The ‘King’ is an Honor to Readers & Now He Receives a Big One
~ by Amy Lignor
Yes, Stephen King’s full title is still the “King of Horror.” Many things are changing in the publishing industry, with a majority creating the best news that the book world has seen in a long time. And this is the author, Stephen King, who has remained an icon for most all writers. Whether unknown or well-known, King has shown that there are a variety of ways to publish that still bring in the cash and can make a writer leave ‘unknown’ status behind.
Now, being an author, getting published, the constant advertising and publicity…all of this makes for a really tough job. Not that it can be compared with laborers in coal mines, but writing is a very difficult career to become accomplished at when one attempts to make it the job that pays the bills. But King did it well. Upside for writers is, he continues to strive to help others along a path he struggled on as well until he became that global “King of Horror.”
The news out of Washington, D.C. has Stephen King’s name written all over it this year. A man who has created books that have lasted generations, beginning in 1974, going over sixty books spanning over forty years, he will now head to D.C., The White House this Thursday, and have the National Medal of Arts bestowed upon him by President Obama.
There are others who will join in as medal award-winners; including, Sally Field, an actress that has done as much for the movie community as King has done for writing. As well as her continuous work for women’s and LGBT rights. Another author, Tobias Wolff, is being granted a medal for his outstanding memoir work, such as “This Boy’s Life,” and more honorees from John Baldessari (visual artist) to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Can fans expect a book regarding a White House demon to be penned in the future by King? Who knows? However, let’s face it, he certainly has fodder to work with if attempting a horror novel about government. But not only is King one of the most prolific writers of our time, he has definitely shown to be one of the most popular. And as it is with, say…Aerosmith in music lovers’ ears, King’s popularity has never dimmed with book lovers.
When it comes to the world of publishing, the constant transformation has not dimmed either. What used to be an industry marked by a group of “5” of the biggest publishers out there, has now changed to an industry where self-publishing, independent publishers, and smaller houses have brought forth writers that have gone on to gain massive popularity in the business. Even when it comes to the good news that some major book publishers are back on track and reporting earnings, reports are also way up when looking at the ability others have to self-publish OR traditionally publish because of the record number of avenues to utilize.
Yes, this is still an industry where debates will always occur (much like Washington) but in the end, two things remain true:
One: Books have come back in this country which says a great deal for the publishing paths to be chosen. It also says a great deal for eBooks that more and more kids are reading now than they have in the past decade before this type of technology came into play.
Two: Stephen King, wholeheartedly, deserves this award (as do his honorees). He is still cranking out the tales that make people sit down for a moment in this free-for-all of a land and get to enjoy adventure, characters, and spine-tingles. Some “tingles” could cause the activity of looking under the bed at night before you turn out the light, but they also remain “tingles” and “horrors” that are fun, imaginative, and have no consequences. Something that this world could learn a little from.
Congratulations to the book community – readers, writers, and the Houses for bringing back the book. And thank you, Mr. King. Your fans say: Enjoy the day, Stephen, but enjoy it fast, because then you have to head home and start cracking on the next book.
(The White House Ceremony will appear at 3:00 p.m. EST at www.whitehouse.gov).