Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Romance World Loses an Icon

Quite often, when asked “What was the first romance novel you ever read?” women (and a few men) will reply “Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower.”

I can’t make that claim. The first romance novel I ever read was Kathleen’s Shanna, first published in 1977. A few years later, Ashes In The Wind was released and I was so impressed with the gutsy heroine, Alaina MacGaren, that I named my second daughter Alaina. She’s every bit as gutsy and courageous as the fictional young woman she was named for, too.

As much as her fans would have loved her to be more prolific, Kathleen often took years to write a book, and even stopped writing all together for several years.

A few years ago, she began writing again, and, according to her son, Heath, she’d completed a manuscript before her untimely death yesterday, July 6th, 2007. If all goes well, it will be published in November of this year.

Sadly, Kathleen didn’t see herself as “a great orator”, so she rarely spoke in public or held workshops. I, for one, wish, this hadn’t been so, for I’d dearly have loved to learn the secrets behind her wonderful characterization and well-developed plots.

Kathleen, we’ll miss you and your stories. May your family be comforted by the knowledge that you hold a deep affection and admiration in the hearts of your fans around the world.