Some readers have likened my books and stories to Stephen King. First up, wow! That is some compliment, and I'm always humbled followed by the idea they have my stories mixed up with another author's.
Secondly, its no accident. I have grown up on Stephen King.
I'm old enough to have read Carrie in its first printing and seen the film when it released in the cinemas. I still credit Salem's Lot as being the book that scared the heck out of me more than any other book. And I've read The Exorcist at thirteen! (Yes, I know I was weird and still am.)
When discussing authors of this genre (which I am not even sure what genre we're talking about. Is it really Horror? I call it dark thriller.), I say you only bought the other author's books, Dean Koontz, James Herbert, Peter Straub, Whitley Strieber, etc. to keep you going until the next Stephen King arrived on the shelves.
His short stories just captivated me, and they still do. When I first started writing, almost thirty years ago, I wanted to write short stories like his, with full characters that hinted of a life behind the story, and left you wondering what happened after (that's if the character survived). If not for him, I probably wouldn't have written so many short stories.
While I didn't love his follow up to The Shining, the pretty droll Doctor Sleep, I did adore 11/22/63. If you haven't read it, it's masterful. I never wanted it to end. The Dome was a fabulous read, too. So despite the hiccup of Doctor Sleep, I am eagerly awaiting Mr Mercedes. Something tells me this is going to be a fabulous book and back to the King that I love.
I write dark thrillers, and I'm proud that somewhere in my mind circulates the dozens of Stephen King stories that I have read and reread. Perhaps,if not for King I may have never traveled down the writing path.
His book, On Writing, is a must for writers. He says it all. Its pretty simple to write. You need to read a lot, write a lot, and, I will add, love your characters. For as dark and terrible are the minds of his characters, you can tell he loves them, along with every fault they possess. You can't write bad guys until you understand them, and when you do you can't help feel something for them.
Yes, he's wordy sometimes, and some of his subplots, that I call his "I digress" moments, go nowhere and probably aren't necessary to the plot. Yet they're mostly worth the journey.
So here's to Mr Mercedes out in June 2014. I can't wait. And here is the master himself describing where he got the idea for the book.
Do share in the comments who is your inspiration if you are a writer, or favourite author if you are a wonderful reader...
And for your further entertainment if you are a writer, here's the best advice anyone can give you on writing. In fact, its the big secret of writing. This makes me laugh every time I watch it.
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