Those of you that know me, know I’m not the biggest Stephen King fan in the world. I have read some of his stuff and am in fact, right now, watching a featurette on the Secret Window dvd – which was adapted from King’s novella, Secret Window, Secret Garden. In fact, it’s one of my favorite ‘horror-suspense’ movies. Though, most of his writing (specifically the more recent stuff) just doesn’t do it for me. In all honesty, most of his stuff just isn’t scary enough for me. Though, I’m obviously in the minority on this, as King is one of the best selling authors of all-time, so ya have to give him props for that.
I say all this, because I just read a book he wrote several years ago, called On Writing : A Memior Of The Craft (I actually stole this from my sister over Easter weekend) and really enjoyed it (I don’t think my sister is getting the copy back). The book is part memoir (I really dug this part), part a class on writing.
I’ve heard many people say it before and I will now, as well. If you are serious about writing, this book is a must-have. It not only tells the tale of how it all came to be for King, but it explains how to write the right way (like I said, I’m in the minority of people that don’t like him, but he is obviously doing it right). This is one of the few non-fiction books that I have read in the last 10 years. So, if I got through it, you know it must be good. If you are an aspiring author, of any genre, I suggest you order a copy, now.
Another non-fiction book that I have read and am fortunate to own – A Writer’s Tale by Richard Laymon. Though, this may be a tad more difficult to go out and buy, as it is a signed limited-edition of only 500 copies (though, I doubt that many exist today) and is priced at a minimum of $400.00.
Laymon’s tale was truly dedicated, not only to his fans, but his fans that are aspiring authors. He tells where he came from, what it took to become a best-selling author in the horror genre and a story-by-story account of where the ideas for each of his novels came from. Reading it, you can almost feel that Laymon is by your side and talking to you. That’s how personal it feels. This is a great book and probably the prize of my book collection – without a doubt.
I mention all this, because I get alot of questions about how I come up with story ideas (I have no idea where they come from), why I write horror instead of something else (what am I gonna write about – romance?), how I am promoting my work (just google my name and you’ll see) or what I’m working on now (short story collection – which is almost complete). I also get emails from time to time from aspiring authors asking how to go about this-or-that. I always try to answer their questions to the best of my ability, what I have done that seemed to work for me, etc. Though, I’m obviously no best selling author (at least not yet…), so I figured I would give you a few of the books that have inspired and/or helped me along the way to get off my duff and WRITE…because if you really want to be a writer, the two things you HAVE to do is…READ and WRITE – ALOT!