Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How Writing Ruined My Wife—Now I’m a Book Collector Too

My wife had this autographed—to me.

I was perfectly happy not being a reader. Oh I can read, I just never much cared to. I made it all way through school—with a master’s degree in engineering—without commercial fiction. I thought I was safe…then my wife began writing.

I love stories, but on the screen if you please, portrayed by talented actors. Text on the page just didn’t do it for me. But Edie was convinced I was missing out on something. So she began bringing me home books from authors she’d meet at conferences.

And she’d have them autographed—to me.

Have you ever tried to get rid of a personally autographed book? I just don’t have the stuff it takes to do that. I know the author’s not going to know. But it feels so cold and heartless.

So I let them pile up on my bedside table…

                                              and on the floor…

                                                 and in stacks against the wall.

In case you hadn’t noticed, my wife is one determined lady when she sets her mind to something. And she was determined I’d learn to love books. So one night I caved. I picked up a book by Alton Gansky, and couldn’t put it down. Over the next few years I made it through all those stacks. I had definitely become a book lover.

But still she wasn’t satisfied.

I admit it, I had a blast at Blue Ridge last year!
Now she wanted me to meet all those authors she’d become friends with. If you remember my post from last week, you know socializing with a roomful of famous strangers was NOT on my top ten list of things I wanted to do. Truthfully, it wasn’t even in the top one hundred.

She kept nudging though, and finally I agreed to accompany her to a conference where she was part of the faculty. You may have heard of it, the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina. Al Gansky is the director and Edie’s the co-director. I figured what with being in charge and teaching, I’d relax on my own and she’d be too busy to introduce me around.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. (Have you noticed how that seems to keep happening?)

Left to right: Alton Gansky, James Rubart, Kirk Melson
And even though I’m still not a people person, I have to admit I loved hanging out with all these writers. They’re funny, humble, and a whole lot smarter than me. I even got to have pizza with two of my favorites, Jim (that’s James to those who don’t know him) Rubart and Al Gansky.

Then, the last day of the conference, when everyone was leaving, planes got delayed and rerouted and we ended up bringing Jim home with us to fly out of Greenville the next morning. I had gobbled up his three bestselling books, Rooms, The Chair, and Book of Days. I knew it would be great to have him with us, if only for a couple of hours.

I think there's plenty of room for another plaque for Al
I even kidded him about naming the guest room after his first book, telling him we’d call it Room, in honor of his being there and put a plaque over the bed. I know he thought I wasn’t serious, but what do you think of the plaque?

This year I just found out Al and family are coming in early for the conference and will be staying with us. I guess I’ll have to add another plaque on the wall of the guest room.

Now that I’ve become a total author groupie, I have to ask. Am I the only one out there? Do any of you have authors you’d love to meet? Also, I seem to be running a little low on reading material. 

Any recommendations for a good book?


  1. Thank you, Kirk. Now that you have this blog every week, I can always depend on a good laugh on Wednesdays. :-)

  2. There's not enough room here for the list of authors I would love to meet. Through ACFW, I have "met" many through the venue of email. And, you're right - just to hear the inside stories on some of their books is amazing.
    May I take your wife's advice to market a bit? If you need a quick read, check out my debut book, THE BLESSING SEER available on Amazon/Kindle.
    So enjoying your posts!

  3. Yes, I do have several authors I'd like to meet. Two that come to mind are Karen Kingsbury and Debbie Macomber. And as far as reading material, pick something up from either of those ladies. And Kirk, while you're at it, get Edie a new knitting book...I'm sure she could use one! Love you, Edie!

  4. I'm with Vonda here, Kirk. I forgot today was Wednesday but when I read "how writing ruined my wife in my inbox it immediately made me smile and anticipate a wonderful read. The pictures are wonderful too!

  5. Kirk,
    Thank you, there is hope. I have a family of six and only three of us are avid readers. I'm still working on the other three. Thanks to you I'll keep letting the books pile up!

    Alena T.

  6. Thanks for the smile. My husband's too busy reading tire manuals, home improvement books, and the like to be an avid reader of fiction. However, he has read my book and has sold copies of it to truckers, construction bosses, and other clients he serves through the tire business he manages. Funny thing, my book is an inspirational romance, but I suppose I put enough adventure in it to interest the guys.