The name probably means nothing to you, but if you knew her, this is an immense shock.
Josephawas a fantasy and folklore author. She wrote about a dozen novels, plus several Star Trek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer tie-ins. Her stories appeared in dozens of anthologies. She was a collector of folklore, probably best known for Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts: The Subversive Folklore of Childhood as well as biographies, and other writing (I remember when she was delighted in selling a coloring book – the lines at the bottom of each page). She was also a freelance editor for Baen Books for quite a few years.
And if you went to a science fiction convention in the northeast, you invariably ran into her. She was one of the leading lights behind the “It Came From the Slushpile” panels at Lunacon, and was a fixture there, at Boskone, and at Readercon. She was always a delight to hang out with, and was known to spontaneously break into showtunes at the drop of a hat.
I got to know her in the late 80s on panels and at parties. She was the life of the party any time she showed up (and with no alcohol needed).
She was also a great friend. Back in the 90s, I sent a novel to her at Baen. They rejected, pretty much with a form. The next time I saw her, without even mentioning it, she took me aside and said, “You are a good writer.” I treasure that moment.
I hadn’t realized she’d been sick, since I’m not attending many cons this year, and the news was an utter shock. I’m deeply saddened to hear it.