Anne here, writing on behalf of all the word wenches in a special Sunday post, a tribute to Janga Rholetter — one of our long time wenchly readers and a friend to many of us here, readers as well as writers. Janga passed away suddenly last week — we knew she was desperately ill, but the speed of her passing took us all by surprise.
Janga loved words; she loved stories and poetry and romance and writing. She was an intelligent and insightful reviewer — I suspect many of us here became addicted to her reviews and have added to our TBR piles because of Janga. She was very active in the romance community; she was a wenchly reader from the very first — enter Janga into the search bar and you'll see so many comments over the years. She was also very active on the Eloisa James boards, she blogged and reviewed on The Romance Dish and also on her own blog.
I felt very privileged to know her. She wrote to me about my very first book, and that began a correspondence between us that lasted almost 20 years. We talked about books, about poetry, about writing, about teaching, and about life. She was a wonderful critic, perceptive and articulate and encouraging. She saw things in my work that I wasn't aware of. She made me feel a better writer than I am.
I am sad, though, that her own fiction never saw the light of day. She was, I suspect, her own toughest critic. She was a private person—there are no photos of her on her sites—and very modest. But though her fiction might not be out there, Janga left behind a rich legacy of her writing, in reviews, interviews, essays and blogs.
Her good friend PJ Ausdenmore wrote a wonderful tribute to Janga on The Romance Dish. You will also get a lovely sense of the person Janga was by reading this blog that she wrote back in 2012, her gratitude list for Thanksgiving.
I might be the one writing this post, but Janga was beloved of all the wenches. Goodbye, dear Janga, thank you for sharing your thoughts, your books and your wisdom, from Mary Jo Putney, Pat Rice, Susan King, Andrea Pickens, Nicola Cornick, Joanna Bourne, Susanna Kearsley and Anne Gracie. Rest in peace.