Sunday, July 08, 2007

Stephen King -- Prince of a Man

Now I've never been a big fan of Stephen King's books. That's not true. Well, not untrue, either, but it sounded like I don't like his books. That's not it. I simply haven't read him. Horror just isn't my favorite thing. (Did you read my description of how many days(weeks) it took me to watch The Shining (movie of one of his books) on video? How could I possible read it???)

But since I've become a writer myself, I find myself admiring Stephen King more and more and more. It's not that I've actually started reading him (although I am really intrigued by Lisey's Story and will probably read that) it's more about who he seems to be as a person (through his words and actions), and how he helps other writers.

I first fell into a deep admiration of him when I read his book On Writing. When I read the speech he delivered on winning a National Book Award my admiration of him increased and his words helped me deal with my own turmoil over my decision to write genre fiction instead of "serious literature".

And today, again, on reading this article my admiration grew.

The article's a generous, objective and interesting take on the end of the Harry Potter series from the perspective of another writer and without an ounce of bitterness, criticism or jealousy. But what really stood out for me in the article and inspired me to blog, is how he TWICE mentioned a manuscript he's just read and really loved. He didn't need to do that.

How thrilling for Lauren Groff, the writer of said manuscript to a) have him read it, b) have him love it and c) have him possess the grace and generosity to use the platform of this article about the end of the Harry Potter series, to mention that he loved this woman's not yet released book. SO HUGE for her.

One classy dude.


Nelsa said...

Thanks for the link to his article, Maureen. I was once a very strong Stephen King fan but that was back in my teens and twenties. Now, I'm more of a fan of his philosophies on writing and his generosity of spirit for writers. I took my 14 yr old daughter to see him get his lifetime achievement award at BookExpo and he was a thoroughly entertaining speaker (not easy to keep a teenager entertained, let me tell you). I think now, more than his books, it is his honesty about his writing, and the world of reading that is inspiring to me. He tells it like it is and has little pretension. Very likeable human being altogether.

Anonymous said...

I have such a writer crush on Stephen King. I have this fantasy where I get to go to his house and discuss books with him and his wife.

Maureen McGowan said...


I share your crush/fantasy. (Maybe I should read a few of his books before he asks me over, though. LOL)

Christine d'Abo said...

I love that man. I've been reading his books since I was 12 and can't get enough of him. I actually haven't read the last book in the Dark Tower series because I DON'T want it to end (I really do need to finish that).

And you're right about what an awesome thing he did for that writer.

Kristin said...


There are plenty of Stephen King books that don't really qualify as horror. I would suggest you read some of his human studies, like "Misery" or "Dolores Claiborne." Yes, there are a few icky descriptions (which are easy enough to skip, if you're feeling queasy). King is an absolute master of character. And when he writes about real people separate from the ghosts and evil spirits/forces, he is very accessible for even the most ardent of horror haters.

You are really missing out on some amazing storytelling!

Mia King said...

Maureen, I am so glad I took a moment to read all of your links - they revived me! A wonderful post. Now if some of that Stephen King juju can rub off on an author only a couple of titles away on the shelf ... ;-)

Wylie Kinson said...

Love him. I USED to love his books, but I sort of grew out of his horror stuff in my 20's. Loved his book on writing, and like Kristin says - go with Delores Claiborne (Misery had a few 'EEEEWWW' scenes).

Hope you're having fun at Nationals!
I'm sitting home sulking.
Good luck on Sat night!!!!!

Sara Hantz said...

I've only read one of his books - too scary for me - but his On Writing is an absolute must for any writer, in my opinion!

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