2016 was a heartbreaking year considering how many celebrities died, people who gave so much of themselves by entertaining us. But my year ending blog always deals with the authors whom I’ve read and died. And this year only two authors fit that requirement: Harper Lee and Pat Conroy.
There isn’t anything I can add to all the accolades for one of the greatest American novels, To Kill a Mockingbird. It is a classic and will endure forever. It has been a long time since I read the novel and it’s the movie I remember best. I was thrilled when Gregory Peck won the Academy Award for his performance.
I only read one novel by Pat Conroy, The Great Santini. And like Mockingbird, it’s the movie I remember more than the novel and the performance by Robert Duvall. But unlike Ms. Lee, Mr. Conroy left behind a substantial body of work.
The deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds touched me immensely. I never read Ms. Fisher’s books and I don’t know if Ms. Reynolds wrote any or not. The reason I mention them is that Debbie Reynolds, my idol when I was a teenager, was the inspiration for a character in three of my own books. In my Tiger Sister trilogy, she was the oldest of six sisters and a rambunctious mischief maker who terrorized her younger sisters. But Debbie Tiger got her come-uppance with a surprise ending in one of the stories and would never have existed in my mind or my books if Debbie Reynolds had never existed.