Essie Summers

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Sweet Are The Ways by Essie Summers


As an author for the Harlequin Romance imprint, Essie Summers published 55 novels. Despite strong encouragement from Alan Boon, she only wrote two books a year (he wanted three) in order to keep her focus on her family. Her first novel New Zealand Inheritance was published by Mills & Boon in 1957. The New Zealand born-and-bred author debuted with Harlequin in 1961, the same year that Violet Winspear starting writing for the publisher. Sometimes called "New Zealand's Queen of Romance"[1], Summers inspired many readers to visit her home country to see what she'd written about for themselves.

Summers was born on July 24, 1912 and passed away August 27, 1998 at the age of 86. Her final book was published in 1987. She'd stopped writing for the Harlequin family at that point as her family-oriented work didn't fit into the publisher's desire for steamier romances. Her husband Bill Flett was a minister; Summers met him at age 13, but they didn't become romantically involved until many years later (Summers wrote that she had a "kink" for older men and waited until Bill was over 30 before deciding he was the right age for her). Their courtship was largely conducted by correspondence over a six-week period.


On the Web

  • Biography of Essie Summers
  • [2] Essie Summers Admirers - online discussion group devoted to the works of Essie Summers and the country of New Zealand