Phyllis A. Whitney, publishing like the wind!

 
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.

A shelf from my very own library, taken today for you.  :)

2008 article  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/09/books/09whitney.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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About RIEDEL Fascination

I cherish animals, plants, reading, music and free spirituality. I welcome you for articles, literary activities, and interaction! Surrounding ourselves with good people is a delight. I occasionally review at The Book Depository.
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4 Responses to Phyllis A. Whitney, publishing like the wind!

  1. Sara Flower says:

    You most certainly are on the right track. If you publish a book before 40, you are well ahead of many authors. Many people dont get published until they are well into their 40s. Some people say a writer isnt even ready to be published until they reach 40. But that doesnt mean we have to wait. :)

    I enjoyed your blog post about this amazing lady. I am intigued now. I must take a little visit to my library and read her books. She lived past 100 – it looks like writing books did her well!

    And I am with you on the crime scene fiction that is being pumped out there these days…aside from the odd gem, the genre is not my taste either.

    P.S. Nice library!

    • cmriedel says:

      Thank you for my first comment, in my whole repertoire! It took a year to acquire a following but all of you interested in my thoughts, are dearly worth it. No one needs a library to sample Phyllis A. Whitney. Throw a dart at any yard sale!

      Last Saturday, right after writing this article, I entered a thrift shop. A pretty cart held a small sale pile, right in my path. A sale within a thrift shop. I bent to lift one book in a glance of curiousity. What is it but a Whitney novel! One I didn’t have, for 50c, in hardcover no less! This one, “Emerald” is ‘recent’, haha. From 1983. Stay tuned for a fresh snapshot of my Whitney shelf, I’m that anal!

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