Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Book Table Reunion by Andy Scheer

At Mount Hermon a few years ago with
James Scott Bell and Angela Hunt.
You never know when you're going to run into an old friend, especially if you're involved in the world of writing.

This past Saturday morning my wife and I headed out on our daily walk, venturing into the neighborhood just west of us. My wife had checked online for garage sales and guided us toward a street where we'd find a sale.

“That's the street where Jeff Gerke lives,” I said, “the guy who runs Marcher Lord Press.” As we approached mid-block, I suspected the sale might even be at Jeff's house.

It was. Technically not a garage sale, Jeff's wife was conducting a fund-raiser for a friend with cancer. Besides lots of childrens clothes and computer items, there were tables loaded with books. I let my wife see if there were any nice outfits for our granddaughter, and I gravitated toward the good stuff.

Jeff walked from his house into the garage, spotted me at the table full of Christian fiction, and came over to shake hands.

The moment stood in contrast to the irony of our usual meetings. Though we live less than a five-minute drive away, we typically see each other only at writers conferences, at such places as Estes Park, Colorado; Leesburg, Florida; or Overland Park, Kansas. Even when you live in the same community—and the community is home to several publishing houses and dozens of writers—the best place to run into another writer, editor, or agent is still at a conference.

Jeff and I chatted awhile, getting caught up on what had happened since we'd last seen each other, in March at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. That's when I glanced down at the table of Christian fiction and had my reunion.

There on the table were lots of friends: Gayle Roper and Brandilyn Collins and Al Gansky and Rene Gutteridge and many others I've known for years—some just through their books and others through meetings at conferences. I was glad to run into them again at Jeff's. I wonder where else they were that weekend.


sally apokedak said...

Very cool. Buying fiction from a publisher at his garage sale would be great. But kind of sad that you all live so close and you never get together locally. I'd invite people for a quarterly pub night if I lived in your neighborhood. Or a Starbuck's night. Or something. But maybe you all have crit groups already that fill your need for companionship with strange writer types.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Oooh, Starbucks night sounds fun, Sally! And sounds like a very productive and fun yard sale experience!

Andy Scheer said...

I suggest the Starbucks at Woodmen & Rangewood--just down the road from David C. Cook.