Thursday, March 6, 2014

In the Beginning

I started writing short stories when I was in junior high school.  They were all inspired by The Lord of the Rings.  I still have one, I think.  It's called "An Unwelcome Party."  In it, Gimli and a band of dwarves track an ancient spirit through Middle-earth.  Back then, I always played D&D with my little brother and a bunch of friends.  We pretended to be Tolkien characters.  I carried my D&D books in my backpack.  My parents never knew I didn't carry any school books around because I always got good grades.  We moved from NYC to Phoenix when I was 11, and the schools in AZ were a joke at the time.  Still are, I imagine.

My older brother's friend let me borrow a copy of Stephen King's Night Shift the summer before I started ninth grade.  That book changed my life.  I loved every story in that collection, but the one that really got me going was "Gray Matter."  I always loved The Blob and something about how the father transformed into a sludge-like monster scared the fuck out of me.  Of course, I'm a Daddy's boy through and through, so that just amplified my fear.

I wrote my first horror story called "A Blade Too Short" at that time.  It's about a little boy who gets off the school bus and is chased home by a gelatinous cube (yes, still playing D&D by then).  When he gets inside, he can't find anyone, so he runs upstairs and tries to get into the attic, but he's too short to reach the pull-down string.  The blob gets him, of course.  My mom, who helped edit all my stories then and I love her for it, also tried to publish that one for me.  She sent it out to a bunch of magazines.  Nobody picked it up.

Stephen King once said you get enough rejection slips to wallpaper your bathroom.  I believe everything he says and have never stopped listening to him.  Honestly, I love the guy.  I wish I could meet him one day.  I tried to hook up with him at an author's conference once but couldn't get tickets.  He jokingly sent me a Three Stooges postcard and suggested I try waiting tables.  How fucking cool.


  1. Stephen King is such a great writer. It's reassuring to see that he is a great person too. I'm in the process of editing my first collection of short stories so this post really resonated with me. Writing has recently become an essential part of my life. I'm glad to see that you stuck with it after high school. I hope that writing will be in my life for a while too. Looking forward to your book's release!

    1. Thanks, Daniel. Hope things are going well your way. I plan to post daily about my experiences as a writer. I hope they are of help (and entertaining). Stay in touch! I can't wait to get your thoughts on Crow Creek!