Great insights here from two very accomplished writers – in very different genres. King and Jenkins have been friends for a while, and were interviewed together by Writer’s Digest. Good advice and inspiration for authors and aspiring authors.
HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET?
JENKINS: We happened to have the same audio reader, a brilliant voice actor named Frank Muller. In November 2001 Frank was in a horrible motorcycle accident that left him brain damaged, incapacitated and barely able to speak. One of Frank’s brothers started a foundation to assist with the obscene expenses, and Stephen became aware that I was helping out.
Stephen was carrying the lion’s share, undoubtedly contributing more than half of the total the foundation raised, but he called me one day to thank me for my part and to suggest other ways we might be able to help Frank. Needless to say, when my assistant told me Stephen King was on the phone, I quickly ran through my list of practical joking friends to decide how to greet whoever was claiming to be him. But, just in case, I said my usual, “This is Jerry.”
I had to squelch a laugh when he said, “Steve King.”
Who calls Stephen King “Steve”? Well, Stephen King does. We learned that we read each other’s stuff and laughed about being strange bedfellows. Then we agreed to [meet to] visit Frank at a rehabilitation facility.
WHAT COMPELS YOU TO WRITE?
JENKINS: I write because I can’t do anything else. I like to say I don’t sing or dance or preach; this is all I do. But I [also] have a passion for my subject matter. I was a sportswriter as a teenager (after being injured playing sports), but felt called to full-time Christian work. I thought that would mean I’d have to give up writing and become a pastor or a missionary. I was thrilled to find out I could use my budding writing gift and accomplish the same thing.
KING: Jerry’s direct and correct: I can’t do anything else. And every day I marvel that I can get money for doing something I enjoy so much.