Detached Sadness (on the Death of an Author)

Betty Ren Wright Frederiksen died last New Year's Eve at age 86.  She was the author of supernatural suspense/mysteries for children.  During a certain period of my life, she was also my favorite author.

I read The Dollhouse Murders and The Secret Window when I was around ten years old.  Before then, I didn't know supernatural suspense existed for kids.  I was hooked by each of them and sped through them in record time only to start again.  Betty Ren Wright was a master at what she did.  My literary world opened up, in part, because of a woman I never met.

The only reason I know of her passing was the "in memorium" section of Poets & Writers.  It hit me harder than I thought possible. I'm still not entirely certain why I felt like curling into a ball and crying.  Maybe because she gave me such a wonderful gift when I was young and I never thanked her.  Or maybe it is simply the fact that the world is deprived of anything else she might have done in the future, should she have had the time.
Thank you, authors present and past, for all of the wonder you bring into the world, for young and old alike.  Thank you for transporting us to a world that doesn't exist but we want it to, or does exist and we now see differently.  Thank you for odd, scheming characters or those who break down (or up) worse than us.  We appreciate your embarrassment, your cracked smiles, your alligator tears.

Thank you, Ms. Frederiksen, for everything you never knew you did.

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