Acclaimed author Bryce Courtenay has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
The writer, 79, reveals he has just months to live after learning he has gastric cancer, and he has bid his fans farewell in a touching post on his Facebook.com page.
In the message from his home in Australia, published on Friday (07Sep12), Courtenay writes, "I have been diagnosed with terminal gastric cancer and am expected to have only some months to share with my adorable wife Christine. We have had the good fortune to have been together for seven wonderfully happy years, and so the remaining months are precious to us, and our family and friends.
"You will be pleased to know that I am currently feeling well, and am keeping busy gardening, and writing a collection of short stories, as well as being with our beloved pets. May I thank you all for your tremendous loyalty over the past 21 books. I feel immense gratitude and am humbled by your support over so many years. Our greatest wish is that your lives also continue to blossom. Goodbye and God Bless from us both."
Courtenay is due to release his new book, Jack of Diamonds, in November (12).
The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.