Friday, February 12, 2010

My Freaky Valentine

Dear Stephen King,

It's almost Valentine's Day and I just finished UNDER THE DOME so I thought it might be time for a mushy love letter to the schlockmeister himself.

You see, I've loved you for a long time. My love began (as so many loves do) in my preteen years. I somehow got my hot little hands on a copy of CARRIE and it was all over. I loved Christopher Pike, but you put him to shame. As Renee Zellweger would say, "You had me at hello" or in this case you had me with all that telekinetic energy and blood. And like any teenager in love I became slightly obsessed and read every single one of your books.

I wish I could say my obsession has lessened with age, but it hasn't. I still get a little fangirl shiver when I see you've got a new book being released and I usually end up pre-ordering like the rest of the junkies.

I'll admit I doubted you when I first began reading UNDER THE DOME. Honestly, I sort of wanted to hate it because it was so freaking cumbersome. I think I might have sprained my wrist just trying to read the damn thing in bed. But it was amazing, as usual. Chock full of the creepy ass fantastical stuff you're known for and grimly underscored with the scariest shit of all: human nature.

Bravo.

You have no way of knowing this, but in our tiny little corner of the writing universe, Laura and I are working on the second book in our series. At this point all we've got is a killer outline and a couple of flat chapters. Something just wasn't working and as soon as I read the last page of UNDER THE DOME, I knew exactly what it was. Tension. There just wasn't enough of it. We need this book to start off like that last moment where the roller coaster is creeping to the top of the hill, a couple of ominous clinks and clacks and then you're soaring downward, aware of nothing but the wind in your hair and the scream stuck in your throat. I think for this book to live up to its potential, we need to channel the schlockmeister himself. I only hope we're up to the challenge.

Oh and I really like your columns in Entertainment Weekly. They totally reaffirm my suspicions that you're a pretty cool dude both on and off the page.

So, um, thanks and Happy Valentine's Day. I was totally going to send you some chocolate covered Twizzlers, but I polished them off while I was reading your behemoth of a book. What can I say? All that gore makes me hungry.

XOXO,
Lisa

59 comments:

Tina said...

I'm feeling that love! The first book I ever bought with my own money was Salem's Lot (age 11). I love Stephen and I have no doubt that he is a major influence on my own writing. I can't wait for the next book either!

Horror fiction (what else!)
http://www.thecleanwhitepage.com

Jules said...

I admire people who can read him.... TOO scary for me!!!!

Tabitha Bird said...

LOL! Yes, his books could build Rome in a day. There's something the Romans didn't know back then when they were buidling. Ole Stephen was born a bit late to fully but those massive books to their full use hey... okay, I'll stop now :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

That roller coaster analogy is absolutely perfect. I've got to remember that when writing.
I'm impressed you read UNDER THE DOME. I picked it up in the bookstore and almost collapsed. He could have had a three-book series out of that!

Rachele Alpine said...

I remember reading "Carrie" when I was in 7th-8th grade babysitting and it freaked me out so bad that I called my sister and told her to come over to keep me company!

Have you read "The Body?" It's what "Stand by Me" is based on. It's an awesome novella. I think it's one of his best pieces.

Melissa said...

oh creepy valentines...so much better than the real thing, eh? ;)

Melissa Sarno said...

Oh Stephen. What a guy! I also started with Carrie. I haven't read any of his books since I put down Insomnia in 1997. To this day I often wonder what my aura looks like sticking up from the top of my head. If you can see it, please let me know...

Southern Princess said...

Oh Stephen King, Oh Christopher Pike... what is it about preteen & teen obsession with horror books& movies. If it was about a girl getting killed by a spoon I would have checked it out of the library! I mean geez..
Oh & wasn't Under the Dome great?! I loved it. I just loaned it out to a friend.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Now I'm just gonna laugh when Mr. King leaves a comment here demanding those chocolate covered Twizzlers :)

Angela said...

I honestly cannot think of anyone better to give a love letter to than Stephen King. How can you not love a man who doesn't just tell you there's a squidgy, wet thing waiting for you under the bed, but actually makes you reached your hand under to touch it?

I recently read UTD as well. Good, but his Gunslinger series is still my favorite.

I think one of the most amazing thing about him is how so many of his books tie together--the scope of it is incredible. And his talents go so much further than 'one of those Horror writers.' The man is brilliant and one day (unfortunately probably after he's gone from the world) people will realize his mastery and hold him up to other late, great literary icons.

Sara Tribble said...

LOL- I am sitting in the library as we speak and keep eying that very BOOK! I was like it's so long, but it's King, could it really be wrong?

Now, because of your love letter, I simply have to check it out!

There ya go again girls, always influencing me! =D

Melissa said...

I got Under The Dome for my husband for Christmas, and it's the first book he's picked up and actually finished in I don't know how many years. He loved it! After I finish the Twilight series for the fourth time (hanging head and shame), I'm tackling that one next.

Salem's Lot was the first Stephen King book I read when I was 11, and it scared the cr@p out of me . . . in a good way. ;-)

Tere Kirkland said...

Carrie was my "first time" with King, too. And you nailed it--it's tension that makes King king.

I still reread Misery to this day, astounded how he could draw so much tension out of a story where only two characters make up most of the scenes.

Happy Valentine's Day, Stephen and LiLa!

Hardygirl said...

Okay--so I'm looking for the magic tension elixir as well. I'm heading out for a little Stephen fix.

sf

Kimberly Franklin said...

Do they really have chocolate covered Twizzlers... I mean, really? I have to have them! NOW!

Stephen King's great and I loved your Valentine. Good luck on your sequel! : )

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Ditto! Well said, ladies. You spoke for many of us freakazoid Stephen King fans! Gotta love that man. :-)

Christine said...

My husband loves Stephen King but was also concerned about the size of the new book. I still don't think he's got up the courage to buy it!

His fave is The Running Man, so I handed Hunger Games over after I read it. I'll tell him you like this one too.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I loved Christopher Pike when I was little and went through a big Stephen King phase.

Now I'm a wimp- those books are creepy! When I'm home alone my imagination tends to go a little wild anyway.

Chocolate covered Twizzlers, eh? At least they won't leave crumbs in bed!

Natalie Lloyd said...

I'm such a nerd - Steven King's books scare the poo out of me. I remember watching Rose Red in college with my roommate thinking - oh. This isn't bad. And then all night I kept thinking some bony hand would reach around the bed and choke me. I do think he's a fabulous writer though. His books are unputdownable. I read that his wife pulled Carrie out of the trash can (and brushed off the cigarette ashes) and told him not to toss it. She made him finish it. The dedication to her is really sweet. I love stories like that :)

Lori W. said...

Love the title of your post. Horror books give me nightmares, so I wus out on them, but I do love King's advice to writers.

K. M. Walton said...

The Stand is in my top three books of all time (read that sucker 3 times and one time was the uncut version - yeeeow) and Entertainment Weekly - including Uncle Stevie's column - gets devoured every single Friday. Cover to cover.

Gotta read Under the Dome...

Sarah said...

Chocolate-covered Twizzlers??! WHAT IS THIS ATROCITY? How does Twizzler Inc expect me to represent their products when they don't inform me of them (or do you just mean Twizzlers dipped in chocolate)?
I've never read Stephen King. I'm pretty sure I'm too much of a wimp to, but I do like his EW columns.

Krispy said...

I went through a tiny, tiny scary book reading phase (I can't even call the ones I read horror), but I think reading scary things is worse than watching them for me. I psych myself out waaaaay too much when things are left to my own imagination.

The last scary book I read was "Ring" in high school, a translation of the Japanese novel on which the Japanese "Ring" movie was based. I didn't know the movie was based on a book, so I picked it up thinking, 'I wonder if this is like that movie.'

It was way scarier.

It still bothers me that I sleep next to a TV.

Happy Valentine's and President's Day!

Shelli said...

mine was james patterson!

Marsha Sigman said...

Are you really my sister? I am starting to suspect something wierd.

I have loved Steve (thats what I like to call him in my head...stalkers must establish that fake relationship) since I was 5 years old and I watched Carrie when my brother was supposed to be babysitting me. I had nightmares for weeks but I loved it.

Under the Dome was awesome times 2 because it was a great read aaannnnddd you could work on tightening your upper arms at the same time. See how giving SK is? He only thinks about the reader.

Icy Roses said...

Okay, please don't kill me, but I've never read a Stephen King book.

What would be your first recommendation? I keep meaning to read his stuff, I swear! Horror's not really my thing, but the man's a legend, so how can I lift my head in public without ever reading one of his books? You'll keep my secret, right?

Kristy said...

They make chocolate-covered Twizzlers???

Rebecca Knight said...

My first Stephen King experience was The Shining when I was 12 :). IF I wasn't reading Fear Street, I was all about Stephen King!

Great post, and I LOVE your roller coaster analogy. Save that sentence somewhere to use in a story. Seriously.

Happy Valentine's Day, ladies!

Nisa said...

lol! That has to be one of the sweetest love letters I've ever read. You know, aside from the gore and stuff. ;) It was the chocolate covered twizzlers that did it for me. *sigh*

Sara McClung ♥ said...

I'm a huge fan of SK too :) I've most recently read the first three of the Dark Tower series. So not my usual thing, SO loved them! I've heard really great things about The Dome, so up it goes on my TBR.

PS I love the love letter to him!!

Sara McClung ♥ said...

*ahem. UNDER The Dome. Sorry for the typo!

Little Ms J said...

Have you read his book ON WRITING yet? It is part memoir, part instructional. Pick it up if you haven't. I have to say I'm a little scared of UNDER THE DOME simply because of it's girth.

Ryan said...

KING!!!!!!

Sorry, I love Steve as well. And, even though I don't have the proper anatomy for it I too get those little fangirl shivers all over whenever I pick up and start reading those first few pages. I've not made it all the way through the King library (which is exactly what it is), but so far I've only found one book that hadn't sucked me deep into its pages and kept me there (Hearts in Atlantis-Low Men in Yellow Coats actually) I don't know what it is but I just can't get into it.

Anyway, Stephen is also what I shoot for when I sit down to write. Not his style per say, but the same sort of authorial magic. I also find a great deal of inspiration in his works. And, I really could go on like this for hours without actually saying anything other than KING RULES!!!

Ryan said...

PS: Little Mrs. J,

My wife broke her toe by dropping Under the Dome on it. Be very very careful with it.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Ha! This is great!

Elana Johnson said...

LOL! I so don't read horror. I am not a blood person, and I'm ashamed to admit that I have never read a single SK book. I watched the movie Silver Bullet and then It, and I still can't shower without fear. I wish i were kidding.

jessjordan said...

Did you read Dreamcatcher? I don't know if it was any good, but the movie made me doubt King a little ... completely wacky, and not in a good way.

My S. King knowledge is limited to The Shining, which so traumatized me that I haven't read another one of his books yet. Perhaps some day soon ...

p.s. Are there really chocolate-covered Twizzlers??

April said...

AMEN.

Stephen King is the master, and this has totally made my day. I totally fangirl over him too, and got Under the Dome for Christmas. I even have some of the graphic novels based off the Dark Tower series (my favorite series EVER). And, I totally could not shut up about the Stand after I read it.

So rock the hell on for posting this. It gives me great joy to see all these other fans posting SK love in the comments.

And mmm mmm chocolate covered twizzlers.

Mike said...

You need to have a reader alert, I'm only 26% through according to my Kindle. So far sooooo gooood. Stephen King rocks.

Mike said...

To Icy Roses, you just can't beat The Stand. It's my favorite King novel and what he's all about in my humble opinion. I love the way he works in pop (music, poetry etc.) culture and his character development is so fine.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

OMG I can't read him, I still get freaked out thinking about the movie IT. My imagination is WAAAAAAYYYY too overactive and I just don't need any assistance in thinking about more crazy scary things. But Im glad he helped you find the missing piece-yay!

Jemi Fraser said...

I read the Shining in high school & didn't sleep for weeks. Still have nightmares about it at times. I'm a total coward & haven't read horror since! Great writing, but I can't do it :)

Little Ms J said...

Thanks for the heads up, Ryan. I'll make sure I only carry it while wearing steel toed boots and a hard hat.

Jackee said...

Whew! I'm really glad you didn't say he's a looker because then I was going to worry about you two gals. :)

Happy weekend and happy V-day!

T. Anne said...

I've always considered Stephen my freaky imaginary older brother. I actually have Under the Dome collecting dust on my nightstand. Cumbersome? Try monolithic. Quite frankly I wish I had purchased it on my Kindle but alas it was gifted. I'm glad you gave it a good review. Deep down inside I wanted to hate it too. Sorry Stephen.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Okay, this is kinda sick actually, but your last line made me think of Al Gore. I don't know why. Especially because I would not want Al Gore anywhere near my Twizzlers.

Anyway, I now feel the crazy urge to read Under the Dome. Even though I have never read anything of King's aside from On Writing. So, yeah, that's all your fault. King should totally be thanking you.

Katie said...

Ooo tension. yes! That's what I need to!!!! Great post and I so wish ole Stevo would read it.

Perhaps.

Perhaps?

Carolyn V. said...

Awesome Lisa! Love the letter!

My sister-in-law loves S.K.'s books. She loves the tension in them. He does a good job. (but he scares me!)

Corey Schwartz said...

Carrie is not my cup of tea. But many people don't know that he also wrote the brilliant Shawshank Redemption!

sunna said...

I am SO buying this book for my flight to CA. I'm just not sure if they'll make me check it. What;s the weight limit for carryons?

Jeannie Lin said...

On Writing changed me as a writer. I was already a huge Stephen King fan, but that book brought me to tears, mostly happy ones.

Umm...not the parts on word choice, etc.

I haven't read Under the Dome yet. Saving it for the right moment. I've always felt he was a phenomenal at characterization. If you can get characterization down, the reader is putty in your hands and you can make them laugh, cry, hide, and feel anything you want.

Lunar Amyscope said...

I also started with Carrie and was hooked! Pet Semetary is by FAR the scariest book I have ever read. It is the only book that actually had me terrified to open my eyes at night... I was SURE that Zelda was going to be standing there watching me.

And why lots of people disliked it, I LOVED Cell. Sigh. Must pick up this new one ASAP!

Medeia Sharif said...

I was a Stephen King-aholic in high school. I read him for the first time when I was a freshman and never stopped.

His son, Joe Hill, is also a great writer. Heart-Shaped Box was really creepy.

Christina Farley said...

You really need to stop with the Twizzler thing. You're killing me! They are my absolute favorite but they don't have them here in Korea. :-)

Dangerous With a Pen said...

My favorite King books are usually the not-scary ones (although I love me a good scare), I loved The Eye of the Dragon and The Green Mile best.

I just got On Writing... so excited to read it!

Your posts always make me laugh. :)

Daisy Whitney said...

Totally impressed you read that huge book!!!

Gail said...

The only really huge books I've read are Harry Potters!

I'm so not a horror reader because I'm a blood weeny!

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Christine Danek said...

He is a fantastic writer. I do enjoy his books. Christine--for example. Not that I am bias. Hope you girls had a great weekend :)