Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Meeting My Hero
On September 23, 2011, I got the opportunity to meet Stephen King! I bought a ticket to see him speak at George Mason University & entered a contest to meet him there and have a book signed. When my tickets to the event came, they also included a "golden ticket" -- I'd won! Steve called me with the news while I was on my way home from work and I considered him a liar until I saw the tickets myself.
We drove to Virginia. Luckily, Steve's mom lives about thirty minutes from George Mason so we had a place to stay. The day of the 23rd, I refused to believe I was really getting this opportunity. I kept waiting for something to go wrong. It didn't! That evening, I listened to an amazing speech from King about writing (including a reading from Doctor Sleep). Then, it was time for the signing.
I brought my copy of The Gunslinger, The book changed the way I looked at writing fiction. When I approached him, my mind went blank. He asked me how I was doing as he noticeably looked at my shaking hands. I simply said "I'm excited." The rest was a blur.
In his speech, he said "Writers aren't used to fame. We're meant to sit at our desks, putting our characters at the forefront." For me, it's always been about his characters and his stories, but I can't help but think of the man behind them, dreaming up the next adventure or the next horrifying passage.
I hope I get the chance to shake his hand again soon! If I do, I'll try to remember it a little better.