Kathleen Woodiwiss died at the age of 68 yesterday. It was a little jarring to me, it meant the true end of an era.
The summer between 6th and 7th grade, my neighbor lady lent "Shanna" to my mom. My mother was never a romance reader so she tossed it aside. I found it and literally my life path changed. I was so enamored of that book, I cannot tell you how many times I've read it. But after reading it, I knew I wanted to be a writer. She brought such passion and vivid characterization to her novels, it blew me away.
Younger readers and writers are probably unable to appreciate how important she was to the romance industry. She and others like Shirlee Busbee, Rosemary Rogers and Jennifer Wilde put historical romance on the map.
People put these books down now, but that is truly unfair. There was far more than heaving bosoms and uber Alpha males running around. There was always adventure and passion on a grand scale. They were not politically correct, there was always an edge to the relationships. But they engrossed me, pulling me into another world so completely, I never wanted to leave.
Goodbye, Ms. Woodiwiss, your work meant more to me than even I realized.
Are any of you Woodiwiss fans? Which was your favorite?