RT is sad to report the death of a beloved romance author. Tony Karayianni — one half of the Tori Carrington author team, along with Lori Karayianni — left us in April. Today, his friend Pat Rouse remembers him. We offer the deepest condolences to his family and friends. Tony was a lovely man, and we were luckier for having known him.
Tony was a dear man with a heart as big as gold, an infectious laugh and a personality larger than life. And this Greek-American man could really cook! He brought delicious baklava to all his book signings. I had the extreme pleasure and honor to know him and have him as my friend.
Tony immigrated from Greece to the United States in 1976 and began writing with Lori, who hailed from Toledo, Ohio, in 1984. I first met them in the mid-1990s, before they were published, at a writer’s conference in Ohio. After visiting with this dynamic writing duo, based on their dedication to their craft and charming personalities, I knew they’d be published in the near future. Within a couple of years, I was thrilled to hear they had gotten “the call” from Harlequin/Silhouette. Their first category romance, Constant Craving, was published in 1998. Thus began their prolific writing career. Together they wrote more than 50 books, working mainly with their long-time editor, Brenda Chin, writing Blazes, Temptations and Special Editions.
We visited at many book signings and conferences together throughout the years, including several RT Conventions.
They even helped me celebrate my 50th birthday after a book fair in Troy, Ohio. I also had the extreme pleasure of doing public relations work for them, helping them in 2005 to launch their Sofie Metropolis hardcover comedic mystery series, starring a Greek female private investigator. They went to BEA in New York City and on multi-state book tour. Tony served his scrumptious baklava after baking it each night from the mobile home they toured in. Even when their vehicle was totaled while on the road in Dallas, they still managed to make their book signing —complete with baklava — because they didn’t want to disappoint their fans!
During their nearly 20 years of being published, the Tori Carrington writing team won many awards including a 2005 Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews, a Dorothy Parker Award for Excellence and countless others.
Tony Karayianni will be dearly missed and my heartfelt condolences go out to Lori, their sons, Tony Jr., and Tim, and their entire family. The entire romance community mourns the loss of such an amazing person and fantastic author!
— Pat Rouse
For a list of many of Tony and Lori’s excellent titles, go here.