01 April 2012

How I gave my book to Stephen King

Stephen King gave the closing address at the 2012 Savannah Book Festival. Being a writer and a book lover and a Savannahain, I was in attendance.

The closing address was great. Stephen talked about literature, the media, writing, about his new book, 11/22/63, and about some of his current projects. He also dropped some hints about what to expect in the future (like a sequel to The Shinning).

Now, before I walked out the door that morning, I put a copy of American Idol in my cargo pocket. Who knows, I figured, maybe I’ll get the chance to slip him a copy during the signing after the address. Doubtful (after all, how many whack jobs try to foist there “books” on the poor guy on a daily basis) but possible.

There were 400 people at the signing and Stephen was all business. The whole thing moved along like clockwork. There was no chitchat, no personalized autographs, just wham bam thank you constant reader. That’s not a criticism, 400 books take a long time to sign and the King of horror is a busy man. No way, I thought, will I be able to give him a copy.

Well, I was all the way at the back of the line and by about the 350th book, things started to lighten up a bit. Most of the auditorium had cleared out by then and Stephen was smiling, cracking jokes and chatting with people.

When my turn finally came I mounted the stage on shaky legs. My gut was in a roil (which was ironic because earlier in the closing address Stephen told a funny anecdote about someone asking for his autograph while he was breaking for the bathroom with the squirts). As soon as he signed my copy of 11/22/63, I pulled out my copy of American Idol and said, “This is my book Mr King. Can I give it to you?”
The King of horror smiled, took my novel and said, “Sure, if you want.”

Simple as that! All I could think to myself as I walked out of the auditorium was, Holy shit, I just gave my book to Stephen fucking King!