MISHAWAKA, IND. – Best-selling author Jerry B. Jenkins, visited Bethel College this past Tuesday. He visited for a brief 50 minutes, just enough time for a Q&A session with Bethel’s aspiring writers and faculty. Senior Spencer French and Suzie Miley led the discussion with questions regarding Jenkins’ childhood and how he continues to create quality works after 194 books including the Left Behind series. One student asked Jenkins how he continues to write successful books after writing for so long. “Success is obedience, which means finishing a book to the best of my ability, not building a best seller,” he said.
Jenkins said the most important thing he could ever share with new writers is to always make your deadlines, no matter what. He explained that more than 50 percent of writers don’t make their deadlines, so it is something a writer can do to set themselves apart from the rest. Another reason Jenkins keeps returning to the best-seller list is because he refuses to cut corners. He almost spends more time doing research than he does writing the books.He likens himself to a marathon runner -- training and preparing is fun, and once you finish you feel amazing and accomplished, but between that time the writing is grueling. “Writing is not for the faint of heart,” he said. While Jenkins himself did not attend Bethel, he has loved ones tying him back to the college. In fact, Bethel’s baseball stadium, Jenkins Stadium, is named after him. Emily Sherwood, Director of Alumni Relations, said Jenkins had an uncle who attended Bethel in the ’70s, Jenkins’ son played baseball for Bethel and graduated in 2002, and his Jenkins’ wife, Dianna Jenkins, was on the Board of Trustees in the early 2000s.