I’m enchanted to collect novels and my absolute favourite is mystery, the spooky kind. My fiancé and I lap up 300-page paperbacks in no time. I pull all-nighters, if a story has too many good parts to pause (sorry, fiancé). Stephen King says reading in bed is Heaven. I’m with him there. Well not in bed with Stephen but certainly reading under covers! If lingering feelings are hard to shake, fiction cures me in 1 page. No despair when you step into an adventure.
Having established how much books mean, you understand the high rank that I adore Phyllis A. Whitney in particular. I didn’t know a thing about her…. until now! I encountered her in my teens, when there was no internet. It never occured to me to use google. When I grew up, we used encyclopedias. If your parent’s collection stopped at, say, “L”; homework projects didn’t go past that letter!
She first published in 1943. No wonder her novels have always been here. I absorb authors ahead of my time because foreboding mansions were fashionable in older decades. Crime scene investigations aren’t my bag. I keep finding Phyllis used; hardcover no less! They look handsome in the library we have built. Just when I think the 30 or so I collected surely must be them all; I find another and another, or spot titles inside covers that I don’t know.
I was amazed to find a short story school book by her, dated 1957. It’s extremely good, “Mystery Of The Green Cat“. But I have a novel as late as 1993! Astonishment put fandom over the edge, made me determined to learn about this author. It’s unique that anyone could have authored so many good books. That it is humanly possible for publication to span these decades, stunned me and I resolved to look! Nowadays all we do is type a name and ‘enter’. But given this remarkable longevity, I admit I’ve been reluctant to confirm if she has died. Mathematics assume she must have.
I did it. I clicked and accept with dismay, this literary legend did pass away. But would you believe Miss Whitney was born in 1903… and we only lost her February 8, 2008? Just in 2008! She was 104! That explains it. I’m relieved she lived long and feel proud of her. Good for you, Miss Whitney, good for you! This helps me tremendously. Notice she didn’t publish a full novel until 40. I’m inspired. I have craved authorship all my life and sometimes wondered if success were squandered, reaching my 30s without a story idea.
An original plot hit a few months ago, at last. I researched and now compose my first novel at nearly the age when my heroine began publishing. What a gift to know, there is ample time for 30, 40, 50 more books to come! What happy signs I am on the right path. I shall finish the www.PhyllisAWhitney.com biography…. and settle into bed with 1976’s “The Golden Unicorn” by ours truly.