We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why. Not until the future eats the present, anyway. We know when it`s too late. ~Stephen King
Dear Mr. King,
We’ve never met, and probably never will. I’m just a small-time writer in Georgia and I’ve never been to Maine. In fact, odds are that you’ll never read this. That’s okay. There’s nothing here that hasn’t been written to you a million times.
As a reader, I just want to say thanks. I grew up reading your books. Thanks for being so prolific because I loved nothing more than to get lost in the worlds you created.
As a person, I want to say thanks. I don’t know anything about you except what I’ve read in your book forewards, and what I read in the media. I’ve always loved those forewards, those little bits of interaction. It was always just enough enlightenment that it felt like small town talk – like sitting in a coffee shop where everyone knows just about everyone else and nodding across the tables in greeting. A “Hey, how are you? You want to hear something?” It gave your books a less corporate feel. Sure, there were times when I listened to your every word over that cup of coffee, and other times I might have said, “Interesting stuff, there Steve, but hey – the family’s waiting on me.” But there wasn’t a single time that I felt like you weren’t thinking about us, your Constant Readers.
You’ve also been a great example of beat down your demons or they’ll beat you. I can’t remember which of your book’s forewards that was in, but I recall the crux of it to this day. As a writer, I understand now in ways I couldn’t back then. You wouldn’t take no for an answer with all your rejection letters. I think I posted a sticky on my computer monitor about your rejections and how you’d kept them. I kept mine, too. Times are different, and although I never got The Call, I made my own way. The stories just had to get out and I wasn’t getting any younger. I hired book designers and bartered for editing services and I’m now one of the Indie gang. I think that bit of determination is mostly because I’m my father’s daughter and because of reading your story. Combined, I saw only blue skies. Determination and that sense we’re not alone in our experiences can go a long way. I think of you whenever Amazon or B&N comes through with a payment just in time for the anti-biotics for one of our dogs or repairs for one of our cars.
As a writer, I just want to say thanks. You’re not the only reason I decided to follow my dream of becoming a writer. My late mother had more to do with that than anything or anyone else. My late father, too. You weren’t the only writer who influenced me either. Add J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Allan Poe, and Shirley Jackson to that list. But I don’t think you mind sharing that honor.
I’m working on a young adult haunted house novel and maybe that’s why I’m thinking of The Shining, Rose Red and Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House so much lately. To say you’ve inspired me is certainly an understatement.
Thanks for everything, which is to say, thanks for being you.
Constant Reader Michelle
NE Georgia, June 2012