Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Readers, Writers, and Serendipity

I read two books in the last three days. One book I’d ordered to receive on publication date and the other one I checked out of the library.

In Finders Keepers, the sequel to Mr. Mercedes, King once again enters to world of the Thriller. King starts this new book by introducing a famous reclusive writer; however, the book continues with the dark story of one of the writer’s more fanatical fans (not a new subject for King). I found it difficult to put this book down for mundane things, like doctor’s appointments, meals, sleep.

Joyce Carol Oates’ book is about a writer’s dark side, also a past subject for King. In fact Stephen King figures prominently throughout Jack of Spades. I didn’t read the blurb on the inside flap of the book. I just saw the author’s name, the title, and the label “New Fiction” and checked it out. Serendipity. There are really two writers in this book: the narrator, a famous best-selling author who is compared to King, and another one who’s never been published but has hundreds of rejection letters. I began this book late this morning; I finished it early this afternoon.

To say these two books caught my imagination would be an understatement.

I am a voracious reader (overflowing bookcases, trips to the library, a Kindle that’s busting at the seams).

I am a big fan of these two authors (I’ve “met” them both…well, actually just stood in their presence,  one signed a book and I shook the other’s thin hand. Oh, yes. I did stand in front of King’s Maine house for a picture).

I’m a writer, writing for publication for more than 50 years, with my own folder of rejections.

I saw a little (a very little, thankfully) of myself in both books.

That is brilliant writing.

That is Serendipity.


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