The 12th annual l a times festival of books day 2
The 12th annual l a times festival of books day 2
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Best-Selling Author Eric Jerome Dickey Dead at 59

A relative of Eric Jerome Dickey broke the news on Facebook.

Beloved author Eric Jerome Dickey passed away on December 3 after a lengthy illness. His cousin LaVerne Madison Fuller broke the news on Facebook with a touching post.

"I am heartbroken," she wrote. "My cousin Eric Jerome Dickey passed away on yesterday...when God tells you to do something, just do it. Just a few weeks ago, God woke me up to text him and say that I loved him. He let me know that he loved us too."

Dickey's books like Sister, Sister, Friends & Lovers and Between Lovers made him a fan favorite in the African-American literary community. A native of Memphis and former engineer, Dickey began to pursue comedic writing and short stories in his spare time. In 1994, he published his first short story, Thirteen. These successes led to him developing screenplays, but he eventually desired to create more long-form works.

"I'd set out to do a ten-page story and it would go on for three hundred pages," he said. He kept writing shopping his novels for almost three years until he finally got an agent. "Then a door opened," Eric continued. "And I put my foot in before they could close it."

His novels would go on to appear on bestseller lists of The Wall Street Journal and New York Times. On four separate occasions (2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005), Dickey was honored with an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Dickey also authored a six-issue mini-series for Marvel Enterprises, featuring Storm and the Black Panther.

"I don't intentionally write a book with an idea of 'the moral to this story is," he said in a 2000 interview. "I'm more focused on letting the people in the book live. I just try to do my best. I never know if I've hit the nail on the head, if it's really worked, until I put it out there for people to read."