Thursday, June 11, 2009
Author Mildred Riley Believes in Keeping Fantasies Alive
Twenty years ago, a publisher rejected Mildred Riley’s romance novel about African-Americans because “black people don’t read.”
Riley, a retired psychiatric nurse, knew otherwise and proved the publisher wrong. Now 91, she just published her 13th romance novel featuring African-American characters.
Like the happy endings of her stories, Riley inspires a sense of optimism and possibility.“When I retired, I said, ‘I’m going to write a book and I’m going to take flying lessons.’ Everyone cracked up when they heard,” she said, laughing. “I didn’t follow through on the flying lessons, and at 91, I don’t think I’d pass the physical. But I’ll keep writing as long as I’m able.”
Looking 20 years younger than her age, Riley is likely to be penning many more stories. With the publication last month of the paperback “All I’ll Ever Need” and the e-book “Fit to Be Tied,” she’s now editing “The Doctor’s Wife,” her 14th book, which, like the others, reflects her curiosity about the human heart and experience.