I've talked a lot about my discovery of ghosts and horror in many a post over the years, but I certainly would not have developed my love for this genre without the benefit of Stephen King and Peter Straub, two very influential authors in my life. Who really hasn't been influenced by Stephen King if you are a fan of the horror genre? There really is no other genre that can leave me petrified at three in the morning, afraid to turn off the lights, having to go to the bathroom, afraid to step off my bed, knowing whatever is under there will eat me. I remember when I was young I had to jump from the bed to the hallway, which was quite a feat for a young child, and one day I missed, hit the door frame, and knocked myself out. Luckily mom was outside doing whatever she did in the garden and never knew what happened, but after that I crawled over my night table, swung on the closet door, and leapt out the bedroom that way. Kids do some crazy things, don't they? And while there were times I cursed my mom for allowing me to read whatever I wanted, I really was not serious about those curses and hoped the goblins never heard them.
My first experience with Stephen King is the novel Carrie. I couldn't really tell you what I thought about the novel at that age as it is clouded with an adult viewpoint, but I do remember being afraid whenever a kid looked at another kid with this certain look at school. I remember thinking, this is it, we're all toast, and treaded quite lightly for a few months so I wouldn't upset anyone in case they had secret powers. I did dress up as Carrie for Hallowe'en a few years ago, before the remake came out, and nobody knew who I was except for those die-hard King fans out there.
Pet Sematary is another one of those books that affected me profoundly because I was realizing that many of these books don't have a happy ending. And it terrified me. I remember reading this one Peter Straub book, Ghost Story, and I had the Just One More Page Disease, reading into the wee hours of the night,
Today, I am still looking for that feeling I had when I was thirteen. While I had been fascinated by many a book before this, there is something about this genre, and about this author, that I really, really like. In fact, I'm thinking it's been too long since I've read a Stephen King and it's time to go dig one out. Cheers, everyone!!