R.I.P Mary George, aka Elizabeth Thornton, beloved author and friend
I've had the privilege of working with Mary for 24 years. I was the editor of her first and last books, and most of the ones in between. We first worked together at what was then called Zebra Books, where I actually did find her first manuscript in the slush pile. That would be A Bluestocking Bride, published in 1987. Subsequently we worked together at Bantam and most recently at Berkley. Authors and editors lose each other all the time in this challenging industry, but Mary and I always managed to find each other.
Mary has always been an editor's dream. First of all, there was the wonderful humor and intelligence of her writing. Second, there was that storytelling magic that she had, a kind of chemistry that she knew how to create between her characters, and especially between her hero and heroine. Third, she was a pleasure to work with. She wrote one book a year without fail for 24 years, and handled her edits with great skill and good humor.
Not only was she a pleasure to work with, she was a pleasure to be around. Anyone who ever had any dealings with her felt the warmth and charm of her personality. Meeting with her was always one of the highlights of any conference that we both attended. She and I shared some long phone chats throughout the years, and together we've been through many ups and downs, both personally and professionally.
I am very proud of our long association, and sad that she couldn't be with us a little while longer. Mary brought a lot of joy into a lot of people's lives through her novels and also through her strength of character. She was a gracious, lovely, generous person who just happened to write some of the best historical romances ever written.
Berkley Publishing Group/Penguin Group (USA) Inc.