Where Does a New Stephen King Fan Begin? by Lloyd Kerns

Blogging about a master of horror is daunting. Add that this specific author is possibly the most prolific of all, and well...

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See, I was very late to board the Stephen King train. Imagine the white rabbit Alice followed down the hole. "Late! Late! Late!" Then, my mother mailed me (US postage to Thailand--yikes!) a copy of MR. MERCEDES. What an introduction! I read the entire thing in under a week with every reading session done on a stationary bike. Next thing I remember was checking the bookstores in the nearest mall, searching the English section, praying for more King. And I found a few. But the one that caught my eye was FULL DARK, NO STARS. And then it was 1922 which left me with an undeniable desire to write. That and a mix of my boyhood love for Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn pretty much guaranteed my own stories would mostly deal with small towns, farm towns.

A lot of great modern writers come and go, and it is hard to imagine their mark being a long-lasting one, but King is different. Sure he has had his fair share of embarrassing releases but when you write as many books as he has, two or three flops out of the lot is far from bad. And not only does he more often than not deliver the creepy goods, he also takes time to dig deep into the characters and their world. His tales often leave an impact as he works in different perspectives on the world and its many issues. This is something I have grown to admire about Dubus III and John Irving as well. It is that kind of development I try to create in my own writing.

And they give terrific interviews and so obviously care about the future of writing.

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Why did I have to give Stevie K. a try so late in life? With so many releases by the man—and more coming—will I ever catch up? It's not like his books are thin either; many a weighty tome keeps being pushed off as a to-be-read-later. I am working my way through. SALEM’S LOT had some fantastic characters. GUNSLINGER may contain the greatest opening line of all time: simple yet intriguing. (You know the one.) CUJO is unforgettable and the dog's POV was splendidly done and terrifying. THE SHINING in part influenced my debut novel, THE RUT, set to be released by Burning Willow Press, August 2019. From it, I wanted to have a seemingly good family man find his morality stripped from him; but that's as much as I wish to share at the moment.

Everyone praises IT, THE STAND, and THE TALISMAN, so I will make those priorities for next year.

Did I miss any that should be contenders?

Stephen King’s catalog is a hard wood to whittle down.

Imagine my surprise when my own writing found itself compared to that of King. (Promo alert: a man has got to eat.)

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"Kerns deftly constructs his stories in much the same way as King, Irving, and Steinbeck." - Ryan Lieske, author of FICTION (an incredible debut.)

“The man can play words.”

“Heartfelt Flows and Misery is a collection of seven excellently crafted short stories.”

“Excellent read.”

“… will leave you yearning to read another.”

“Kerns has a way of drawing you into a story and keeping you there…”

“He writes stories that resonate to your very soul”

Heartfelt Flows and Misery is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook. Click HERE.

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Michael Schutz

Michael Schutz was born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, where the macabre tales of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King kept him warm at night. He’s seen way too many horror movies to be healthy and blogs and podcasts about them on Darkness Dwells. Watch for his new novel, Edging, from Burning Willow Press in spring 2017. He is the author of the novel Blood Vengeance and the novella Uninoch. His short fiction has been featured most recently in Dark Moon Digest, Sanitarium, and the anthologies Beasts: Revelations, Beyond the Nightlight, and Cranial Leakage: Tales from the Grinning Skull. He lives with his three naughty cat-children in northern California.