My grandmother, Elizabeth Chater, was a Professor Emeritus, wrote 22 regency romance novels, and published countless short stories. The Chater Trust has just created a website in her honor that will feature her regency romance collection, as well as some of her lesser known work, including an unpublished science fiction novel and a mystery novel . Being a female science fiction writer back in the 1950's wasn't easy, so she had to publish under the pen name Lee Chaytor. She published several stories in Fantastic Universe, among others, and in the 1970's she went to work as a professor for SDSU. She may have been the first person in the United States to teach a class in Science Fiction Creative Writing. That's quite a claim, especially considering nowadays you can't throw a rock without hitting someone teaching a course in Advance Klingon Poetry. John Scalzi taught a class over the summer at UCSD, the tuition for which was in excess of $9,000!
Elizabeth Chater's classes were packed and she had students like Suzette Haden Elgin and Greg Bear. Greg Bear later became her teaching assistant. Joan D. Vinge and Vernor Vinge were teaching at the college at the same time and often shared works in progress and sought advice from Professor Chater. Science fiction was her first love, but after getting Richard Curtis as an agent, she knew she'd have a better chance selling regency romance novels. The science fiction work had to take a back seat, until now. The Chater Trust is going to posthumously publish one of her science fiction novels, which I can tell you is totally awesome. Dare I say award worthy...yes, I do dare. Grandma Betty was a genius, her IQ was off the charts, and she had an imagination that inspired and wowed everyone she met. It's no wonder authors like Greg Bear dedicated a book to her.
The first book the Chater Trust will be putting out is her cozy mystery thriller "A Course In Murder" due out September 2011. It's set at a college where a freshman girl tries to solve a murder caused by a demonic cult.