a la King

Posted on May 16, 2008


Far too much happening with my uni work at present to be able to do much with my own writing. Fortunately that uni work is generally relevant to my writing goals, so all is not lost. Sadly, I was not able to finish a piece that I wanted to submit to a particular anthology in the USA. I will just have to find an alternative market for it to submit to in due course.

At the risk of sounding as if I am blowing my own trumpet, I had decided that I must have some strong similarities with Stephen King. Sure, we are both geeky looking things, curse too much and have had alcohol problems, but that isn’t what I’m getting at. Nor do I dare compare my writing to his in any way other than to acknowledge he is WAAAAAY better than I.

When an anthology published one of my pieces a couple of years ago, one of the other contributing authors was speaking to me at the launch. Whilst complimentary about my story, he also commented that it had a striking similarity to some scenes in one of King’s The Dark Tower series. At that point, I had not read a single one of those books by King. In fact I have only just recently started to read them.

In my opinion, one of my strongest pieces to date was a supernatural western featuring an antagonist called The Gunman. Editors always seemed to be a bit funny about the story. It has generally not been rejected out of hand, but subjected to some further consideration and umming and ahhhing. Now that I have started on that Dark Tower series of books, I think I can understand a little more of that hesitancy. That series of course starts with The Gunfighter. I didn’t know that when I first penned my story, and King’s Gunfighter is the protagonist, whereas my Gunman is the baddie. But for someone just coming to the story cold, without knowing my background, they could be forgiven for thinking I had been trying to rip King off or at least trying hard to replicate his style of work. So that story has now been shelved until I can come back to it, give it a major rewrite and remove as much accidental Kingesqueness as possible.

Is it my fault that great minds think alike? [he says with all due modesty, to the accompaniment of cries of ‘bullshit!’] šŸ™‚

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