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Monday, September 11, 2017

Tapping a lifelong 'creative flow'

“People have talents that are different. Where does the creative flow come from - inside us or from a higher power? I don't ask any questions. I just write it down.” – Phyllis A. Whitney
Born in Japan in September 1903, Whitney was one of America’s best-known writers of  (as she coined it):  “Romantic Novels of Suspense.”  And she wrote them for 80 years – almost right up until her death at age 104.  “I always want to live long enough to finish the book I'm working on and see it published,” she said, explaining her longevity.  “But then I start another book before the previous one is in the stores, so I always have a reason to go on.”

She wrote nearly 100 novels for both the juvenile and adult markets – many featuring exotic locations – winning legions of fans and writing accolades in the process.  Her 1961 book The Mystery of the Haunted Pool won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Juvenile novel, and she duplicated the honor in 1964, for The Mystery of the Hidden Hand.   In 1988, the MWA gave her a Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement.   She kept up those achievements another dozen years before her health finally slowed her down.     
                               She credited her optimistic outlook on life to her longevity, both personally and as a writer.  “I offer optimism. All my books have happy endings. I don't see any point in letting my readers down at the end. I'm an optimist - people feel that in my books.”


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