Marion was often asked, particularly in reference to her most widely-read work, The Mists of Avalon, if she were a medium (that is, did she "channel" the spirits of Avalon?). She'd answer, "I'm not a Medium, I'm a Large." What she meant was that, regardless of how much historical and other research she'd done, her vision of Avalon and its characters was just that...hers. It's fiction. She made it up. (Apparently, she made it up so well and so vividly that many readers insist it is real.)
Immensely generous with "her special world" of Darkover, Marion loved encouraging new writers. We were already friends when she began editing the Darkover and Sword & Sorceress Anthologies. The match between my natural literary "voice" and what she was looking for was extraordinary. She loved to read what I loved to write, and she often cited "The Death of Brendan Ensolare" (Four Moons of Darkover, DAW, 1988) as one of her favorites.
Many readers have told me that the Darkover novels I have written are so close to the original series, they feel as if Marion had written them. I'm delighted to have succeeded so well in staying faithful to her literary voice as well as her world. (And there have been a few amusing reviews along the lines of, "It's easy to tell when Bradley left off and Ross began..." when I had in fact written the whole thing!) But am I channeling Marion?
In short, no. Look, I loved Marion and respected her highly. We were friends and colleagues for many years. She was as close to a writing mentor as I've had. But careful attention to the established world of Darkover is very like doing historical research, and continuity of style, authorial voice, and the values and attitudes of Darkovan culture are not "channeling." They are doing a professional job. (Which is, in the end, the best way of honoring her vision.)