Remembering Cathie Linz

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.


Visit every day in August to see what 93+ of your favorite authors have to say about The Joy of Romance. Do you love Romance? Let’s celebrate. xo   |   RARM 2015 Calendar    |    RARM on Facebook

“Through a myriad of ways, Cathie demonstrated to library staff just how important romance novels are to readers and why libraries should care about them.” ~ John Charles

Cathie Linz, An Impact We’ll Never Forget

Showing the love, spreading the love.

A number of books will release tomorrow, but there is one in particular I hope you’ll buy.

Cat Devon’s Tall, Dark and Immortaltall-dark-and-immortal-cat-devon

If you’d never met Cathie Linz, either online or in-person, then you missed a rare treat. Cathie was a great writer, beloved friend, and a huge advocate for our genre who had an enormous impact on the way libraries carried and regarded romance novels.

In 2013, Jayne Ann Krentz did a lovely RARM post, and her recommended author was Cat Devon, Cathie’s current pen name. You can read Jayne’s post here which includes a link to Cathie/Cat’s own short post, which I’ve included here:

A Note from Cat Devon

Given my library background, I often speak to groups of librarians about the appeal of the romance genre. It is the largest yet often the least understood of all the genre fictions. I say that the appeal is the same as that of music by Tchaikovsky and paintings by Van Gogh. They all appeal to the emotions. And in our culture we tend not to value things with emotional appeal as much as intellectual appeal. Indeed, the accusation of being “too emotional” is seen as an insult.

The need for a happy-ever-after conclusion is more intense now more than ever, because daily we are bombarded with bad news and horrible situations. But to have hope that things will work out in the end, that happiness can be had is a powerful thing. Personally, I also love reading romances with humor because having a sense of humor has helped me through some very rough times. I’ve yet to hear anyone say they’ve had enough laughter in their life and don’t want to laugh any more.

I read my first romance novel when I was thirteen. It was a Harlequin romance and I still have it in my library. I can remember reading THE GENTLE PIRATE by Jayne Castle and WINDFLOWER by Tom and Sharon Curtis among others. My keeper shelves are filled with hundreds of wonderful romance novels that are favorites of mine. Non-readers don’t understand the need to keep a book once you’ve read it, but if it is a keeper then you have to save it and revisit it by rereading it from time to time.

The romance genre has such a wonderful diversity taking you from Regency England in one book to the Lore world of vampires and witches in another. Or you can travel to small town USA and bond with characters who become your fictional friends. Yes, I am a romance writer who writes paranormal romances with heat and humor. But I am also an avid romance reader and proud of it.

“Always and forever, Cathie is missed” ~ Christina Dodd

Cathie died this past spring, and I’ve asked a few of her dear friends and colleagues to sleeping entityshare some thoughts with us about this wonderful writer, librarian and advocate. She was a special person, and I know her friends would love to see her last book, releasing posthumously tomorrow, garner great sales, both in honor of her great contributions to our genre and in support of her family.

from Christina Dodd:

Cathie Linz was responsible for RWA’s Librarian’s Day both in its inception and in planning the event for years and she did it seemingly without effort. She was a friend and … she was a writer. She understood writing, she understood books, she loved the job and her creativity knew no bounds. It’s tough to lose someone who combines the abilities to get things done and to relate to so many people on so many levels. Always and forever, Cathie is missed. 

from Alison Hart

Cathie was one of the first writing friends I made…and we found each other when we went to a first writing conference (in Chicago, of course.  One of the early Love Designer conferences, if not the first.)  She was hugging one wall.  I was hugging another.  We were both terrified that someone would talk to us and find out we were Imposters.  We both knew we weren’t as good as anyone else…in fact, Cathie introduced me to a book on the Imposter Syndrome.  For 40+ years, we were both petrified someone would find out we really didn’t know how to write…we just kept hoping that we could fool other readers luck be a ladyand writers, because we couldn’t give it up. 🙂

 Another Cathie favorite memory for me was about Conference Therapy.  She called it Cat Therapy, but the issue was the same.  I often stayed with Cathie if I was attending a Chicago writing conference.  We both did ‘our own thing’ at every conference….but we’d go back to her house when it was over, crash on the floor in total exhaustion, and let her kitties come to us.  Invariably the cats would snuggle, nuzzle and purr…taking away all the conference-stress, while we could talk about everything we learned and heard, share about the authors we loved and the books we couldn’t wait to read….all while being kitty-coddled. 

from fellow librarian (and notable reviewer) John Charles

Twenty-five years ago, most librarians either quietly ignored romance novels or loudly scorned the genre. If you were a romance reader back then, you knew better than to hope that you might find the books you loved to read at your local public library. However, that changed when one person – Cathie Linz – decided enough was enough. As a romance writer (and reader herself), Cathie knew how important these books are to readers, and she vowed to find a way to change the perception of library staff towards the genre.

Cathie become the Romance Writers of America’s first Library Liaison nearly two tempted againdecades ago. Cathie coordinated training on the romance genre for library staff in the form of RWA’s annual Librarian’s Day as well as representing RWA and the romance genre at the American Library Association and Public Library Association national conferences. Through a myriad of ways, Cathie demonstrated to library staff just how important romance novels are to readers and why libraries should care about them. It is because of Cathie’s passionate efforts over the years that today romance readers can walk into their local library and find the books that matter to them waiting to be checked out.

from Jayne Ann Krentz

Cathie was a friend and I can tell you that her personality came through brilliantly in her writing.  She was witty, positive, warm-hearted and smart.  Those qualities are all there in her books.  Writing under her Cat Devon name she added a much welcome dose of zest and sparkle to the paranormal genre with titles such as TALL, DARK, AND IMMORTAL. 

Cathie also shared one very important insight about writing.  Sitting down to start a book is daunting.  But she knew how to savor the process.  There is a great deal of satisfaction, even joy, to be had when a single scene comes together or a few lines of dialogue sound right.  The trick is to appreciate those moments along the way.  Thanks, Cathie.

from Susan Elizabeth Phillips

One of my favorite Cathie stories….  She had just received a bad review.  Writers know the feeling.  You can’t decide whether to bang your head on the desk, cry, yell at your marine princesshusband, or lock yourself in the closet and curl up in a whimpering ball behind your dirty laundry. Not Cathie.  Her response, “That’s just wrong.” And that was it.  No teeth-gnashing, no self-pity.  “That’s just wrong.”  I love it!   (And have employed it myself many times since.)  Cathie was also a big believer in “interviewing” her characters when they gave her trouble. When I was having difficulty with one of my heroes, she told me to interview him—ask him what the trouble was and why he was being so difficult. I thought that was the stupidest idea I’d ever heard of.  Until I tried it.  Her technique let me unlock the key to the hero of First Lady, and I’ve used it many times since. 


If you’d like more information on Cathie’s life, impact and humor, I recommend these tributes:

The Booklist Reader     |     Library Journal

and this very fun interview on Heroes & Heartbreakers between Cathie & her editor, Jennifer Enderlin.

I will try to arrange a drawing for a few copies of Cathie’s books from her publisher (likely US only), but I hope you’ll leave a comment here or on the Facebook page (find it here) to honor Cathie’s contribution and legacy no matter what, especially if you appreciate the fact that you can find romance novels in libraries. Many thanks, Bobbi.

Please – Buy Cathie’s books:

Link to Cathie Linz titles     |     Link to Cat Devon titles

Thank you!

availableon-amazon  availableon-nookavailableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to an affiliate portal that supports Read-A-Romance Month. Thanks so much for your help!

  • mariannewestrich

    Such a terrible loss! Someone who knew the romance genre and proudly proclaimed her love of it. I thoroughly enjoyed the Entity books these past few years and now will be looking for more of her other titels.

  • Kareni

    Thanks for a lovely post.

  • Karen Mikusak

    I love the idea of “interviewing” your characters when you’re having difficulty writing! Great post.

  • Kerrelyn Sparks

    Thank you, Bobbi, for giving Cathie a day here on RARM so we can remember her. She is definitely missed.

  • LSUReader

    As a reader who greatly depends on her local library, I offer a great big THANKS for all of the efforts Cathie put into getting libraries to “love” romance like we do. She is missed.

  • Texas Book Lover

    As a reader of nothing but romance I am thrilled that you made a post to honor such a huge advocate of getting our genre widely recognized by libraries. She will be greatly missed!

  • Eileen Aberman-Wells

    Thank you for doing this. I never met Cathie in person but she became a friend through facebook. She seemed to have that ability with her fans. I loved her books and look forward to reading this last one of hers. She is truely missed.

  • Jerry Marlatt Pierson

    Thank you for honoring Cathie Linz. I really enjoyed this post.

  • Anna

    I loved her books. I’m so sorry to hear about her death.

    And as a former library employee, I thoroughly appreciate her efforts to connect libraries with the romance community.

  • Debbie Fuller

    She is a writer that I’ve heard about but as of yet not read, although her book Sleeping with the Entity really intrigued me. I think I may just have to run out and buy her new book! Thanks for gathering all the tributes about her and posting them here.

  • I have heard of her because she was very active on the SEP board and Facebook. It is wonderful that libraries stock far more romance, I am delighted with my local library stocking so much recent romance. But then the the chief managing librarian writes romance in her spare time and has published!

  • Joanna Moreno

    I’m sad to hear that the world of romance lost such a great advocate. I’m lucky my local library was always stocked with good romance even before the internet craze so I never had to forgo romance books for too long. I never heard of her before but now I want to know more about her works both written and socially. Thank you for bringing her lovely name to our attention <3

  • Dorothy Salvagin

    I have been very lucky in that my local library carries lots of romance novels. When I first discovered the genre that is where I spent my free time.

  • Sue G.

    Never read her Cat Devon books but I adored the Cathie Linz books. Great loss to our romance world!

  • Robin Schone

    I attended several local book signings with Cathie when I first started out. My mother met Cathie, too, at one of the said book signings, and thought she was a wonderful person. She was. She was always smiling and always, always pleasant and courteous and attentive. Cathie took time out to make me – a first-time author who had no knowledge of RWA or anything else to do with the world of publishing – feel comfortable. I remember how nervous she was before speaking at an event about romance and libraries. Her near-panic didn’t stop her. She fanned herself and made a joke while gulping water to calm her nerves. Everyone in the audience laughed with her, and shouted encouragement. She really was an incredible person. The world is a much sadder place without her.

  • Christyna

    As a library professional, I think I would have enjoyed getting to know Cathie very much. There’s never enough library advocacy when it comes romance novels and I know I would have loved to learn from her and her passion from the genre.

  • marypreston

    Such a lovely post thank you. Made me quite misty.

  • T. Rosado

    I am a huge advocate of local libraries. No matter where I have lived, the community library is one of the first places I look for. While home-schooling my children, we were at the library at least 2-3 times a week and now I go that much just for myself. As I read about Cathie Linz’ plight to endorse the romance genre in the library system, I immediately thought about how our local library and there enormous collection of romance books. I am also aware of how our librarians are so helpful and show no disdain to any particular genre. I’m now aware of who we need to thank. Thank you, Cathie Linz.

  • Sharlene Wegner

    I was sad to read about Cathie’s death. Her contemporary romances are so good! Thank you for sharing information about her contributions to the library & romance communities.

  • Marcy Shuler

    I really enjoyed the books I’ve read by Cathie Linz. She will be missed.

  • Pamby50

    Time to trek to my local library. I need to say thank you for carrying romance books in honor of Cathie Linz.

  • Wonderful post and she will be missed dearly! xo

  • Monique Flasch

    I only had the pleasure of meeting her once. But I knew how much library attention she had brought to the romance genre. It was inspiring. She will be greatly missed. This is a wonderful tribute.

  • Emmel

    She was a champion, in so many ways.

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I’ve read a few books both under Cat Devon and Cathie Linz but I fully intend to read her entire backlist. I’m so thankful for her paving the way for more romance in libraries. Without people like her, I never would have had access to nearly as many amazing authors and titles in the libraries I’ve visited over the years. Amazing tribute from her fellow authors and I really enjoyed every word!

  • Erin F

    WOW. Cathie Linz was a gem! Her generosity and hard work can be clearly seen in our libraries and I wish I could have thanked her! Thanks for sharin!

  • Rose K

    The romance world lost such an amazing friend, advocate, writer, and reader in Cathie. The joy she brought to everyone she knew is the measure of a life well lived. Cathie brought great joy to my life with her stories. Nothing is more comforting than revisiting one of her books. Laughter is inevitable, tears would not be unheard of, and joy is absolutely guaranteed.

  • Glenda

    What a sweet post! I’m sure it could be much longer with many more wonderful things written about Cathie.

  • Patty Vasquez

    I had no idea that Cathie Linz was also Cat Devon! I remember reading Jayne Ann Krentz’s recommendation and the link to Cat Devon’s RARM post.

  • Joan Varner

    Cathie Linz was one of my favorite romance authors. I never met her in person but did interact with her on Facebook. I miss her but I have her books to read and reread to remind me of her.

  • An incredible and amazing woman, surely a devoted friend and a good writer too. Thank you for having remembered her.

  • Dawn Anderson

    I read the blurb for Mad, Bad and Blonde in the back of another book and I rushed out to buy a copy. It was a great read and, now, I think I’ll pick it up to read again.

  • Diana Michelle Tidlund

    Loved Cathie and we had a great relationship while she was alive,,, I miss her and her writing! I have a ton of autographed books she sent me over the years in my library

  • Ellen

    I started reading Cathie’s books because she was a librarian. I kept reading because she was a great writer. (I work in the library world, and we love supporting other library workers.)

  • catslady

    I also didn’t realize they were one in the same but I have enjoyed her books as Cat Devon.

  • Patty Hammond

    Cathie was not only one of my favorite authors, but she was also my first online friend who I met in real life. I posted my own tribute on my blog right after I heard of her passing.
    If you have never read any of her stories, I urge you to check them out. They are well worth it and WILL make you either laugh out loud, smile or both!

  • Bernadette

    I loved this post, it was bittersweet. I remember the first time I read one of my favorites of hers Mad, Bad and Blonde. I honestly laughed so much while reading it, I’ve reread a dozen times since then. Cathie will truly be missed, she was a wonderful person, who brought joy to many people through her books.

  • Gretchen Miller


  • Karin

    I’m not familiar with Cathie Linz’s writing but she sounds like a brilliant and wonderful person. I love the cat therapy and the idea of interviewing your characters!

  • Connie Reynolds

    She sounds wonderful. She wrote fascinating books. I am glad to see she happily shared her craft. The mark of a truly giving person.

  • Carin Shaughnessy

    It’s good to hear that there are librarians out there who value the romance genre. I know or small town does not. The librarian likes mysteries do there are a huge amount of those in the library, but not do much romances. Nice to know someone like Cathie worked to change that. I will check out her books.

  • Mary McCoy

    Loved Cathie’s books and always enjoyed chatting with her online. Thank you for the lovely post.

  • donnas

    I didn’t find her books until the Cat Devon series. I am glad I have now, while I am sad there won’t be more I know I have to catch up on the rest of her books. As someone who never had the chance to meet her, I know she is and will be missed by many.

  • Carol Luciano

    Such a heartwarming post. But emotional. What a wonderful tribute to her . Thank you for sharing these memories of her.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • kirsten west

    I immensely enjoyed her Cat Devon books and am grateful that she worked as hard as she did to get romance novels in our libraries!

  • Sharlene

    Miss her every day. She gave me a lasting tribute that I will cherish forever, as I am in the last book she released.

  • kirsten west

    Glad that her book was released posthumously. Loved her books.