Most of you have probably already heard of the unfortunate passing of author Edith Layton. Tributes are up at the Word Wenches, Smart Bitches Trashy Books, and from Edith’s daughter, Susie Felber.

Edith Layton was, and remains, one of my favorite Regency authors. Back in 2001, when I got laid off because of effects of 9/11, I decided I would try to write a book like the ones I read and loved when I was young. I went to the library and hunted down any book that had “Regency” on the spine. Naturally, Edith Layton’s books were prime among them, and thank goodness, because I am not certain I would have persevered if I hadn’t read some superb quality books right away. In short succession, I read The Duke’s Wager, The Disdainful Marquis, Lord of Dishonor and The Abandoned Bride.

Later, I was floored by The Devil’s Bargain. The hero in That Subtle Knot, my book being submitted to publishers now, is named Alisdair in homage to The Devil’s Bargain very dark, very tortured hero.

I got to meet Ms. Layton at RWA New York; it was my first conference, and I had persuaded my husband to join me for the Literacy Signing. We wandered the exhibition area, him feeling like a rare piece of meat, since there were two other men in the entire room: One a Brockmann-imported Navy SEAL, and one an indie-paper guy dressed in an Iggy Pop t-shirt. When we got the “L” row, I made a beeline for Edith Layton. She was totally gracious, and eyeballed Scott, telling him he should model for our covers. I got to tell her how much I loved her books.

I am so grateful she turned her enormous writing talent to romance, and very grateful she was so prolific, and was given the chance to share her talent with us.

Thank you, Ms. Layton. You will be missed.