Stephen King: The Writers’ Good Fairy

Stephen King press photo

Boy, do I love Stephen King. I have for decades, ever since I was filled with teen sturm und drang and sent him a fan letter praising Different Seasons in 1982 (to which he sent me a lovely reply postcard, thank you very much). I’ve followed his writing through his drug-addled days, post-recovery, dog-eared to death his writing advice/memoir On Writing, and drooled over many of his more recent works like Lisey’s Story. The man writes characters better than anyone out there. Period. No debate allowed.

But that’s not the sum total of why I love him, or why I’m writing about him today. The reason why I write about him now is because he has taken his Writers’ Good Fairy Magic Wand and touched it upon a writer’s work once again. King has been a columnist for Entertainment Weekly magazine for several years now, and has used his power not for evil, but for good. In 2003, he published a column praising Ron McLarty‘s then unpublished novel The Memory of Running, calling it the “best novel you won’t read this year.” Lo and behold, the novel subsequently was published by Viking for a boatload of money. Was King’s column a factor? Maybe, maybe not. Decide for yourself.

Just last year, King stepped up to bat once again, this time for thriller writer Meg Gardiner, whose novels had been published in Great Britain, but hadn’t yet been picked up in the U.S. What do you know? One month later, U.S. published Dutton, an imprint of Penguin, picked her up.

Now, King has done it again, bless his heart. In this week’s EW column (which isn’t up yet on their website, but probably will by next week), he’s chosen more of a known entity this time – Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog. But I doubt that there are as many out there reserving his new book, The Garden of Last Days, at the library, as say, the newest Jack Reacher book by Lee Child. So King’s glowing imprimatur of Garden to the EW readership, which I imagine is pretty substantial, can only help the novel’s cause.

You know why I think Stephen King is so incredibly cool? Because he gets the WordHappy ethos: to find writing that excites and inspires you and then to shout it from the rooftops. If I were as gigundously famous as he is, would I still be championing the writing that moved me? I sure hope so. Am I happy that King does it for me? Dang skippy.

And Mr. King, if you ever happen upon this humble blog, don’t be a stranger.


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2 Responses to “Stephen King: The Writers’ Good Fairy”

  1. Cindy Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly.”On Writing” is my favorite book, well, on writing. I use his life story, and the way success found him in an unexpected moment after years of hard work and struggle, as my personal inner monologue keep-going story. And I love a writer who helps other writers! Good for you Stephen King!!!!

  2. toddiedowns Says:

    He is the real deal, for sure.

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