Monday, July 25, 2011

Stephen King Week & Book Giveaways

(This week's giveaway: sign up for my monthly newsletter at and a new subscriber will be selected on Aug 1. to win a hardcover of From a Buick 8. A random subscriber will also be selected to win a hardcover of The Regulators, written as Richard Bachman. US/Canada shipping only, international winners receive a PDF of my graphic novel DIRT)

I was reading on some forum or other about Stephen King and the inevitable "He lost me at..." Like with many modern writers of dark, imaginative fiction, King was one of the main inspirations for my writing--not necessarily because he was the writer whose books I grew up on (I didn't start reading him until probably halfway through his career), but because he is a talented writer achieving success in a genre that every publishing insider says doesn't sell, doing it his way and succeeding.

I've always considered him a mutant talent--a combination of intense literary gifts combined with a storytelling genius, mixed in with a commitment to the craft, a love of words, and a desire to push the boundaries. Not the least of his talents is the ability to sit in his chair and crank out thousands and thousands of words, which is an admirable trait in itself. I can't say I've read everything King has written, and I'm a bit behind on the newer stuff, but that's okay, because he's writing about as fast I can read, anyway.

I read Stephen King, and I say, "I'll never be that good." But something about him inspires me to be okay with what I do, and, more importantly, to dare to do it the best I can.


Indigo said...

Well said. I admit King was my first foray into horror. I've never looked back since. He definitely inspires me to be more as a writer. (Hugs)Indigo

Dom and Nan said...

Oh, you ARE "that good", my friend. Love your stuff. Keep cranking them out, and I'll keep reading!


armandrosamilia said...

Great post! I followed Koontz the same way as you followed King growing up... you either read King or Koontz, right?

Armand Rosamilia

PSGifford said...

In my opinion your are just as good as King- in some ways better. I have yet to read anything of yours that I haven't enjoyed. I cannot say that about King.

author Scott Nicholson said...

@indigo thanks for stopping by, I enjoy your positive and inspirational tweets

@nan thanks Nan, guess I'll keep writing!

@armand I kind of read them both but I prefer King just because he's more supernatural and less relentlessly fixed on the happy ending

@PS that's heresy but since this is my blog, I'll let you get away with it this once...

Nicholas La Salla said...

I loved "The Stand" and most of the stories from "Night Shift". I haven't read much beyond that, but I'm starting to. :-)

The story of Stephen King is one of the all time top inspirational legends for writers. The fact that he came out of nowhere and exploded on the scene and really hasn't let up since ("Oh, I'm retired now -- I only release 2 books a year") is outstanding. One of the most prolific writers out there. His interviews are equally interesting.

I love reading his forwards and introductions. Insight into his creative process is always appreciated.

And Scott, you gotta give yourself credit. You're at LEAST getting close ;-)



author Scott Nicholson said...

Yes, Nicholas, he's amazing, and he constantly keeps challenging himself.

I'm very happy with what I do and I know it sounds weird, but I wouldn't trade places with King.

muumol said...

Your style of writing is distinctly different from King, but there's no less elegance in the way it all falls together. Actually, some of the religion points in a few are in fact, more chilling. I've never been scared by King- I inspired and sometimes disgusted but never felt the twinge of fear. Well done!

Monster A Go-Go said...


There can only be ONE Stephen King -- just as there can only be ONE Scott Nicholson (and some might say that's one too many, but I'm NOT one of them. Hee hee). I've read everything of his except the last 2 or 3, but I will get to those (just as I've read everything of yours --in "real" book form-- except the last 2 or 3). King is awesome. The total book may be disappointing (and, to me, many in his "middle years" were bad), but he always has interesting characters, great description and involving dialogue.

Koontz, who I also read (that's the past-tense version of the word, except for the older stuff I've not caught up with yet), used to be really good, in my opinion, until he became too much of his own "product." Now, he pumps out two or three books a year, has his fancy-schmancy newsletter, makes more public appearances (even once in some cyber virtual world)--but his books now are just bad: predictable, schmaltzy, and filled with the requisite happy ending you mentioned. Koontz's writing ability seems too have diminished about the time his hair grew back (!?!?!). Maybe there's a correlation between his talent and his hair loss/gain?? Ha!

But there's only ONE Scott Nicholson. And YOU do Scott Nicholson VERY well. I'm sure there is someone out there somewhere who aspires to be just like Scott Nicholson (and hopefully he is getting treatment for that. Poor thing...). If you can't be the horror writer giant that King (or even Koontz) is, at least you are still THE KING to the goats. Wink! Wink!


author Scott Nicholson said...

@muumol I do tend to think faith is scary!

@monster only ONE can tend the flock said...

Scott, I have to agree with Monster as far as Koontz is concerned. As to King, there was never a moment where he lost me, even though I'm a supernatural/horror writer myself. I've just had so many other book recommendations backed up, and no one has recommended one of his recent ones in awhile. So whaddya say? It's been quite awhile. What's a good recent King to bring me back to the fold?

Paul D. Dail

author Christa Polkinhorn said...

I remember when King's books first became famous in Switzerland many years ago. Everybody read King, including me. I read a couple of his books, saw a few of the movies, found them fascinating and then lost interest. King knows how to tell a good story, but none of his characters survived in my mind for very long. That's NOT a criticism of King, that's just how I related to it and the so-called Horror genre.

When I started reading Scott's books, I was right away taken by the way he mixed Appalachian folklore, supernatural happenings, and human psychology, particularly those elements we like to hide from others and ourselves. His characters, particularly the young boys in his stories, stayed with me for a long time. No matter what kind of craziness went on in the story, the people, their feelings and thoughts, are very real to me.

Now, I'm not trying to flatter Scott and I don't like all of his books equally well. I have to admit I am not a fan of his Liquid Fear novel series, but I love all the other novels I read as well as his short stories.

In other words, it wasn't Stephen King who turned me on to the "Horror" genre (what a dumb label) but Scott Nicholson's paranormal, psychological thrillers/romances.


Glynis said...

I stumbled over this on Twitter being a great King fan having read everything of his except the Dark Tower series. Interested in reading something of yours but don´t know where to start..........not in to slash and blood more psychological fear. Care to point me in the right direction?

author Scott Nicholson said...

Paul, the two most recent I've read are Bag of Bones and Cell, and I didn't like them as much as the old stuff. But I've heard people say Under the Dome is among his best. Personally, I am catching up on the older stuff first, rereading The Dark Half right now.

Christa, thanks for the kind words. I think I am a little afield from the typical horror nut OI feel like I'm writing modern folk legends.

Glynis, you've come to the right place. Probably The Red Church may be a good entry point.


author Christa Polkinhorn said...

I like the label "modern folk legends" much better!