Love him or hate him but you can not get enough of him. He is everywhere these days – cinemas, Netflix and of course his books. We love his films as much as his books. We adore his quotes and novellas as do we his chilling book. Yes, I am talking about the one and only Stephen King. He turns 70 today, September 21, 2017. So what better way to celebrate his birthday than talking about my experience with him and sharing some of his quotes that I love.
My relationship with the King of Horror has not been smooth. I read my first King, Gerald’s Game when I was about twelve. Yes, yet another of those books I had laid my hands when I was not supposed to. I had just then ventured out of the Sidney Sheldon‘s, and the book was something I was not prepared for then. Or ever would be. I thought the plot was grotesque and horrifying. But the writing stuck to me, and I willed my way till the end courageously and was smart enough to avoid any of his works for a long time.
Years later, my then boss gifted me a copy of the Four Past Midnight, a collection of novellas for my birthday, and I used it as a bookend, terrified of the size of the book as well as the possible nightmares it might evoke for a while. As my fate would have it, someone placed a bet daring me to read the book. I read the first one One Past Midnight and had to drop off the challenge thanks to the terrifying nightmares.
It took another three years to convince me to try another King and this time the greed of getting more books pulled me in. A friend of mine, an ardent King’s fan, offered to give me some of his books if I read one of his favorites, Rose Madder. Read this to find what I thought about the book. And like they say, the rest is history. From then on there was no stopping me, and in the past two years I have read quite a few of his seventy, yes you heard it right 70, books.
Until I read Rose Madder, I had associated Stephen King to the horror and supernatural elements and the nightmares that follow, but this book made me fall for the writer that King is. I feel in love with his writing style, his attention to details and more than everything else, the way he can captivate the attention of the reader all through his crazy imagination spell. I admire the way he can make us adore a character that is necessarily sinister and make us realize it is the human nature that is more sinister than the supernatural elements.
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With his success as a commercial writer who has a large following, his take on writing and writers have become even more famous than some of his books. His book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft should be on the compulsory read list for any budding writer. Here are some of my favorite quotes of his:
The road to hell is paved with adverbs. – On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
Humor is almost always anger with its make-up on. Bag of Bones
A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.
We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.
Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.
If being a kid is about learning how to live, then being a grown-up is about learning how to die. Christine
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It ain’t the blows we’re dealt that matter, but the ones we survive. Rose Madder
Reading a good long novel is in many ways like having a long and satisfying affair. Skeleton Crew
Come to a book as you would come to an unexplored land. Come without a map. Explore it, and draw your own map…A book is like a pump. It gives nothing unless first you give to it. Hearts in Atlantis
If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the tools to write. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the tenacity to change what I may, and the good luck not to fuck up too often. ‘Salem’s Lot
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. When you find something at which you have talent, you do that thing (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes pop out of your head. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
For a King fan, it is a good time to be. This year has been great with the IT and The dark tower on the cinemas and The mist and Gerald’s Game (soon to be) on Netflix. So let me know what you think of the king of horror. Did I include all your favorite quotes? Wanna add anything? Share in the comments please.
Happy B’day Uncle Stevie!