Stephen King is my friend. He just doesn’t know it. Let’s face it, he just doesn’t know me. But he saved me, nonetheless. I grew up in the housing projects. Enough said, right? Want a dream killer? Grow up in an environment that seems to prep you for prison rather than for college.
I was plain and quiet, let me translate that for you, I was bully meat. I earned straight A’s. Need any more translation than that? Even so, I was overwhelmed by hostile surroundings that had me seeking shelter in my bedroom. Reading was my preferred outlet. I guess I needed pretend horror to help me deal with my reality.
Romance stories were nice with all the hugging and kissing and blending of bodies, but it was horror that stuck with me. It was the scary stories that chilled my bones and kept me wide-eyed alert at night. I loved and still love horror stories.
Stephen King offered me the best get out of hell free tickets. Later on I would find other conductors on my horror train. Anne Rice, Peter Straub and Toni Morrison all could deliver the requisite chills, but Stephen King was always my favorite. Indulging in those chapters was like consuming a satisfying meal. I only hope to be able to do the same.
Let me just say this again. It is an honor to be compared to him.