Mr. King’s latest novel, REVIVAL, releases on November 11th, and he’ll kick off a six city tour in New York. The second stop on that tour is Washington D.C. on November 12th, two days before my birthday. I already have tickets to the event–Go Me!–but, I want to go one step further. I want to shake the man’s hand.
Any of you who know me, may know what his work has meant to my life and career. If you don’t know, I only mention it here, here, and here. I read IT when I was 11; it’s the book that made me want to be a writer. Then, every year since my 14th birthday, whenever a new Stephen King novel was released in the fall, it became my go to present (seriously, ask my mom, who will be attending the DC event with me).
I’m not going to drag this out. This is me turning on the Bat Signal without shame. Can any of the many publishing peeps I know help me facilitate a brief meeting–seriously, a handshake, maybe a photo; no Annie Wilkes stuff over here–with one of the greatest literary icons of all time? If you have a connection with Politics & Prose (the sponsor bookstore), The George Washington University (the host venue), the Scribner imprint at Simon and Schuster (Mr. King’s publisher), and/or Mr. King himself, would you please consider hooking a brother up?
Of course, we roll with Godfather rules here. There may come a day when you need a favor, I will gladly reciprocate.
Thanks in advance.
Want to spread the word, here’s a ready made tweet for you:
@LRGiles has a birthday wish: meet @StephenKing. Details here> http://tinyurl.com/k4o4whl #operationweallfloat
Lamar Giles writes stories for teens and adults, and is a founding member/VP of Communications for We Need Diverse Books. His YA thriller FAKE ID is out now, and his next novel, ENDANGERED, will be published by HarperCollins in 2015.
“Nobody likes a clown at midnight” – Stephen King
How can such a simple statement sum up why that man is so good at what he does? But I digress, the I-LOVE-STEPHEN-KING post I’ll save for another night. For now, let’s talk about Clowns at Midnight…or, to really get to the heart of it, Mundane $&*# that’s scary as a #*@$…
In reality the creepy old house in your hometown is probably scary. It’s dirty, it’s got rats and roaches, and if you poke around the foundation long enough with a stick, you’ll find some crackhead’s discarded underwear (or maybe that’s just my hometown). The problem is there’s really nothing compelling about that kind of scary. It’s obvious. There’s literally yellow tape on the door that says KEEP OUT.
Sure, there are a thousand movies where teenagers (really 30 year olds) go into this exact environment and die
deservingly horribly. They are dumber than us. That’s not scary. That’s Natural Selection.
What’s scary is the stuff there’s no warning for. The stuff you can’t reason your way around, or avoid. Or worse, the stuff you’re totally aware of, but someone more powerful than you drags you there anyway (like parents taking their kids to the circus to see those creepy guys in the white makeup and blood-red grins).
Stephen King built a career out of noticing when the stuff that’s not supposed to be scary is just about running someone out of the room. It’s not a bad observational skill to have, particularly in the wordsmith game, regardless of genre (I don’t care if you’re writing romance, comedies, or adventure tales…real people should exist in your stories, and real people have fears).
Here’s one of mine (my wife laughs and laughs at this): Wet Tissue.
(get your WTF moment out of the way)
I’m not really afraid of wet tissue paper. I just find it disgusting. It makes me cringe, with it slimy mushiness. By no means do I plan to write a novel about Evil Wet Tissue, but I can focus on the sensation it brings out in me. I can apply it to something else slimy (tentacles?), and I can make my character feel fear.
And maybe my readers, too.
Just something to think about. At midnight. While the clowns are surrounding you.
Do any of you have off the wall fears/deep dislikes? Let’s hear ’em