The news broke out that YA author Lois Duncan passed away on June 15th, 2016 at 82 years old. She lived a long life, though I wouldn't necessarily say a happy one. Her career of writing YA paranormal and suspense came to an abrupt end when her daughter Kaitlyn was tragically, mysteriously murdered. Duncan chronicled the mystery and investigation surrounding her death in the book Who Killed My Daughter?
Lois Duncan's death made me think about how much I have to thank her for. She was one of the first authors to ignite a love for reading and writing within me. It is through her books (my favorites of which were Down a Dark Hall, Locked in Time, and Stranger With My Face) that made me fall in fall in love with the young adult paranormal and suspense genres in the first place. Growing up, her books were always at the top of my summer reading list and they were some of the only books throughout my lifetime that I've re-visited more than once.
Without Lois Duncan's influence, I don't believe that Jayme and I would have chosen to write in the YA paranormal romance genre. A lot of authors who write YA paranormal romance thank Stephenie Meyer for their love for the genre, but not me. Lois Duncan wrote the first paranormal books that I fell in love with. And for that, I will be forever grateful.
R.I.P. Lois Duncan. Thank you for the stories you told and for the inspiration you gave me.