Monday, January 02, 2012

Penny Jordan

This is a difficult and sad post to write.

As I said,  2011 ended with news that  saddened me so much and while it wasn't unexpected, it was still the worst sort of news to get of a friend.  I said I'd share when I could - but by now I think many people will have become aware of the sad news that Harlequin  Mills and Boon star Penny Jordan lost her battle with terminal cancer on the last day of 2011.

I'm sure so many of you, like me, have known of, read and enjoyed her books for years. Way back, before any book of mine was ever accepted I read Falcon's Prey and Tiger Man and was blown away by them - so when my first rejection from Mills & Boon came back with 'not quite right yet - please read novels by authors like Penny Jordan to see what we are looking for' it was no hardship to follow that advice!

I have followed Penny's career for all of the 30 years she's been published - admiring her work, astounded at her output, and eventually, to my delight, honoured to be able to call her a friend. She was a non stop worker - the perfect epitome of the saying that Writers write, other people make excuses, and I've lost count of her amazing total output which included not only her Harlequin titles but single titles and more recently sagas under the name of Annie Groves.

She was generous and welcoming to new writers, several authors now published were encouraged and helped on their way by her warm advice and encouragement, I was honoured to know that she recommended my own 12 Point Guide to the writers’ group she ran in her own home town.
She knew she had cancer for some time before she even let anyone know and she continued to write while dealing with her health problems. Sadly she didn't achieve her ambition of completing her final contract, as she had to go into hospice care before Christmas and, sadly, died on the last day of 2011.

She was a powerhouse in a tiny, slender frame, always supremely elegant and perfectly groomed with a shy smile that would light up a room. She will leave a very large hole in life for her family, her many friends, admiring fellow writers and hundreds of thousands of ardent fans.
I know I'll find it hard to face a world with no Penny Jordan in it and no new Penny Jordan books on the shelves.
Rest in peace Penny.


felinewyvern said...

I am sad that Penny is no longer with us. My condolences to her family and friends.

Unknown said...

Very sad news, I am sure she will be greatly missed by family and friends, but also by the many readers like myself who she touched with her wonderful stories.

TashNz said...

It is sad sad news Kate. I can still recall the cover of the first Penny Jordan book I read, I cant remember the name tho but I think the hero was a sea captain? It was amongst the first M&B of my Nana's I ever read. Your words were absolutely beautiful and heartfelt. My thoughts are with you and Penny's friends and family. x

Maria said...

I've known of Penny for many years as a major author of romantic fiction but I only read a book of hers for the first time last week. I was going through my shelf of TBRs when I came across the copy of 'A Stormy Spanish Summer' which I'd purchased last March. I read it and I got completely lost in it. I finished it on the 31st December, which I now know is the day she died. When I read of her death, I was really amazed by what for me is a strange co-incidence.

My deepest condolences to you Kate on the loss of your friend and colleague. But what a legacy she's left us all. So many books to enjoy. She had a wonderful talent. I'll never forget how she brought the heat and shadows of a southern Spanish summer alive for me on a few dull winter days.

Colleen said...

Such sad news... I am sorry to hear about her passing...

Caroline said...

Such a sad loss. Thank you for such a lovely tribute - so moving. Like many life-time readers of M&B I remember reading her books when they first came out - and then thinking "when is the next one going to come out?" Caroline x

Julie said...

What a wonderful tribute to an extraordinary storyteller, Kate. Penny Jordan's books have been a part of my life for so long. Whether she was writing M&Bs, sagas as Annie Groves or contemporary women's fiction, I always picked up her books and was always enthralled from start to finish.

She truly was a legendary storyteller who will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, Penny and thank you for giving us so many hours of reading pleasure through your fantastic stories.

Lilian Darcy said...

Kate, thank you for giving us this tribute to Penny. She was such a star in so many ways.

lidia said...

Penny was a well loved author by her readers, her colleagues and mostly her friends and family.

I will miss seeing her name on new HP releases. But, Penny will never be forgotten. Her books will be read and re-read for a long time to come.

Unknown said...

Thanks for passing on this sad news. Penny Jordan is one of my all time favourite authors along with Anne Mather and Carol Mortimer and several deceased like Mary Burchell and Roberta Leigh. The one good thing about a truly great author is that their books can be revisited again and again so although we may never have a new one their voice lives on.


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