My obsession with Stephen King’s writing started when I was about 13. I was staying the night at a friends house and she had a book laying on her shelf. Me being me, I made a stupid joke because the books name was Carrie and her name was Carrie. She laughed (to be nice I am sure!), then told me it was a really good story and let me borrow the book.
Reading was something I had just gotten into but up to this point I had been reading books like “Sweet Valley High” and “Nancy Drew” with few biographies mixed in. The way I remember it (
and pardon my memory as I’m really really old) I started reading the book and couldn’t put it down until I was finished. It was amazing! Nothing like anything I had ever read before. The story was so vivid and felt real to me, like it was alive and breathing.
From that point on I was hooked. I went to the library and checked out Cujo, then Pet Cemetery, then The Talisman, and anything else that had the Stephen King name on it. His writing is real. He doesn’t sugar coat the hard stuff, or make the story feel nice just because. Some people say he has diarrhea of the pen, going on forever in a story, but I love the detail. When I read one of his books I always make sure it is the unabridged version. I want to know everything and miss nothing! He takes you down the rabbit hole and tells you about every single rabbit. Giving you the details and depth of all the people. Making you want to read more and more!
To date I have read probably 95% of all his works, I have a shelf dedicated to him in my living room. Stephen King has over 60 publications, written over 200 short stories, and is one of the most well known authors in the world.
My father once tried to ban me from reading King, saying his stories were not appropriate for a girl of my age. To defend my reading choices I stated that some Stephen King’s books had been turned into movies. My dad then stated something like “Yeah horror movies like Carrie”. I asked him what his favorite movie was. “Stand by Me and The Shawshank Redemption”.
Laughing, I told him that King wrote both of those stories those movies are based on. He was not happy, I had to go get the books and prove King wrote them. (The Body and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, respectively)
He was then shocked the King wrote Silver Bullet (based on Cycle of the Werewolf). After that he was fine with me reading King’s stories, he would even read them with me. It was wonderful to share that with him. We even had some fun conversations about King’s writing from time to time. When I officially started collecting all the King books, my dad bought me a copy of the book “My Pretty Pony”, which is an extremely rare book of his to get. It still sits wrapped on the top of my shelf.
What I find so intriguing about King’s work is how varied his stories can be. How can you write stories like The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, and then write stories like Carrie and Misery. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all those stories, but they are vastly different. When you read them you feel different things, it amazes me.
Reading that first book of his changed me. I started reading everything I could find of his and then moved on to anything in the horror genre. I also started writing, but I found out quickly that was not my calling. To this day I get excited when he has a new book coming out. I buy the hard copy to read and put on my shelf and the audio book to listen to when I travel.
Thank you Carrie for sharing with me that first book.