Author Erica Kennedy has passed away. She was 42-years-old.

Kennedy wrote the novel Bling and designed the cover herself. She started writing as a special correspondent for the New York Daily News, and her work was published in Vibe, In Style, Paper and Elle UK. Over at xoJane, author Bassey Ikpi wrote a heartfelt tribute to the author:

Her ability to tap into your fear and then allow you no excuses to shy from doing “it” (whatever “it” was) was a gift. She was a visionary. She was revolutionary in the way she approached life and work and friendships and networking. Erica and I would have long conversations about everything under the sun. We would laugh until our sides hurt and then with one word she would have my heart aching so furiously that I wouldn’t be able to see the sun if it asked for me. Then out of nowhere — just a quick turn of phrase — and I’d be back to laughter.