A Letter to Stephen King

Dear Mr. King,

Ever since the age of eleven, when I used my babysitting money to buy my very first book of yours (which was Misery, by the way), you have been the voice in my head.

No, that's not quite right. It's more like you were the echo of a voice that had always been there, whispering of  secret highways and secret worlds, revealing the "otherness" (sometimes frightening, but more often bizarre or fantastical) lying beneath the plain skin of ordinary life, and that the only way to articulate what might otherwise manifest itself as madness was to write about it.

I think about that every time I sit down to tell a story. I also think part of me will always be trying to reach out into the ether to say hi to you, and will always wonder what you would think about my work, because I'm not so sure I would be doing this if it weren't for you.

Though I have since moved on in search of my own voice and my own style, something that identifies my work as uniquely mine, I'm absolutely certain the landscape of my stories would look far different without the influences of such works as The Dark Tower or It or Pet Sematary or Eye of the Dragon or... take your pick. And sure, other authors as well -- Heinlein and McCarthy and Gaiman and Matheson and Poe -- but namely yours, because they just mesh with my brain waves in a way that few works ever have.

So I guess this little note is a way of reaching out into that ether again, of sending out a message in a digital bottle on the minutest off-chance it would sail across some vast binary sea to find itself in your port. And should you find the bottle and pull out this message, I hope that, if anything, you can take from it my gratitude for you being there, for "getting it", and for keeping that inner eleven-year-old in me believing even during my most cynical and uncertain moments in life that there are "other worlds than these," where shit is happening and waiting for people to write about it.

Seriously, thanks.