Died 28 December 2002
Margaret Mahy writes…
I was an author with the publisher J M Dent when Vanessa came there as a new editor, replacing my friend Gwen Marsh. But within a matter of weeks it seemed as if we had known each other for a long time, partly because we were united in our enthusiasm for stories, partly because Vanessa’s energy and eagerness were infectious. It soon became obvious to me that her abilities more than compensated for my own deficiencies, and this, after all, is the strength of many good partnerships. And as time went by we came to both rejoice and grieve for one another according to events in the lives we lived beyond our writing relationship…we came to feel for one another as complete people rather than as mere professional functions. Her disappearance into mystery has already altered my life and, perhaps because of the geographical distance, which even faxes and emails have not totally eliminated, I still feel myself responding to her as I work…anticipating possible comments being made in her particular voice, trying to match up to what she would have hoped of me. Go well Vanessa!