Monday, July 09, 2007

Losses

Within the last week, readers have lost three of our well-known authors.

Fred T. Saberhagen died on June 29th. He was a science fiction and fantasy writer best known for his "Berserker" series about intelligent machines out to destroy the human race, but I knew him better for his "Swords" and "Lost Swords" stories. He began publishing in the 1960s and wrote 60 novels and several collections.

Lois Wyse died July 6 at the age of 80. Perhaps she's best known for a phrase she coined while working at the ad agency she owned with her husband, Wyse Advertising Agency. She came up with the phrase, "With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good." I fondly remember the column she did for years for Good Housekeeping, "The Way We Are." It was my favorite part of the magazine. She wrote fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children's stories, but her first bestseller was her 47th book, Funny, You Don't Look Like a Grandmother, published in 1989.

The most recent loss was romance author Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, who died Saturday. She is credited with inventing the modern historical romance novel when she published The Flame in the Flower in 1972. It featured such devices that have now become standard in the genre, such as historical background and flashy sex scenes, but at the time of publication, they were new. So many romance authors owe a great deal to Woodiwiss.

Even if you don't know their names, readers have lost some of their authors this week, and that's always sad.

2 comments:

Kay said...

I loved Lois Wyse's column in GH too. And, I read her little book. So sad to hear she is gone.

"The Flame and the Flower" was my first "big" romance when I was 16 or so. I was working at my dad's office for the summer and some of the ladies there lent it to me. Again, sad she is gone.

Lesa said...

Kay,

From what I've read online, a lot of readers first read Woodiwiss for romance.

As GH changed over the years, I found Lois Wyse's column the best part of the magazine. I had no idea she did the Smuckers slogan. I babysat for people that were from Orrville, and the claim to fame was that it was Smuckers' hometown.