co-authored with Philip M. Austin)
- "A Herald's Journey" in The Valdemar Companion
- "On the Other Side" in Stars: Original Stories Based on the Songs of Janis Ian, edited by Janis Ian and Mike Resnick
- "Sun in Glory" in Sun in Glory and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 2
- "Out of the Deep" in Masters of Fantasy edited by Bill Fawcett
- "The One Left Behind" in Changing the World, Anthologies, volume 5
- "Finding the Way" in Finding the Way and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 6 (Co-authored with Larry Dixon)
- "The Simple Gifts" in Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 7
- "Temper" (featuring Kerowyn) in Passages, Anthologies, volume 14
- "A Dragon in Distress" in Sword and Sorceress XII edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley
- "Landscape of the Imagination" in Crossroads and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 3
- "Woman's Need Calls Me" in Choices, Anthologies, volume 12
- "Vixen" in No True Way, Anthologies, volume 8
- "Vexed Vixen" in Crucible, Anthologies, volume 9
- "A Midnight Clear" in Seasons, Anthologies, volume 13
- "Moving Targets" in Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, volume 4 (Co-authored with Larry Dixon)
- "To Catch a Thief" in Pathways, Anthologies, volume 11
Interviews, panels, etc.
- "That's Why It's Called Fantasy: An Interview with Mercedes Lackey," Tor.com (2020)
- "Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon Spotlight," Emerald City ComicCon, Seattle, Washington, 2019 [YouTube]
- "Author Talk with Bonnie K.T. Dillabough - Mercedes Lackey," 2018 [YouTube]
- "Fantasy Lit Panel DragonCon 2016 featuring Christopher Paolini and Mercedes Lackey," DragonCon, Atlanta, Georgia, 2016 [YouTube]
- "Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon @ DragonCon 2016," DragonCon, Atlanta, Georgia, 2016 [YouTube]
- "Mercedes Lackey filks Jonathan Coulton at CONvergence 2008," CONvergence, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2008 [YouTube]
- Tumblr with Mercedes Lackey
- Mercedes R. Lackey Quora
- Official Website (New information has not been added to this site for almost three years)
- Mercedes Lackey at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Entry on SciFan
- Baen Books author page
- Letter about death threats received.
- The Queen's Own Newsletters archive, provided by The Official Mercedes Lackey Fan Club in Laguna Beach, CA (with archives online dating back to 1988)