April 25, 2013 / 11:55 AM / 6 years ago

Novelist Banks "stunned" by fan support over terminal cancer

LONDON (Reuters) - Scottish author Iain Banks, who announced this month he was suffering from terminal cancer, said he was “stunned” by the messages of support he has received from his fans.

The “Wasp Factory” author said he was deeply flattered and touched by all the responses left on the website Banksophilia, which was set up by his friend Martin Belk.

“Good grief! - what an outpouring of love, affection and respect. I honestly had no idea,” he wrote.

“Discovering the sheer extent and depth of the feelings people have expressed on the message board over the past two weeks has been truly astounding,” he added.

Banks, 59, said his problems came to light after a visit to his doctor about a sore back. Tests revealed he was not only suffering from jaundice but also cancer in his gall bladder.

He announced his illness on his website on April 3, before he canceled all future public engagements.

The author, who also writes science fiction under the name of Iain M Banks, said that as a late-stage gall bladder cancer patient he is only expected to live for a few months.

Banks has returned to Britain after a short honeymoon with his wife Adele in Paris and Venice to continue working on his new book “The Quarry.”

Born in Fife, Banks studied at Stirling University before publishing “The Wasp Factory”, his first novel, in 1984.

In 2008, he was named one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945 in a list compiled by the Times newspaper.

Banks said he would be looking “seriously” at the medical advice and suggestions made by his fans and would continue to post the occasional update for as long as he is able.

“I feel treasured, I feel loved ... and I can’t deny I’ve been made to feel very special indeed,” he added.

Editing by Paul Casciato

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