What Scares Me – a Halloween Thank You To Stephen King

In fifth grade, I discovered Stephen King, who I used to read beneath the covers and—at times—actually beneath the bed. Thanks to him, I was scared of clowns, rabid dogs, possessed cars, haunted houses, proms, and a vast array of everyday sights and experiences turned just slightly off kilter. His books clicked with something inside me, whatever story-generating impulse lurked in the lizard part of my brain, and I found myself constantly looking at the world around me, thinking, “What’s the worst thing that could happen right now?” Then I’d run the script in my head. Mayhem and destruction, Hitchcockian twists and turns, flights of dark fancy. The thing was I enjoyed it, often a lot more than, say, sitting in geometry or looking out the airplane window. So how I face up to my fears, I think, is by writing. Trying to summon the darkest, most wrenching scenarios I can summon and then seeing if I can wrestle them on the page. Since I’ve gotten older, the things that scare me have changed (except for clowns). When I first became a father, I remember being struck with the realization that I had more surface area to protect now, and so I think my latest books are my attempts to grapple with those new-found vulnerabilities.

Comments

  1. Cindy Dove says:

    Geez! I just happened upon your books about a month ago and they are sooo good! I go through every possible emotion while reading one of them! Only problem is I lose a lot of sleep, my house goes to pot, and my family doesn’t eat very well once I start one because I can’t put them down! Luckily I can get through one in a couple of days if people will leave me alone. Ha! I will have to admit, in a few of them, I’ve had to jump a few pages ahead to the next dialogue to see if someone gets out of a jam and then go back and pick up the details because I just can’t stand waiting to find out what happens. When I come home from the library, my dad, who is 97 and lives with us, always asks,”Did you get another one of that Hurwitz guy’s books?” Sadly, I’ve only got a few more to go and I will have them all read. I appreciate the research you put into one before you write it, but I’d really be happy if you could turn them out a little quicker–like say every other week. You really don’t need to have a life, do you? :) Luckily I have some other authors I enjoy to fill in the gaps while I wait for you to write a new one, but you are definitely my first pick of something to read! You have such a gift and use it so well! Continued success to you!

    • Thank you so much – pleased to hear my books disrupt your life (in the best way). I will do my best to get on that every-other-week publishing schedule. All best to you, and thanks for commenting.

  2. As a long-time fan, another who has always your books unputdownable, can I ask: whatwas your favorite Stephen King novel?

  3. God I hate you man! You’re just too good. Halfway through Survivor and it is amazing to hear you confirm the “fatherhood” theme running through it. Tells me more about the process than any lecture could. Just links the dots in my head. As the Dad of a 6 yr old with a dark side wandering mind, the “more surface area to cover” line could not have hit the nail more squarely. Without being a spoiler, that you ran that thread through both of the main characters is just brilliant. I think it really pushes the urgency of this one and drives the pace to a level more like the early stuff but with a greater emotional depth. The frustrated writer in me just wants to punch you in the head! Do you really need to set the bar so high?! Damn. I’m listening to Nick Cave and reading Gregg Hurwitz. Is there actually any chance in hell I’ll be quitting the day job…unless it’s to polish you bastard’s shoes!? Thank you for your amazing work…..douchebag.

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