Bestselling romance novelist Johanna Lindsey, whose debut title, Captive Pride, "was released in 1977 and she went on to publish around 55 novels, selling at least 60 million copies worldwide," died October 27, though her family made the news public recently, the Bookseller reported. She was 67. Her last novel, Temptation's Darling, was released in July.
Liz Perl, chief marketing officer of Simon & Schuster, said Lindsey was a very private person: "On several occasions, her mother would accompany her, which was really sweet. Her mother was quite outgoing, so Johanna would sign the books, and her mom would stand next to her and tell fans anecdotes about Johanna when she was young. When she turned her books in, she wouldn't celebrate by buying a car or going to Paris, but by buying a video game and playing it for 12 hours before starting her next book."
After her first novel was released, Lindsey "followed it over the next four years with A Pirate's Love, Brave the Wild Wind, Fires of Winter and Paradise Wild," the New York Times wrote, adding that by 1990 "she was writing two books a year; each of her 19 had then sold at least 700,000 copies. Avon rewarded her regular presence on bestseller lists with a 10-book contract."
"That means I'll have a super leader twice a year for the next five years," Carolyn Reidy, Avon's president at the time (and now president and CEO of Simon & Schuster), told the Times in 1990. Lindsey left Avon for S&S in 2001, after writing 37 bestsellers.
"Johanna Lindsey was one of the most powerful voices of the romance genre, and at a critically important time," author Sarah MacLean told Entertainment Weekly. "As the women's movement revolutionized homes and workplaces in the late '80s and early '90s, Johanna's strong, feminist heroines were revolutionaries in their own right--fighting for partnership, respect, and happily ever after. These were heroines who captained their own fate... they lived fearlessly, fought passionately, and loved with abandon... and they inspired millions of us to do the same."