Can I Read My Stephen King Books?
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Can I Read My Stephen King Books?

I have not read any Stephen King novels. I have tried reading a couple but could not get into them.

His books are horror, fantasy and science fiction genres which I don’t enjoy reading.

However, he has written one of the most enjoyable books I have read in the past few years.

The book is “On Writing by Stephen King – A Memoir of the Craft “– published in 2000.

I realised many children enjoyed reading his books when a student of mine asked whether he could read his Stephen King books instead of the rather timid fare in the classroom library.

Many adults are horrified at the thought of children reading Stephen King books. But many don't mind.

King is multi-skilled. Novelist, short story writer; screen writer, television producer and actor are some of the skills he has.

Over 350 million copies of his books have been sold around the world.

Many have been made into films, television and comics.

His publishing record includes:

  • Fifty-five novels
  • Seven under his pen name Richard Bachman
  • Six nonfiction books
  • Two hundred plus short stories

Awards include:

  • Bram Stoker Awards
  • World Fantasy Awards
  • British Fantasy Society Awards
  • O’Henry Award for a Short Story
  • Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters

Everyone’s life is influenced by their childhood.

King’s father left the family when he was young. He had an older brother. Their mother had a difficult time supporting them. She was a very courageous woman.

His memoir ‘On Writing” outlines the struggles of his youth and his path to outstanding success as an author.

He has always had an interest in horror and read many horror comics. He wrote at school for fun. His brother published a newsletter in high school and published some of King’s stories.

King had a university education and taught high school for a while. He kept on writing.

Carrie was his first novel. It was published in 1973. His wife had rescued the manuscript from the bin and convinced him to finish it. It was the beginning of a financially secure life.

Other titles followed.

  • Salem’s Lot (1975)
  • The Shining (1977)
  • The Stand (1978)

He taught creative writing at the University of Maine

The Dark Tower books followed. This was an eight volume series.

King continued to write and had a huge following of readers.

He wrote a number of novels under the name Richard Bachman.

He has also used other pseudonyms.

A serious car accident in 1999 nearly put an end to his career.

He kept writing and produced more novels during the next two decades.

He has another book due to be published in 2015.

Stephen King has produced a huge range of work. He has been influenced by other writers.

Stephen King’s Advice to Writers:

  • To be a writer, you have to read and write a lot
  • Every book read has its own lessons
  • The bad books often have more to teach than well written ones. You learn what not to do by reading poorly written books.
  • A semester at a writing school is often worthwhile but a poorly written novel can be worth a semester at a writing school.

He says good writing teaches about “style, graceful narration, plot development, the creation about believable characters and truth telling.”

But most of all King tells us is, “Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life.”

Reading Stephen King even if the genre isn't something you normally choose has to be an enlightening experience.

I am so pleased my student learned to read King's books.


Street Talk

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