I like to think Richard Wagamese and I are friends.
I can't bear to put that in the past tense because I never got to meet him and the opportunity won't come now. I won't bump into him on the street and introduce myself as his fan and fellow writer, though I will be quick to add that my writing isn't at his level.
He won't assure me we are all family, all of us who share this county. He won't smile at me with his beautiful smile, and gather me in and advise me to write from my heart the way he did—letting down all the barriers; being open and vulnerable on the page.