Wandering in the Christmas section of a mall store, probably in mid-November of 1983, I came across some really cute ornaments – sparkly spiders in a sparkly white web. I bought two and sent one off to Stephen King. I’d been reading his work since discovering Carrie in the New Book section at the Wilmington Public Library in the spring of 1974. I loved everything he wrote and I thought that ornament would be a nice Thank You for all the hours of entertainment he’d given me. I sent it off with a note and forgot about it.
A few weeks later, I got a notice to pick up a package that was too big for our P.O. Box. When I saw the return address and postmark, I just couldn’t believe it. Stephen King sent ME something??!!
Then, when I opened it and found Cycle of the Werewolf, a special edition book printed just the month before and signed by Stephen King himself, I remember just floating around for a day or two afterwards. That was the ultimate gift for a book lover!
It has lived in the padded manila envelope it was mailed in, on a shelf in our library, since we moved to our current house 26 years ago. For some reason, the envelope looks like, um, maybe a werewolf’s been using it as a chew stick. Not sure why it’s tattered and the padding is pulled away from the paper but I didn’t think it would make a pretty picture for the interwebs, so you’ll have to trust me that the writing and stamps are still clear and intact.
I thought this would also be a good way to introduce some of my older stories that I’ve wanted to publish as a sort of history of my writing. Stephen King was an early influence on two or three stories I’ll be posting this summer, the first of which, A Picture’s Worth, just went up today. I don’t plan to do a lot of editing unless I find something embarrassingly awful, so be kind and enjoy!