Tom Clancy, who died Monday, became good friends with a local Army general during one of the best-selling author's book-writing projects.

Clancy and retired Army Gen. Fred Franks Jr., a native of West Lawn and a graduate of Wilson Area High School in Berks County, collaborated in the writing of "Into the Storm: A Study in Command."

Clancy and Franks, a four-star general, appeared together at a book signing event at the Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing on June 5, 1997.

"Fred's a real hero, and it's a privilege to hang out with heroes," Clancy said of Franks that night.

The book focused on Franks and his role as an armor and infantry commander during the first Persian Gulf war. It is available for sale in various versions on Amazon.