No author has touched me in ways this man has.
Don Barley has never hesitated in saying yes when I've said "Pat Conroy is going to be <insert one of a dozen different places>, can we go?"
He has influenced many with his writing, he meets and greets every person standing in a line to have a book signed as an old friend and has a laugh and/or a kind word for each and every one.
I have written about him often here at my Meanderings and Muses and have posted many pictures I've been lucky enough to have had taken standing by his side.
He's listened to me babble about how much I love him.
He's wished me happy birthday.
When I told him I had written a novel, he asked if I had brought him a copy. I had not, but found a copy in the bookstore we were in in Charlotte, NC. When I gave it to him he asked me to sign it.
I want lots more opportunities to have all these things happen again.
I hope you'll join me in sending Mr. Conroy prayers.
If you don't pray, join me in sending good thoughts.
Like he says in his letter to us, which I've posted below, he owes us a book and he wants to deliver.
I think he still owes us several, and I think he can deliver.
Hey out there,
I celebrated my 70th birthday in October and realized that I’ve spent my whole writing life trying to find out who I am and I don’t believe I’ve even come close. It was in Beaufort in sight of a river’s sinuous turn, and the movements of its dolphin-proud tides that I began to discover myself and where my life began at fifteen.
I have recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. With the help of the wonderful people at M.D. Anderson I intend to fight it hard. I am grateful to all my beloved readers, my friends and my family for their prayers. I owe you a novel and I intend to deliver it.
My publisher will forward mail
c/o Doubleday, 1745 Broadway, 13th floor, New York, NY 10019