Remembering Cathie Linz

It’s Read-A-Romance Month.


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“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!