November 16, 2011

Thank You, Stephen King: Gratitude Guest Post by Carrie Green, Author of Roses are Red

The WoMen's Literary Cafe is very thankful for all the support from readers, bloggers and reviewers during their recent 'Come Back To Me' Book Launch and #99centBookEvent. As a thank you, they organized this Gratitude Blog Hop.

I'm thrilled to be participating and welcome author, Carrie Green. She's written a wonderful post about her draw to the horror genre. We hope you enjoy it. Thanks, Carrie, for stopping by.

Thank You, Stephen King!

As a writer, there are many people that I'd like to thank—readers, of course, are first and foremost.  Thank you for buying my books and for taking the time to post reviews.  Next, like any good acceptance speech, I'd acknowledge family, friends, teachers, and lastly, a shout out to the super supportive community of authors & bloggers that I have discovered online. 

My deepest debt of gratitude, however, actually goes to the horror maestro, Stephen King. 

King was the author, beyond all others, who showcased the versatility of the horror genre to me, which forever shaped my path as a writer.  At an early stage in every writer's career, it becomes necessary to select a genre.  This is the decision which will define you, as an author, and your books, as a product, from that point forward, as you strive to build an audience.

Throughout my childhood, starting around third grade, I was a voracious reader and I devoured my books, en masse by genre.  I went through periods where I read every book that I could find in a specific genre and nothing else, until I grew bored with repetitive themes, characters and plots.  I would then switch to a new genre. 

In this fashion, I went from reading westerns to spy adventures, mysteries, celebrity bios, science fiction, detective, romance and horror novels.  I'd bravely walk past the main librarian's desk, so that I could enter the Adult section (there was one dour old librarian who'd bark that I should stay in the children's area, if she saw me), passionate on my crusade to explore all the different genres.

There were certainly some great books that I encountered—the hard-boiled detective novels of the 1940's were one particular stand-out, but when I finally embraced the Stephen King collection, it was like a shining beacon went on.  I had avoided King, due to reading Carrie at the tender age of eight (since it kept coming up during recess).  That novel was the bane of my adolescence. 

Whenever a prom or school dance was scheduled, some smart mouth would ask if I was intending to run for prom queen and wouldn't it be funny to toss pig's blood at me.  Ha. Ha.  I recall while reading that book my dismay at finding out that Carrie was such a total social outcast.  She had no redeeming traits—no charm, no good looks, no intellect and she hurt the very people who tried to help her. 

I couldn't appreciate, at the time, the tragedy and horror that was being depicted in this tale of bullies, victims, and the not-so-innocent bystanders who allowed this cycle of abuse to continue.  My main take-away was that it would be fool-hardy for me to ever run for prom queen.  I knew that it would be too tempting for my peers.  After reading Carrie, I hated Stephen King.

Only when I was in college, during a writing workshop where other people kept comparing my writing to King's, did I become curious enough to try his books, again.  It was a revelation.  Once I was no longer reading about characters named Carrie, I found him vastly entertaining! 

King showcased for me the endless possibilities, flexibility, and originality of the horror genre.  A villain can be a serial killer (Firestarter), a loving father and husband (The Shining and Pet Sematary), a classic car (Christine) or a clown (It).  Heroes can be just as unexpected—children, an average joe, or even a prisoner on death row as in The Green Mile series. 

One of my favorites from his more recent works has to be the untrustworthy narrator of Blaze, a petty criminal who kidnaps a baby, who is both the hero and the villain in the novel.  It's an elegant exercise on the duality of human nature.  I also adore Misery.  It is both a great horror novel and a wonderful stand-alone romance (in the chapters that resurrect the character of Misery).  I could not imagine a more unlikely genre coupling, but King appeared to pull it off with ease.

I must sincerely thank King for teaching me, through his published works, that the horror genre, above all others, can be any genre.  It offers the greatest flexibility, since horror can be found in any situation and seen through the eyes of any character.  It offers infinite freedom.  I am only limited by my own imagination!

For more information about Carrie and her books, please visit her Amazon Author page.

Today, Wednesday, November 16th only, leave a comment below and receive a FREE copy of Carrie's collection of horror short stories, 'Roses are Red.' Please provide your email address in order to be sent a PDF link as well as a Smashwords code to download your FREE book.  Thanks!

Please visit these other stops on the Gratitude Blog Hop so that you can win additional FREE books:


Unknown said...

King was hugely influential on me as well. I got hooked when I read Christine and felt like I'd never read such an accurate description of life in high school. I've been gleefully following him across genres ever since. Thanks for writing this.

Landon Cocks said...

Hi, Carrie.

I was introduced to paperbacks by Stephen King, with "Cujo" being the first and "Pet Sematary" coming right after. Although I never really got hooked on the genre (I'm an adventure/thriller dude), I recognized King's mastery of language and storytelling right away, even as a young punk teenager. He kinda lost me in book gazillion of the "Dark Tower" series, but I still consider him possibly the finest American author ever. If your writing is anything like his, I'm looking forward to reading your book!


Scott Bury said...

I've not read a lot of King; I was intrigued by the first entry in the Dark Tower series, by the enigma of the Man in Black and the Gunslinger, which inspired some of my writing, but I guess it didn't really hook me.

Do you really believe that you have to stay in a genre? I know that makes it easier for marketing, but I have so many different stories to tell! said...

Hi Carrie!
GREAT article about your reading ventures and how Stephen King influenced you! I enjoyed it. I remember my mother trying to scare me about the rabbit under the bed! From The Shining! She always told me, (as a teen!!) the rabbits arm is going to come out from under the bed and grab me! I always did side-step the edge of the bed! The thought still crosses my mind occasionally! To bad she's still not here for me to share this with her!
Thank you!
Looking forward to reading your short stories! I have a feeling they might be a little influenced by King!
Anxiously awaiting it!
Thank YOU!
Laurie Carlson
laurieisreading at gmail dot com
PS. Watch out for the rabbit in the dead of the night!

James said...

Carrie, the frustrating thing about Stephen King is his stories can be so danged awesome but others can be just as danged bad. Loved It and The Stand, The Green Mile, and the first three books of the Dark Tower Series. Just as disappointed by Insomnia and Tommyknockers. I just sort of lost interest in King after the Dark Tower series (the ending was so disappointing).

Can't wait to read your books though.

Anonymous said...

Hey Carrie,

I couldn't agree with you more. I was heavily influenced by Stephen King. I remember reading IT when I was like 14 or so.

I also found myself blown away by the first three volumes of the Books of Blood by Clive Barker. I thought that he too is a man who has taken a genr and simply ripped it apart in terms of what a horror writer can create.

Great post.

Carrie Green, said...

Wow, a ton of comments! Let me respond to everyone:

Daniel, I love Christine, too. King is great at recapturing high school moments (this was true of Carrie, as well).

Landon, Written Word, One aspect of showcasing different genres is that not all of your work will appeal to everyone. Great example is how one of you disliked the Dark Tower and the other enjoyed it. I have the same reaction with my stories--different people like certain stories better than the others and it's never the same story.

Written Word, I do believe that it is necessary to commit to one genre in order to attract and retain an audience.

Laurie, Your Mom sounded super cool. She's totally right, you should always check under the bed (esp. in a strange room like a hotel), 'cause you never know...

James, I think it's more of King playing with different genres, you shouldn't expect all his books to appeal to you (I don't love them all, either). If you want to give him another chance check out some of the books that I cited, Blaze was esp. good, I also really like Cell, reminded me of King's style in the earlier years.

Everyone, Thanks for your patience. Now that I responded to your comments, I'm going to email out your free copy of ROSES ARE RED. Enjoy and thank you!

Carrie Green, said...

Alex, I've never read Clive Barker, I'll have to check out his books, thanks for the recommendation!

Jennie Bennett said...

I'm personally not a fan of horror, but I can think of several author to whom I owe gratitude. Great post!

Carrie Green, said...

J.A., thanks for your kind words!
Cheers, Carrie

Carine said...

A very good piece, Carrie. I read several battered paperbacks by King in my teens and early twenties when one of my best friends was a horror freak... Then I mostly gave it a rest, until a couple of years ago when I rediscovered him through 'The Road Virus Heads North' in the multiple author collection '999'.... and then his own collection 'Everything's Eventual'... and books like 'The Green Mile', 'Dreamcatcher', 'Cell' and 'Lisey's Story'. He gets under the skin of characters like few other authors can...

Btw, I am currently reading 'Horns' by Joe Hill. I'm not sure how many people realize that Stephen's brain 'children' were not his only bequest to the horror genre.

Tia Bach said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by, and to Carrie for the lovely post.

You're all inspiring me to read some horror, starting with Carrie's Roses are Red.

Carrie Green, said...

Stephen King, is sort of like John Travolta to me--I read the book, or see the movie, because this artist defines a time in current pop culture. That's why I especially loved his novel Cell, where King pokes fun at us materialistic folks buying our tech toys.

Not every work is a comeback story or blockbuster hit, but King has certainly hit it out of the park more than anyone else writing today. King is worth revisiting and you might enjoy that free book of mine!

Anonymous said...

Why it's no other than Carrie!!!

Yayeah! Today is a good day.

It's hovermale (at) insightbb (dot) com and I cannot wait. CANNOT wait to read your book.


Carrie Green, said...

I'm delighted to send you Roses Are Red. Enjoy a little horror for the holidays!
Cheers, Carrie

Justin Bogdanovitch said...

Carrie, what a great Post & you were brave to read Carrie at age 8! I waited until I was 12 LOL I couldn't agree with you more, about any of the choices and your stance on the horror genre. It's what I like to read so why not share the writing too?

I liked Under the Dome and his Full Dark, No Stars was really tight writing too (newer King work that rocks - I love the old King the best) & his new time travel opus is getting rave reviews, some of the most kind of his long glittering career.

I can't wait to read your book too.


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I'm not really much of a Stephen King fan. Some of his horror stories are a bit too scary for this sensitive soul. lol.

My sister is a major fan though.

(forgot to add my email the first time)

Carrie Green, said...

Great of you to think of your sister! Happy to send you a free book, hope that she enjoys it! Cheers, Carrie

Kim Norris said...

Stephen King has been read over and over in this house, by either my husband or myself. Truly terrifying. Best wishes to you and your writing career!!
Kim Norris

Carrie Green, said...

Boy, I'm having trouble keeping up with these comments! Justin we definitely think alike--I'm sure that you'll love my horror stories, I tried to provide something for every type of horror fan. I also can not wait to get my hands on King's new novel.

Carrie Green, said...

Sent out a free book for you and your hubby to enjoy! What I especially love is re-reading a King book from so long ago that it's like reading it for the first time. King helps me look forward to 'senior moments' as my Mom call them!
Cheers, Carrie

Kellianne Sweeney said...

I love that you overcame your fear of Stephen King and were able to embrace it.What a turning point! Think of what you would have missed. He is a most excellent author and it's great that you are compared to him. I am looking forward to reading your series.

Tia Bach said...

You all have me convinced. I've never read any Stephen King, although I just started his On Writing. I was terrified by King movies Carrie, Christine & Cujo as a teenager, but I love Shawshank Redemption.

Carrie Green, said...

Yup, I'm pretty pleased with myself that I overcome my initial dislike of Stephen King. It's meant that I have lots of great books to enjoy! I'm proud, now, if anyone compares my work to his--that's a wonderful compliment!
Cheers, Carrie

Carrie Green, said...

I want to give a shout-out here for Tia, who is just the best hostess. I'm having a great time hanging out at her blog! She's gracious, funny, and down-to-earth. Check out her other blogs (the ones not featuring me rambling on about horror and Stephen King). Tia even shared the recipe for Depression Cookies with me. I think that I've made a life-long friend and I'm truly thankful!

Pam Young said...

I also enjoy reading Stephen King-- loved Firestarter! And I appreciate your perspective of his writing! Well done and thanks! Looking forward to reading your work.

Carrie Green, said...

I did have a unique perspective by having the same first name as a very famous character of King's. Most people don't realize that Carrie's last name was White.

I'm very glad that King probably selected that color for symbolic reasons. Imagine if green had been his favorite color?

It would have been horrible to have the exact same name! It was tough enough being named Carrie. Anyway, I love Firestarter, too!
Cheers, Carrie

Carrie Green, said...

Your email bounced. Please post it again. Sorry.

Tia Bach said...

Thanks, Carrie! I love the writing community and learn more everyday, and I love to learn and try new things. Next I guess is horror!

Anonymous said...


Great article. King has been at the top of my list for 35 years. My first was The Shining and it scared the daylights out of me. The movie, however, was a disappointment, even with Jack Nicholson's performance. I have read many of his works and horror is my go to genre. I find myself bouncing around Sci-fi and thrillers as well... ADD never sleeps LOL Really looking forward to reading your stories. As one of Mr. King's most famous namesakes, there has to be a huge karmic tsunami headed your way (there's a mental image for you). Good luck and I can't wait to read your stuff.
edward (at) storiesbyedwardowen (dot) com Thank you.

Catherine Lee said...

I, too, love Stephen King and I'm looking forward to reading his newest Title: 11/22/63). What an intriguing premise: What if JFK had lived? Looking forward to reading your Roses Are Red short stories.


Sheila Deeth said...

Once I found Stephen King's books I was hooked as well. His characters always succeed in making sense and being different, both at once. I've not read the Dark Tower series yet--keep hoping there'll be a cheaper paperback set I can collect.

Loved your post.

sheiladeeth at hotmail dot com

Carrie Green, said...

Edward, Catherine, and Sheila,
Sorry I'm a little back-up on comments, but I've already sent out your free books. I hope that you enjoy Roses Are Red.

Now that we're all slowly convincing Tia to perhaps try some horror, what is the perfect Stephen King novel to recommend? I'm thinking Misery? Anyone read King's newest novel yet and can venture whether that would be a good choice? Love to hear your opinions!
Cheers, Carrie

LizzieBeth said...

I love Stephen King's books. My favorite will always be Salem's Lot.

Lovely article, Carrie. Enjoyed it very much.

Kari Boardman said...

Stephen King will always be one of my favorite writers! Thanks for sharing!

kari at itsiest dot com

Dana & Keith Newbrough said...

I have to agree - Stephen King has been my go-to for years! While I am not a writer, I am a voracious reader and I am always looking for a mystery, horror, sci-fi or just plain intriguing novel that keeps my attention. As a mother, my reading occurs late at night, so if it is slow = I am asleep. I have often referred back to King to give me those adrenaline based chills or just keep me reading for those "what the hell" moments. ;) With that in mind, I look forward to reading your works that were inspired by such a strange, wonderful mind.

Tia Bach said...

Oh my, the previews for Salem's Lot were enough to keep me awake for weeks. Never did see the movie. I have a very vivid imagination, so I think that one will not be my first read! ;-)

bookworm said...

I'm sorry I found this close to my bedtime; I'll have to come back and read all the comments. I have enjoyed several of King's books, especially The Green Mile, although I'm generally not a horror reader. I'm looking forward to reading his new novel 11/22/63 as I am a fan of alternate history books. My developmentally disabled brother in law loves horror so I look forward to being able to print out the PDF for him.

Tia Bach said...

Alana, so glad you could stop by. I loved the Green Mile movie. Maybe I'm a bigger Stephen King fan than I thought. And books are always better. Hmmm...

Janet said...

I used to be so addicted to Stephen King, but then I tried to read It and got scared...haven't tried to read any lately...haha!! Thank you for participating today!!

Carrie Green, said...

LizzieBeth, Kari, Dana, and Bookworm,
Some outstanding Stephen King books are being cited today. Salem's Lot has always been interesting to me, because it doesn't seem like a typical King novel--he was still discovering his voice, I think. I adore the idea of the Green Mile as a book to recommend to Tia (to gently introduce horror to her). Most of us can relate to the horror of not standing up for what's right. It's a quiet, yet powerful. I think that it would be very appealing to Tia. Thanks for your wonderful suggestions. I've sent out all your books, except Bookworm (please contact me later).
Cheers, Carrie

Carrie Green, said...

Your comment made me laugh! It's so true. I love King, but I try not to read him if I'm alone in the house!
Cheers, Carrie

AO said...

hi Carrie! i love Stephen King as well. he is such a prolific writer and blessed with a very creative mind.

may SK continue to inspire you and i wish you all the best with your writing.

thanks for sharing your thoughts and for being gracious as well.


Shannon Knobel said...

Thanks for sharing Tia and Carrie...

Carrie Green, said...

Aobibliophile and Shannon,
Thanks for your best wishes! Tia and I were happy to participate in this gratitude blog hop. I write this the next morning and I feel like I attended a really great party the night before! It was a total blast talking with everyone. It's my sincere hope that you'll visit Tia often and enjoy reading my books! Thank you!

Lmbrunken said...

I love horror and thriller books. this sounds exciting thank you!

Lmbrunken at

Tia Bach said...

Thanks again to all the visitors, and a special thanks to Carrie for spending the day with us!