It’s a sad day for the horror genre, as we have lost prolific YA author Lois Duncan. Duncan penned a series of classic teen suspense novels, including I Know What You Did Last Summer and Killing Mr. Griffin. Her work has been adapted for both television and film and won her numerous awards.
The author died in her Florida home at the age of 82 on June 15. Her husband made a statement via Facebook reflecting that his wife collapsed in their kitchen.
Early in her career, Lois Duncan worked as a professor at the University of New Mexico, where she taught magazine writing. In addition to her YA fiction, Duncan also wrote children’s books (most notably, Hotel for Dogs) and also famously chronicled the events surrounding the 1989 murder of her daughter Kaitlyn Arquette. Authorities speculated that it was a random act of violence but Duncan never believed that. She always suspected that it was part of a more elaborate conspiracy. Unfortunately, the author died not knowing who killed her daughter.
Duncan paved the way for authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike to rise to prominence in the ’90s. And her work is every bit as influential today as it was upon its initial publication. I Know What You Did Last Summer is being adapted for the big screen for a second time by Sony.