Welcome to the Inaugural Kingdom Post!
This is a new project that I am just beginning to launch. The main purpose here will be reading and reviewing the work of world-renowned Master of Horror Stephen King.
I’m a very imaginative person and I fucking love reading. I’ve always been an avid science fiction, fantasy, graphic novel, and comic book reader. These genres and mediums appeal to me because of how limitless they are. And I’ve got a bachelor’s degree in english literature, so I’ve read plenty of the classics too. But my book-worming adventures have seldom steered me into to realm of horror. Stephen King’s name is synonymous with horror, and even though he’s one of the most prolific writers of our time, I just assumed he wasn’t an author with much to offer me for the simple fact that I scare too easy.
My mom is a horror nut, specifically movies. But back before she had a hoard of kids, in the days when she actually had time to read, she would read a lot of King. There were lots of his books kept around our house and I always stepped lightly around them. The covers were scary and I imagined that the content within the pages was quite frightening as well. The vibes I got from the covers weren’t happy ones, so I knew his books were something I wanted to avoid. Yes, I just admitted to the whole wide internet that I’ve judged books by their covers. And not just books, I’ve gone and judged their authors too. For shame Smash, for shame.
I haven’t been exposed to much of the horror genre, mostly because my overactive imagination makes me an easy scare, but also because I assumed it was limited. Black magic, ghosts, demons, and murderers… what else is there to scare people with really? I’d rather not be scared, so why risk the nightmares for a bunch of clichéd stories that have been done to death already?
I realize now what a disservice my dismissal of the genre and of Stephen King as a writer have been to me…
During my undergrad, a professor included Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption and Apt Pupil as part of the mandatory readings for the Literature and Social Change course I took. It was truly an eye-opening experience. I was busy stuffing my head with the likes of Chaucer, Ibsen, Steinbeck, Eliot, Chekhov, Spenser, and mountains upon mountains of Shakespeare. You know, run of the mill required reading for us english lit types. The King readings were a very welcome break from the outpouring of classic drama and literature of other courses. I was immediately enraptured by his writing. To dismiss King for so long because I wasn’t interested in the idea of reading horror, well, that was silly of me. Mostly because he doesn’t just write horror, so pigeon-holing him that way is unfair, and even if he did write horror exclusively, I’ve since discovered that the genre that someone chooses to write does not negate the brilliance or skilfulness of their writing. I’m glad I realized this when I did because I was needlessly shutting the door on an author whose writing I find both highly enjoyable and insightful.
King is a masterful storyteller. The man was born to write. He has a gift, truly. If you aspire to write, as many of us do, then you should be reading Stephen King. Particularly if you hope to write fiction. I considered taking a creative writing course this fall, but screw that, man! A more productive use of my time will be working my way through the extensive King library, reading and reviewing. And ideally, learning the craft second-hand from the Master. Even if I don’t aspire to write horror myself there’s so much to learn about writing that can be learned through active readings of Stephen King’s work.
So pull up a seat and get comfortable because we’re going to be at this for a while. The man has written an absolute shit-ton of stories, and we’re going to be reading them all.
Let the thrills and chills begin.