The romance world has lost a giant. Kate Duffy was one of the legendary editors of the genre, and she died today. She started working in publishing in 1974, and worked with several publishing houses, most recently Kensington Books. She edited and mentored many authors during her 35 year career including Jude Devereaux, Judith McNaught, Susan Johnson, and Mary Jo Putney. Kate Duffy has been credited with rescuing the now-famous Whitney, My Love from the slush pile. In addition, the romance world would probably look very different without two of her other major accomplishments – the launch of Kensington’s Brava line of erotic romances and her stint as the first editor-in-chief of Silhouette Books. Ms. Duffy was a strong advocate for authors and for romance, and will be greatly missed.
Many tributes to her can be found online, but Mary Jo Putney said it well, when she blogged, “Kate Duffy was a legend in the romance industry, known for her humor, her directness, her concern for authors, and her passion for the romance genre. I felt honored to be one of her authors. I only wish it had been for much, much longer.” If those of you who knew or worked with Kate Duffy would like to share memories of her, please feel free to do so in the comments.