Dear Stephen King,
I am writing this because I would very much like to talk to you at this moment, and I am probably going to end up posting this on my blog because well, you don’t have a public email address and in all honesty I could not figure out the message board on your website. I know you probably won’t get it, but whatever, because I am writing it.
You shouldn’t really write to an author if you haven’t read their books yet, or at least one of them. Well, exactly 7 minutes since I am writing this sentence I finished reading On Writing. I still don’t feel like I have read one of your works though, even if you did write it, simply because it wasn’t one of your fiction ones. I will eventually though because I bought Bag of Bones for 50c in a market the other day. I’m not really sure what it’s about (I’m not very good with synopses, I just tend to either go, “Ooh pretty cover let’s read that,” or “I just want to try this one. Dunno why.”) I saw your name and knew I wanted to try one of your books at some point, and seeing as it was cheap I thought “Why not?”
I started your book 6 months ago, then got bored around page 80 (sorry, I am sure you don’t want to hear your book is boring) and then picked it up today randomly while I was eating breakfast. Then I read the whole thing in one sitting. Did I agree with all your writing advice? No. Some of it I did, and some of it I didn’t. But that’s how things are with everyone – you can’t always agree on everything even if one of them is Stephen King. Lots of the advice I had already heard around but what I liked most about reading it was that I liked seeing how it implied personally to you. If that doesn’t make me sound too stalkerish.
The best bit in my opinion was a couple of pages at the end. I’m not sure you will like some appealing to your retelling of your accident as ‘the best bit’ but it’s the truth. I’m not saying I can relate to this (I have been hit by a car more than once but I was cycling and well the effects were never terribly bad) but I feel like I can on some level. I inwardly cringed when hearing the diagnosis of your injuries. But that wasn’t the ‘best’ bit I had mentioned. It was the recovery.
I have a younger sister who is disabled and they say she won’t be able to walk again (believing that is another matter. I always have hope) and well, any kind of disability is one that I feel like I can understand even if I am not my little sister. I have been at her side through the highs and the lows, and when she needs something she is probably calling me to get it. I don’t mind that. But well, hearing your recovery story was uplifting. I like how you pulled through it. I like how you went back to writing. I also like how your wife was (and probably is) so supporting. If you ever do read this, make sure you say hi to her from me. I’m not quite your fan yet, though I might be after reading a fiction book of yours. But through reading On Writing I did become a fan of hers.
I’m working on my own novel called Eyes Wide Shut and I have a message I want it to deliver, which is something I feel quite strongly about. I’m not going to be sharing the details online because all kind of idea-thieves are out there, but even if your advice didn’t tell me anything new because I’d heard it one way or another, it did motivate me with my writing some more and I have a few new ideas of where I can take it after this.
So thank you for that.
Now let me go try and put some more effort in working that message board. It would be nice to leave it there even if you don’t see it in the end.
Olivia's Catastrophe: Have you ever written to an author?