I was greatly saddened to learn of the death of Phyllis Whitney on Feb. 8th at age 104. She and Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart were the first romance writers I ever read. That's because my mother read their "gothic" romances, and as a bored teen with nothing else to read, I would "borrow" from mom. I was soon hooked on those stories with "exotic" settings, and still love them today.
Matter of fact, I read Phyllis Whitney's last novel Amethyst Dreams a few years ago. Wonderful story, and she was 93 WHEN IT WAS PUBLISHED!
I always said I wanted to be Phyllis A. Whitney when I "grew up." Like her, I like to set my stories in places I've visited (like Italy and Ireland). And like her, I want to still be writing when I'm in my nineties! (Hey, dream big.)
Mostly I hope I'm able to bring some small amount of pleasure to my readers and that they will continue to read my books for as long as I am able to keep writing them. It can be done, because Phyllis Whitney did it, and she did it with aplomb!
God Speed, Phyllis A. Whitney! Thank you for being a true inspiration and leading by your own marvelous example.