Top Ten Authors You Want To Meet (or, My Love Letter to Stephen King)

Chances are, you’ve been to this blog at least once before.

And chances are, you’ve noticed that I am a huge Stephen King fan.

It’s not like it’s easy to miss, after all. Just about every review I do for one of his novels is pretty glowing.

To put it simply, I’m dedicating this Top Ten Tuesday to the leading literary man in my life because there is no other author I would rather meet.

Sure, it would be great to meet J. K. Rowling, and I certainly wouldn’t refuse the chance to do so. It would be interesting to talk to Jane Austen or the Brontës, if they were still alive. I’d love to meet Ann M. Martin, the author of the Baby Sitters Club series. I’d even like to meet Dean Koontz, even though most of his later novels have been somewhat disappointing (so really, I’d like to meet Dean Koontz from 1986).

But I would give up the chance to meet all of these authors for the chance to meet Stephen King.

Mostly, I think I would just sit and listen to him talk. I’d ask questions, of course, but they’d be very broad, along the lines of “tell me what your thought process was when you wrote [whatever book] or [whatever scene].” And then I’d just listen. I’d like to think I’d be able to speak intelligently about books of his that I’d read, but I’d probably just trip all over myself and not be able to say anything at all. How else could I react in the face of such brilliance?

Seriously, I’ve never read another author who seems so unconscious of how good they actually are. Some authors (James Joyce and Jonathan Safran Foer come immediately to mind) write in a very self-consciously literary style, as if every word on the page is screaming, “Look at me! Look at how smart I am!” Joyce obscures what he means so completely that you just have to wonder what joy he even got out of writing, other than being able to sit atop his (undeserved) pedestal and sneer down at us as we try to decipher Finnegan’s Wake. (Just try telling me you know what “Where the Baddelaries partisans are still 
out to mathmaster Malachus Micgranes and the Verdons catapelting the camibalistics out of the Whoyteboyce of Hoodie 
Head” means without looking it up in a Finnegan’s Wake reading companion or something.) And Jonathan Safran Foer just thinks he’s a much better writer than he actually is.

Stephen King isn’t like that. He knows how to take an idea and spin that mental fiber into the strong, beautiful fabric of a story without coming off like a pretentious ass; his writing is superb but also superbly accessible. He can breathe life into a character better than any other author I’ve ever read, and he has an incredible talent for making me laugh out loud one moment and then making me gasp or tear up in the next. His stories stay with me long after I read them. And yet, he remains humble, despite his huge success. And that, truly, is who I want to meet: not Stephen King the author, not Stephen King the screenwriter—I want to meet Stephen King the person.

I want to go out for coffee or tea or smoothies and talk to him about life. Obviously, like I mentioned previously, I’d want to hear about his books. But I want to get to know him. I want to be his pal, his buddy. I don’t want just a signed book and a photo; I want to get to know the author who has made such a huge difference in my life.

Anyway, sorry for not doing a TTT today—but this just needed to be said. If you really want a list, here it is. 😉

  1. Stephen King
  2. Stephen King
  3. Stephen King
  4. Stephen King
  5. Stephen King
  6. Stephen King
  7. Stephen King
  8. Stephen King
  9. Stephen King
  10. Stephen King

Have a good week, everyone!

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19 thoughts on “Top Ten Authors You Want To Meet (or, My Love Letter to Stephen King)

    • Never read anything by him. Is he the one who wrote A Prayer for Owen Meany? I tried to get into that one once but couldn’t…I’ll have to try again one day 🙂

  1. He’s on my list too, but I might be starstruck enough to not even be able to formulate a question. I’d like to think I’d be able to, but I really don’t know…I’d be that excited. And I totally agree with everything you said.

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