I have a favorite author. Even when I say that I don’t because I like styles and genres more than I might like a particular person’s writing, it’s not true. I discovered this about myself in the last few weeks as I picked up Stephen King’s On Writing again. This time I am reading it and digesting it in small savory bites instead of in one big gulp. I am learning to slow down and savor rather than feed my need for instant gratification. It’s a slow and painful process because instant gratification is the very basis of the information age, isn’t it?
We have Kindle and Nook devices because it allows us to find a book on the internet and be able to read it within minutes. In earlier days, we would either have to wait until the next trip to the library, or hope we would get a chance to visit a friend who has a hopefully larger or more diverse collection than you do. I still remember the glee at being allowed to get a novel off the supermarket shelves when Mom condescended to take me with her grocery shopping. In those days, you read what you could find. Now, we seek out what we want to read and get it – instantly delivered wirelessly to our eReading device.
Yet, even in the days when I knew my next book was likely to be months away, I still tried to gobble the whole book down in as short as time as possible. One weekend, during my school end examinations, I spotted Stephen King’s It on a gift store shelf and begged my mother to get it for me. I don’t even know why it appealed to me beyond the fact that it sat large and imposing on the book stand, promising 800+ pages of pure, horrific thrills.
I was supposed to have been studying that weekend. I had an examination on the Monday morning one week following. Yet, the minute the book landed in my hands on Thursday afternoon, I opened it and did not put it down until two Sunday nights hence. I read all 800 horrifying pages in exactly 10 days, give or take a few hours each day to do menial things like sleep, and eat.
It was my first Stephen King and I remember how impressed I was with his writing, even as ignorant and naive as I was about writing style. He managed to both scare me silly and make me burst into bouts of uncontrollable laughter all within the confines of one book. That, to my young and inexperienced self, was truly skilled writing.
I swore off King after he had his accident – purely out of selfish reasons. His Dark Tower series was still unfinished at the moment he was hit by a car and I realized with a shock that had he died, the story of Roland and his katet would never be finished and it left with me such a feeling of despair, that I swore to never get that invested in another writer.
Well, a few weeks ago, I started reading From a Buick 8 and realized that no matter how much swearing off I had done, Stephen King is still my favorite writer. He writes with a unique ability that I have yet to find in another writer. This could be just my biased opinion, but I haven’t found another author who consistently writes about the most horrific things the mind can imagine with such humor and ease that you find yourself wondering whether monsters do, in fact, exist. The man is a modern day genius.
I invite you, the Free-eBooks.net community, to tell us here in the comments, or on our Facebook fanpage: Who is your favorite author? What is it about them that makes you return to them over and over, no matter what else is happening in life?