A year ago today, the world was in mourning because you had lost your battle with early onset alzheimers disease. Not only had the world lost one of the best fantasy writers of our time, but we had lost a unique wit and a keenly intelligent mind. While I was lucky enough to have met you at conventions (and you even joined me during a singalong in the bar one year because I’d launched into “Summertime” – something I will never forget) I never had the opportunity to thank you for the course my life eventually took because of your wonderful Discworld novels.
When I first picked up Wyrd Sisters fifteen years ago, I had no idea of the journey that awaited me, or that your writing held the key to my future. I fell in love with Granny, Nanny, Magrat and Greebo… and I needed more.
Eventually I set myself up with internet access and joined a blogging site. I couldn’t possibly claim to be a writer of your caliber, but a writer I am, nonetheless. Because I listed Discworld as one of my interests, I soon met an entire, wonderful, gloriously eccentric and welcoming group of people online. People from all walks of life, across the world. Many of these people remain my closest friends all these years later.
At the age of thirty I became homeless after a failed long-term relationship, and so (after a brief, doomed marriage that left me homeless for a second time) I decided that it was high time to visit some of these Discworld-loving friends and sofa-surf for a while. I was able to do this because I’d come into contact with other fans of your writing, Terry – and it was mostly a good time. I ended up staying in Manchester for a while, where I met my dear friends Daniel (married now, with a beautiful baby girl), and Tiff – a transplanted American with a heart of pure gold.
A few summers later – while I was living in Birmingham – I was invited back to Manchester to sing at a friend’s birthday party. That’s when my life changed completely, Terry, and all because of you. That October I needed to find a safe place to stay, and the handsome man in black who I had met at the garden party (and had remained in touch with) stepped forward to help me on a temporary basis.
We very quickly realised that we were in love, and five years later this happened:
This is how you changed lives Terry. You will probably continue to do so. As long as people are still reading your novels and speaking your name, you aten’t dead (as Granny would say).
Thank you for everything, Terry. GNU.