More than J.K. Rowling.
More than E.L. James
More than Stephanie Meyer
More than Suzanne Collins
More than Veronica Roth
More than James Dashner
More than Amanda Hocking
As much a house hold name as even Shakespeare himself, no other writer has had as great an impact on his generation as Stephen King. While a few others may be listed as having generated more revenue (particularly J.K. Rowling whose paydays for the Harry Potter movies make Paul McCartney look like a pauper) few can argue with the scope of his work over the past 4 decades. King may also be the Undeclared Godfather of the INDIE Revolution.
King was the first to publish a mass-market ebook online. By all acounts, the project was a failure due the technological limitations of the day. But it was clear from the outset of King´s experiment that the Ebook was here to stay.
Another huge King influence on the INDIE crowd was the publication of his book ´On Writing´ in 2000. I don´t know an Indie writer who hasn´t read it. The debate on Stephen King´s ´ADVERB ADVICE´ is still raging 15 years later.
How about the man himself? When ´Carrie´ first came out in the 70´s it was an unprecedented hit … Overnight Stephen King became a star. His name was everywhere, everyone was reading his novel. And he was just a regular guy. We´d see him on TV, interviewed on Johnny Carson or some other show and he was just a guy from the neighborhood. He didn´t look like some stodgy old English professor with a tweed jacket and a pipe.
And then there are his novels, short story collections and screenplays/movies. After having read almost everything King has written, sometimes three and four times for some of my favorites, I think I can speak for all of us and declare him an pretty damn good writer. No one is going to stand in front of the George Inn (la ate 16th century Inne which is the last remaining original coaching inn in London. A placard in the courtyard counts both Shakespeare and Charles Dickens among those who “knew the hospitality of the inn,”) and scream at the top of their lungs that King is the greatest writer ever. For my taste he has had a few really off the mark novels that only a die hard fan who has read everything he´s ever written would like. (Hearts in Atlantis) His prose is clear and direct but neither poetic nor challenging. It´s prose written for the average guy. Stephen King is to Literature as Bruce Springsteen is to Music – Everybody gets it. Everyone can relate. Flowery prose isn´t necessary.
In my opinion, King´s greatest strengths are those same elements that are found in the best INDIE works – he tells a damn good story and he has really interesting characters. Another element that almost all INDIE writers struggle with and which King does better than anyone is getting that backstory in without beating us over the head with it.
But King, more than anything planted the seed in many writer´s minds – ¨If he can do it then I can do it too!¨
Watch this video to hear how King finds his inspiration.
In my case, my influences are family and friends and my crazy mutt Rose. I often play the ´What if´ game while reading, watching TV, walking down the street, riding on the bus or whatever, wherever.
Where do you find your influence? How has Stephen King influenced your writing or desire to be a writer? Was there another author that had the same impact on your writing as Stephen King?
David Gordon Burke
Find my books here.