The Power of Words…
When I first learned this I was about 13, in the back of the family station wagon and under a blanket reading Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. I would have been in huge trouble for that, not for reading, but the subject matter. It wasn’t the book a sheltered Catholic girl should be reading, however, it scared the crap out of me. Really scared; so much that I had to stop, tuck it away and think of something else. Quickly. That’s when I realized that the author’s words were so powerful they terrified me. I didn’t know if I could finish it. I asked myself, “It’s a book. I’m scared of a book?” As it is now, I understand that the way it’s written on the page, (i.e. printed) that had me breathing hard, sweating a little and thinking ‘ Oh please let good win over evil.”
It was my first King novel and wasn’t my last. Some I couldn’t read they scared me so much. I consider that a mark of excellence. If the author can bring me to a tense state, then yes, they know the power of their words. When I began writing, I remembered that childhood moment and it made me want to learn how to recreate that too.
My mom is a huge mystery fan and panics when there aren’t at least four unread books in the house. I’m not that bad, but then again, I write them so there is a happy medium in there somewhere. I have varied taste. It depends on my mood, my current interest. Last year I read almost all of the PJ Parrish books. I love comedy and adore my pal Rhonda’s Finley Anderson Tanner series. If I want a thriller, its Preston and Child, and if I want to read a historical, I immediately go for Connie Brockway, Jillian Hunter or Teresa Medeiros. They have never failed me. Oh, and neither has Stephen King.
So, readers… anyone give you that reading jolt?