This weekend, as I worked on Insatiable with a box of tissues on one side and my notes on the other, I was thinking on the dedication and acknowledgments.

You see, none of us gets to where we are without community.

Tracy Williams was one of those people. She read and critted every single one of my books. She was my friend and my support and she died last year of breast cancer. Cancer she’d fought for years as she beat it back only to have it return again, even stronger. And still she stood up and fought. She told me, when she’d received the final news that there would be no more beating it, that all she wanted was one last Christmas with her children. I spoke with her last just after Thanksgiving of 2008. She was unlike anyone else I knew, funny, smart, a romance reader, a woman who faced what to many would be insurmountable obstacles but damn it, she kept getting up and standing tall because that was who she was. She never lost her humor, even as she spent more time in the hospital than out of it, even as her lungs filled with tumors, as the cancer spread. I do hope very much that her children know how much she loved them for who they are.

I bring this up because I learned today that Kate Duffy – a woman I admired greatly and was, in no small amount of awe of (scared too!), lost her own battle with cancer. Kate Duffy meant a lot to romance. She was a huge, powerful force in the world. She wasn’t my editor, but she edited a lot of authors I love, her fingerprints were all over our genre in ways that we’ll be feeling for a long time to come.

Rest in peace, Kate and Tracy – and know you touched the world in ways people will never forget.

7 comments to “”

  1. Estella
    September 28th, 2009 at 12:53 pm · Link

    I heard about Kate on another blog. The world of romance will miss her.

  2. Mary G
    September 28th, 2009 at 3:04 pm · Link

    I am sorry for your loss. My dad died of Hodgkins disease when I was 18 & my younger sister died of the same thing when I was 20. Although survival rates have improved since then (1970’s) we still lose too many good people to this cancer in general.

  3. Ashley Ladd
    September 28th, 2009 at 3:59 pm · Link

    I’m so sorry to hear about Kate Duffy and your friend Tracy.

    I lost my mother to cancer, too. A young lady (in her 40s) in my office has been battling cancer for about 3 years now.


  4. Melissa
    September 28th, 2009 at 11:50 pm · Link

    I’m so sorry about your friend Tracy, and Kate Duffy’s loss is felt strongly by us readers, too. Over the years, I’ve read countless books by authors she discovered, books that were dedicated to her, books that mentions they exsist becuase of her….her love of romance was felt and appreciated every day. She’ll be missed.

  5. Christine
    September 29th, 2009 at 6:29 am · Link

    I’m so sorry to hear about loss of these brave women to this awful disease. A friend of mine has just told me she has been diagnosed w/ breast cancer last week and unfortunately she has other complications. I wish I could offer more than words on a page as comfort.

  6. Nancy
    September 29th, 2009 at 8:04 am · Link

    I had just pitched something to Kate a few weeks ago so I JUST missed the chance of working with her and that makes me so sad because she was one of the many people in this industry that I had heard such wonderful things about.

    She seemed like such a genuine FAN of the genre and my prayers go out to her family and those of you who got to know her.

    My step mom is a cancer survivor (knock on wood it stays that way)

    Your friend sounded like an amazing brave woman.

    This disease steals so much from all of us. 😥

  7. Collette
    September 29th, 2009 at 6:02 pm · Link

    I’m so sorry to hear about your friend. I listened to Kate Duffy on a couple of panels during an RT conference a few years ago and I was pretty much in awe. Her loss will be felt.