Yesterday, he celebrated his 69th birthday. To me, and numerous other writers in the horror genre, King is the sole reason we fell in love with horror fiction. And while many will argue that King's work over the few decades hasn't been as good as his earlier classics, such as THE SHINING, 'SALEM'S LOT, PET SEMETERY, IT, and THE STAND...well, for my money, King has only gotten better with age.
Have you read JOYLAND? Or his recently released Bill Hodges trilogy? Or DOCTOR SLEEP, the sequel to THE SHINING?
All truly amazing books and proof positive that King is just as masterful and powerful a storyteller as he was back in the day.
For me, back in 1985-86, and just freshly graduated from high school and starting my first year in college, I was browsing the aisles in a local bookstore in the Edison Mall. I came across a paperback copy of PET SEMETERY, with the classic murky dark cover of the cat, Church, jaws gaping, green eyes bright and somehow full of malicious intent, set against a backdrop of a night-shrouded cemetery, and the silhouette of a man...holding something in his arms.
Needless to say, I devoured the book, the first of many, and found the next thing--the ONLY thing--I wanted to write. I'd been writing for 5 years and while I enjoyed it, I hungered for something else...the stuff I'd been writing reflected what I'd been reading, mostly action-adventure serials. Fun...but not fulfilling.
Always having been a fan of horror movies, especially the old classics shown on the Saturday afternoon Creature Feature, gravitating to horror fiction only seemed fitting...and right.
THANK YOU, Stephen King, for all the wonderful stories you've given us, your true and faithful readers, and how important and inspirational you've been, and continue to be in our lives.