If I recall correctly, the first Stephen King book I read was “The Stand”, though that was actually his fourth novel. After that I HAD to go back and read his first three; “Carrie”, “Salem’s Lot” and “The Shining” but “The Stand” was my favorite until I read “It” and “It” was my favorite until I read “Misery” which has retained that position through the years.
And of course I thought I had hit the motherlode when I discovered his stories written under the Richard Bachman pen name.
King is also the author “On Writing” of one my favorite books about the art of writing. The first copy I bought was the paperback version because that was all the bookstore had. I devoured it in one day, and returned to it so many times I lost count. For years I looked in bookstores all across the country and could still only find the paperback version until one day a little over a year ago I stumbled into a used bookstore in Asheville, NC and they had the hardback version. I was ecstatic! I gave the paperback copy to my son and the hardback now occupies a place of importance on my bookshelves.
Like “On Writing”, Stephen King’s interview with The Rolling Stone on the day after Halloween (how apropos) gives us insight into the mind and imagination of the man who can doubtless be called the modern day master of horror. He takes us down memory lane to explain his years of alcohol and drug abuse, walks us through his process of writing (he still writes 7 days a week, after breakfast and a 2 to 3 mile walk), and reveals his belief in some kind of god figure while also stating, “My view is that organized religion is a very dangerous tool that’s been misused by a lot of people.”
King was almost killed 15 years ago when he was hit by a van while out walking near his home in Maine. It’s sobering to think that most likely (unless one of his family members finished some that were left) his last 19 books would not have seen the light of day.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.