I know you were expecting a Guilty Pleasure today, but given the news that Kathleen Woodiwiss has passed away, I wanted to dedicate today to her since without her, the romance genre might not exist and certainly you and I would not be here at this blog today.
I didn’t know what a romance was when I started writing. I knew that I loved WUTHERING HEIGHTS and read it at least a dozen times one summer. I knew that I couldn’t put down GONE WITH THE WIND and that I would steal my mom’s Taylor Caldwell books as soon as she finished them even though I was only 12. Back then there wasn’t much “young adult fiction”. You just jumped right into adult fiction when you could.
I didn’t know who Kathleen Woodiwiss was when I went to work in a department store book section one summer during college. What I did know was that there was an empty dump of a rather garish orange-pink color with one name splashed across the top — SHANNA.
Day in and day out people would come and ask me when we were getting a delivery and as soon as it came and I filled that dump, it would be immediately empty. That went on all summer long and I finally got past my aversion to the orange-pink cover with the couple in a passionate embrace.
And that was all she wrote! I was hooked. I couldn’t put the book down and finished it in just a few days. Luckily, this wasn’t Ms. Woodiwiss’s first book and I was able to rush into the Romance section and pick up her earlier novels.
I likewise devoured them and to this day, THE WOLF AND THE DOVE is one of my all time favorite books!!
But something else happened in those summer days — I realized that what I loved to read and wanted to write was Romance and that happened in large part thanks to Ms. Woodiwiss and her wonderful stories.
So, here are my thoughts and prayers to Ms. Woodiwiss’s family on her passing and my thanks to this lovely lady for defining a genre for us.