Phyllis Whitney, 1903-2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One of my most precious memories is the moment my mother introduced me to gothic/suspense novels. I was hooked by age 12. Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Jane Aiken Hodges, Helen MacInnes, Dorothy Eden.

And of course, the incomparable Phyllis Whitney. The Window on the Square, Seven Tears for Apollo, Thunder Heights, Spindrift, Listen for the Whisperer. Every time a new Whitney book came out, my mother was quick to order it through her book club. Even though Mom passed away in 2000, I have kept her entire Whitney collection. I could never part with my memories of all our talks about the stories. We would race through reading as we could never said anything until the other had read the book so as not to spoil the ending.

So I'm deeply saddened to hear of Ms. Whitney's death this past week. She was 104; her last book was published in 1997! Amazing. And a huge loss to the writing community.

Her books gave birth to my yen to tell stories and helped to formulate my love of suspense.

Phyllis, thank you for all those years of 'can't put the book down until I finish it' moments. My Mom's going to love listening to your stories in heaven. Carol