As a kid, two authors perhaps most influenced me in terms of committing to a writing career. The first was Tolkien, who inspired me with his ability to conjure up fantastic worlds, characters and epic adventures. The second was Stephen King. It was a quote by Stephen King that inspired me, as an eleven year old, to staple together my poems with Maths solutions and sell them to my classmates at fifty cents a pop. He had said something to the effect that the moment someone paid you anything to read what you had written, you were talented. That evening I came home with my first `royalty’ of $12.50 and announced to my mother that I had become a professional writer.
In later years, as someone who began to discover a love for writing horror, and as someone who enjoyed reading horror as a genre, I grew up in awe of the amazing body of work Stephen King had created.
In more ways than one, Stephen King was the one author who perhaps led me to be the writer I am today. So it was one of the highlights of my writing career so far to be on the same page as him- literally. Yesterday, I broke into the Top 10 bestselling Horror writers worldwide on Amazon, at #10, and had the amazing experience of being listed on the same page as Stephen King, an author I have admired ever since he first inspired and propelled my foray into writing. In a way, my journey as a writer had come full circle. Someone joked about me now taking on The King, but I have no pretensions of competing in the same weight class as him. Just being on the same page as him was a privilege- akin to someone who has grown up idolizing Sachin Tendulkar finding himself in the middle batting with the Master.
Stephen King will probably never read this and we will perhaps never meet in real life, but he should know that his words inspired a little kid thousands of miles away all those years ago, and led him to develop a life long love for writing. Today that kid is relishing meeting his inspiration, if only by being on the same page on an Amazon.com bestselling list. I can only hope and aspire that some day my work touches some kid’s life somewhere the way writers like Tolkien and King did mine.
Am now at #12, but find myself checking often whether I’m back, living next door to The King.