Writers are obsessed with other writers. So many of the greats have, somewhere in their oeuvre, at least one novel in which an author is either writing a book, or is struggling with writer’s block. It is a narrative writers relish: that somebody can make their fortune from nothing other than telling stories, and trying to tell them well.
For King, it is a rich vein that he has mined on more than one occasion. Some of his most enduring works feature writers: Salem’s Lot, It, The Shining, The Dark Half and many more feature writers of either novels or plays. But King’s most famous work about an author is Misery, a truly terrifying look at what happens when a keen fan strays onto the wrong side of obsession. It is commonly read as a metaphor for addiction, but can also be taken at face value as an investigation into the love that fans feel for the writers who have changed their lives
New York Times
Literary celebrity sounds like an oxymoron, but it does happen. Selling millions of books isn’t enough; readers have to feel a profound personal connection to the writer. J. K. Rowling is definitely in the club. James Patterson, probably not. Or consider this story, one told to me 20 years ago by a member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, the writer-rock band. (Now that might be an oxymoron.) The band stopped for breakfast at a small-town truck stop before the sun was up. This was pre-smartphone, pre-social media, practically pre-Internet. Yet by the time the band members returned to their tour bus, there were several people lined up, clutching copies of “The Stand,” eager to meet the band’s undisputed rock star, Stephen King.
Yeah, that’s not creepy at all.