Friday, May 22, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature-Jerry B. Jenkins-Whatever God Calls Me to Do






Today we welcome author:
Jerry B. Jenkins

One commenter will win 
a copy of Jerry's new release: 
Empire's End







Mary here. My son and I read all of the adult Left Behind series. My daughter and I read all the Left Behind Kid series. These books gave me an opportunity to discuss Bible topics with my children. I've respected Jerry's writings for a long time and even took the apprentice writing course with Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild. The course jumpstarted my writing and taught me a wealth of information about the craft. When I heard Jerry was releasing a new book, I took a chance and asked him to join us here on Let's Talk. This busy man quickly made a space in his schedule for us! I asked him to share how God has led him in his writing journey. This is what he said.



Being the Best I Can Be
at Whatever God Calls Me to Do


When I was a kid, baseball was my life. The sport dominated my heart, soul, and mind, even to the exclusion of my childhood faith. I wasn’t a bad kid, but all I wanted was to become a big league ballplayer someday, and I didn’t realize how the game had taken over my life until I was injured as a freshman in high school and that dream ended.

I turned to sports writing to stay close to the athletic scene and realized immediately I had found my niche. I wasn’t any good at it yet, of course, but I had a knack for writing because I had been reading the sports pages religiously since I was a child.

I had to get a quarter million clichés out of my system and learn a lot about the craft, but I was an eager student and somehow realized perfecting this skill would be a lifelong pursuit. My mother became a convicting model in this because she was both a piano teacher and a piano student well into her 80s.

Looking older than my age was an advantage at 14 (not so much now), and I was able to talk my way into a part time job covering high school sports for the local daily newspaper. Still two years shy of qualifying for a driver’s license, I had to have my parents drive me to the ball games and to the newspaper office.  Yet I was paid a dollar per inch for whatever of my copy made it into print each day, so I can say I’ve been a professional writer for more than 50 years.

Forced to free myself from my baseball obsession–at least as a player–I was able to get serious again about my faith and put Christ back on the throne of my life. This led to a summer camp experience where I felt a distinct and definite call to full time Christian work. I assumed that meant I would eventually have to give up my writing and prepare to become a missionary or a pastor.

However, a wise counselor advised me that God often equips a person before He calls him and that He might have given me my writing gift as the vehicle with which to obey His call.

Recognizing the beauty of that truth set the course for a life I would never have dreamt possible. And my own father wisely counseled me that I should never strive for success as defined by society–book sales, royalty checks, bestseller lists, etc.–but rather by being the best I could be at whatever I was called to do: in my case, following the call to full-time Christian work.

So, while my writing career has resulted in what many would call phenomenal success, even in the world’s eyes, I can honestly say that has never been my focus. Obedience has been the point.

I urge writers to:

  *Never compare yourself to anyone else, but be the best writer you can be

  *Never sacrifice your family on the altar of worldly success, because you’ll write
         better without guilt when you put them ahead of your writing

  *Make obedience to God, not success, your aim


You can control only the quality of the work you do. The vagaries of the marketplace determine all the rest. Obedience is success.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jerry and his wife Dianna


Jerry Jenkins has been steeped in the craft of writing for more than 40 years. With 21 New York Times bestsellers (seven debuting at #1), 186 books, and over 70 million copies sold, he has become one of the most commercially successful writers of our time.

Lucky guy? An overnight success? Hardly.

Jerry's from-the-trenches perspective on how to achieve success is quite the opposite of a conventional approach. He espouses working fiercely and with discipline and leaving the results to the marketplace.

"Left Behind was my 125th book — but not a lot of people realize that."
Jerry wrote that 16-title culture-shifting series for Dr. Tim LaHaye, and the publishing world now refers to it as "the Left Behind phenomenon." Several books in the series hit the New York Times bestseller list, selling over 62 million copies.

Jerry has seen unprecedented success in both fiction and nonfiction. His insatiable pursuit of great stories has led him to achievement as a biographer to icons such as Hank Aaron, Orel Hershiser, Walter Payton, Meadowlark Lemon, Nolan Ryan, Mike Singletary, B.J. Thomas, and many other men and women. The Hershiser and Ryan books reached the New York Times bestseller list, as did his most recent work, The Matheny Manifesto, with baseball's most successful young manager Mike Matheny.

Jerry also assisted Dr. Billy Graham with his memoirs, Just As I Am (also a New York Times bestseller), which he considers the privilege of a lifetime.


For the full list of Jerry's published books, click here.




Here is how you can connect with Jerry:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A Novel of the Apostle Paul

Jerry B. Jenkins’s new novel is filled with adventure, drama, historic people and places, and even romance. Empire’s End tells the story of a man who single- handedly turned the Roman Empire on-end. Only a few snapshots of Paul’s life are revealed in the Bible. In this fictional account, Jenkins tells of a devout Jewish scholar, who after only three years in the Arabian wilderness, emerges as the greatest Christian theologian in history. This novel explains how, after supervising the death of Jesus’s disciples, Paul would be moved to effectively conquer the Roman Empire with a message about a Jewish man named Jesus. You’ll be captured by the shocking “thorn in the flesh” that burdened Paul’s heart. Empire’s End will cause you to rethink whether Paul ever experienced the love of a woman or the embrace of a child.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To enter the contest for a copy of 
Jerry's new release:
Empire's End
(the book will be released June 9)
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this blog
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already

Sorry, US only

The winner will be announced on my Facebook page

Thank you, Jerry, for joining us this weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.

Thanks for stopping by!


Don't forget to comment!


16 comments:

  1. Hey Mary. I LOVE reading Jerry B. Jenkins! He is so AWESOME! Great interview. I can't wait to read Empire's End. It's sounds like a must read for today.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Caryl :)
      Good to see you this morning. Hope you helped yourself to some virtual tea or coffee. This morning I am drinking coffee with cream.
      I, too, am excited to read Empire's End. I really like Biblical fiction, and Saul/Paul had quite the exciting life.
      What I found interesting about Jerry's life was his love for baseball and intent to make that his career. I'm so glad he became a writer..although I have a feeling he watches many baseball games and has his favorite team.
      Good chatting with you, Caryl.

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    2. Thanks Caryl and Mary Vee. Yes, I'm still a baseball freak and a lifelong Cub fan (there's a crucible for you!). Tonight, however, Dianna and I are in Kansas City visiting our son and daughter-in-law and four of our grandchildren, so we'll attend the Royals game where the Cardinals are playing, as my current nonfiction book is with the Cards' manager Mike Matheny. So I'll reconnect with him. Great fun. Jerry J.

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  2. Great review Mary! I love Jerry's books, they are always riveting! Would love to read this one too! my email is: shellymae1002@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind comments, Michelle.

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    2. Good morning Michelle.
      Your word, riveting, tells the story of Jerry's books. So true. I think I set the reading record with the last book I read of his.
      So nice to see you, and welcome to Let's Talk!

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  3. Great review Mary! I love Jerry's books, they are always riveting! Would love to read this one too! my email is: shellymae1002@yahoo.com

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  4. The problem with Jerry's writing is that it is so incredibly adictive. I was first exposed to it when the dramatized audio program came on the radio. I found the program riveting so I borrowed the four books that had been released thus far from a friend. For days I lived out my then sulky teen nirvana, by hiding away in my room and inhaling the series. sleep, school, and everything else went the way of the dodo, thanks to those books. Needless to say since this was around midterm exam season I didn't fare so well grade wise. The man can sure craft a page turner, in fact he does it too well. His books are like a drug.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would you believe Art Vandelay optioned one of my novels for a screen play (for a movie that never got made), and my wife and I got to meet him for breakfast in Hollywood and found out he and I share a birthday (he's exactly 10 years younger than I)? As you know his real name, check out his birthday and you'll know mine. :)

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    2. For those reading, the "Art" in this comment is actually my son. What my son said in his comment was true. He was really engaged in the books. We read them together, having our own copies. He always finished before me. In truth, I didn't know the real Art Vandelay and thanks to your comment, Jerry, I know the rest of the story. :)

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    3. In this case the name is an homage to the pseudonym of George Costanza from the TV show Seinfeld. I almost never use my real name online. Still Jerry, your books are truly wonderful keep them coming.

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    4. What a coincidence then that the name you chose to use this time was linked to Jerry's connections. ;)

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  5. How special to see Jerry Jenkins on your blog, Mary. I was at a writer's conference last year and got to see the new Left Behind movie before its formal release date. It was such a treat for my husband and me to hear Jerry speak about the movie. The movie was great!

    I would love to win a copy of his book if my entry is not too late. Thanks for always doing such a good job on your blog!
    Blessings, Janice
    jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Janice,
      Thanks for stopping in. I saw the movie, too. As a book reader, I always prefer the books, but did enjoy the movie.
      Good to see you, :)

      Delete
  6. How special to see Jerry Jenkins on your blog, Mary. I was at a writer's conference last year and got to see the new Left Behind movie before its formal release date. It was such a treat for my husband and me to hear Jerry speak about the movie. The movie was great!

    I would love to win a copy of his book if my entry is not too late. Thanks for always doing such a good job on your blog!
    Blessings, Janice
    jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

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