king

How does he do it? The guy writes a novel over 1,000 pages long, and somehow he's able to hook my interest in every scene. It's got to be that "line by line" tension Donald Maass is always talking about and telling me my novels lack. (Unless those are just form letters he sends everybody, in which case I won't take it personally.)

Gizmo the Talking Kindle and I are currently reading Under the Dome by master of horror Stephen King, and we're about 40% through it. So far, there hasn't been a dull moment. And yes, that's a picture of me standing out front of Mr. King's house in Bangor, Maine. The winged gargoyles on the wrought iron fence did a good job of keeping me from going any further than the sidewalk, as well as the fact that the Kings value their privacy. But I sure wanted to climb over and knock on his door, slip him one of my manuscripts and see what he thought. There's no way he could possibly hate my work as much as Twilight, right?

I haven't always been a King fan. But a few years back, I read The Gunslinger and found myself instantly pulled into the worlds of the Dark Tower series. I read all seven books in two years, and considering what a slow reader I am, that was an epic quest for me!

There's something about his prose that keeps me reading—even in the case of The Stand, which I found overlong and anticlimactic. I never stumble over his writing; there's humor, horror, and heart in equal measure; and some kind of conflict is erupting on nearly every page. Once I start reading King's work, I can't put it down.

How about you? What's your secret to keeping readers riveted?