Legendary author Terry Kay and I have crossed paths, many times, in our literary journeys over the last twenty plus years.
As an upcoming author I traveled many times to Athens, Georgia for book events and finally I had the opportunity to meet the celebrated Georgia author.
It was at a book event at an independent book store near the University of Georgia Campus that our paths first crossed. After he finished his presentation, I asked him to read A Brownstone in Brooklyn. This was around 2002. He graciously took the book and about a week later he penned this review.
Award-winning novelist and screenwriter Terry Kay recently read “A Brownstone In Brooklyn” and offered up this comment: “This is a bold, heart-felt work, certainly worthy of those who are fortunate enough to discover it in their quest for both interest and pleasure in their reading.”
This was the first validation of my writing talent by a nationally famous author. After that encounter My novel, The Ghost of Atlanta, and Philly Style and Profile were pitted against Kay’s books. The books weren’t successful in competiton for Georgia Author of the year awards, but we became friends.
In the last few years, as Stage Captain of the AJC Decatur Book Festival, I had the honor of handling his book signings at the First Baptist Church venue. We talked and I gained such respect for him as a writer and more importantly as a human being.
It will be a year ago in December since his passing, but I miss his wit and understanding of the Georgia writing culture. We are both “sons of the south” and grew up in different eras, but I feel we gained a respect for each other and our literary contributions to the Peach State.
Terry Kay’s Books:
Terry Kay published the novel, The Valley of Light. His first novel, “The Year the Lights Came On”, was published in 1976. He also wrote “To Dance With the White Dog” and “Taking Lottie Home”.
Kay agreed to write the television screenplay and co-produce an adaptation of “The Valley Of Light” for the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Two other Kay novels—-“To Dance With the White Dog” and “The Runaway”—-have been Hallmark Hall of Fame movies.
Terry Kay Remembered:
Terry Kay, a Georgia author whose novels line bookshelves in homes and libraries, died in his Athens home Dec. 12, 2020 ending a path Kay knew was imminent in October when doctors told him he had only weeks to live.
Kay, 82, succumbed to aggressive stage 4 liver cancer, but in those intervening weeks he was able to have in-home visits with his family members and friends and read the many comforting comments people left on social media.
The author, who began his career as a novelist in 1976 with “The Year the Lights Came On” and found fame in 1990 with “To Dance with the White Dog,” had 17 published works, three adapted as movies. The awards he earned were numerous.
Terry Kay you will be missed!