“Reading is the creative centre of a writer’s life. I take a book with me everywhere I go, and find there are all sorts of opportunities to dip in”.
It has been many years since I read my first Stephen King Novel (Christine), as a teenager, supposed to be long asleep. That novel left a lasting impression and in my early adulthood, I enjoyed many of his novels including The Dead Zone, The Green Mile, Needful Things, The Stand, Salem’s Lot, Cujo, Pet Cemetery to name a few. Recently, I listened to his new audio book Drunken Fireworks and our book club assignment for October is to each pick a Stephen King novel to read and discuss. Unlike King’s other works, On Writing is a non-fiction choice – telling his memoir including tips about writing.
King shared that he had grown up poor, cared for by his hard working single mother. He was creative from a young age and collected refusal letters on a nail in the wall. He did not give up and kept writing, learning from his failures and taking heed to the valued comments from publishers. He held numerous jobs including laundry and teaching high school English. His role as an English teacher has stuck with him as he details the importance of proper grammar and writing style in this memoir.
The author not only has a vivid imagination but lived through alcoholism and cocaine use. He is very open about his addiction and the living conditions that he and his wife, Tabitha experienced in their early marriage before he successfully sold his first novel. He gives his wife enormous credit in supporting him and in reviewing his pre-published work. He is an avid reader, learning from other books and admits that, “I’m a slow reader, but I usually get through seventy or eighty books in a year, mostly fiction.”
This book has renewed my interest in Stephen King and I need to decide whether to reread a previously enjoyed novel or read a new (to me) tale (or both depending on time). The years have not been easy for this author, overcoming addictions and then recovering from a serious car accident and it would be interesting to know more about his rehabilitation experience and the impact of his injuries years later. Reading this memoir has given me a greater respect for this talented author who is trying share his love of writing with his audience.
“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better”
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