Words from a Master: On Writing by Stephen King

While browsing at the legendary and beloved Strand bookstore in Manhattan several weeks ago, I picked up a copy of Stephen King’s On Writing for a birthday present for my friend (and sometimes collaborator). For years, bookstore clerks have recommended this book to me, so I bought a copy for myself, too. Preparing for the publication of my own first book, I knew that I might need Mr. King’s advice.

On Writing stands as a compelling, encouraging, and useful guide for any aspiring or frustrated writer. Three sections comprise the book: an autobiographical musing by King  on his road to a successful literary career; a philosophical and practical guide on the writing craft; and King’s reflections on his near fatal accident and how writing nudged him toward recovery.

Illustration by Bill Russell for the 1991 Viking Press edition of Needful Things.

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Stephen King in Jersey City

This past Tuesday, Stephen King entertained a sold-out crowd of casual and hardcore fans at the grand, historic, and simply breath-taking Loew’s Jersey Theatre. The event marked the release of King’s latest novel End of Watch and the beginning of his summer book tour. Yes, Stephen King’s book tour began in Jersey City, New Jersey.

This altered black-and-white photo seems more atmospheric than the original. Stephen King at the Loew’s Jersey Theatre, Jersey City, New Jersey, June 7, 2016 (Photograph by the author).

This was a real coup for the Loew’s and for Jersey City. Manhattan, the country’s media capital and the former home of generations of artists and writers, and Brooklyn, the current seat of the literati and the creative class, both sit across the Hudson River from Jersey City. Stephen King could have chosen a larger venue in either of those boroughs and he could have demanded a much higher fee. Instead, he choose Jersey City. Thirty-two dollars gained one a seat at the Loew’s and a copy of the book. Signed copies were randomly handed out to guests. My wife received one.

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