Monday, March 30, 2009

On Newsstands April 4...

Strange Bedfellows

Several years ago my assistant buzzed me and said, “Stephen King on the line for you.”

I have any number of friends who would pull such a prank, but I fought the urge to say, “John Grisham here.”

It turned out that it was really him. We happened to have the same audio reader (a brilliant voice actor named Frank Muller) who performed our books on tape and disc. Frank was about my age but had married late and had kids the age of my grandkids. In the fall of 2001 he’d had a horrible motorcycle accident and was left severely brain damaged. I showed up on Stephen King’s radar because we were both trying to help out. He had called to suggest other ways we could assist the family, including visiting Frank in rehab.
Frank Muller

During the conversation I said, “It may surprise you to know that I’m a reader of yours.” I told Stephen that while I wasn’t into horror fiction, I had read many of his short stories and that The Green Mile was one of my favorite novels.

He said, “It may surprise you to know that I’m a reader of yours.”

Surprised doesn’t begin to describe it. Frank had given him copies of some of the Left Behind series.

Stephen and I enjoyed a nice chat and then spent a day together a few months later at Frank’s rehab center. We began an e-mail relationship that continues to this day, and we still laugh about having our driver swing through McDonald’s drive-through so we could enjoy Big Macs on the way back to the airport.

The May/June issue of Writer’s Digest reunites us, on newsstands this month.

(Frank Muller died last year.)

Stephen and me in 2004. We've both changed a bit in five years.

8 comments:

The Waggoners said...

Neat story, Uncle Jerry. Love the design of the magazine cover.

Cyndy Salzmann said...

I've been a reader of both of you, too. Looking forward to WD.

Felicity said...

This is awesome! I love unlikely friendships!

Kathy said...

I love the way this friendship was birthed through reaching out to someone else.

cristina said...

i agree with kathy...

and this will be the first issue of WD that i purchase. looking forward to it.

Derrick & Jena Simms said...

I will buy my first copy of WD in April. Love this unlikely friendship, you go Mr. Jenkins, what a good example of stepping outside your faith boundary.

Barbara J. Robinson said...

It's a small world. Amazingly, you were both reading each other and didn't even know it until ...
Barb

Ann said...

As writers and readers, even if we do not share the same affection of a certain genre, we do share the need for good writing craft. You and Stephen far exceed the usual pack. Your friendship helps new writers, such as myself, explore beyond what we would normally read- to glean tips on how to write. Because of my dislike of horror stories, I might never have picked up Stephen King's book/memoir, "On Writing", except that in my Christian Writers Guild materials his name, as a skilled author(not genre)was mentioned favorably. His book memoir is a wonderful read. Thanks for the friendship.