Stalking Stephen King

by DaniGirl on June 15, 2007 · 0 comments

in Away we go, Books, Life, the Universe and Everything

I was 10 years old when I picked up a copy of Firestarter that my mom left lying on an ottoman. I was fascinated by the story of Charlie McGee, the little girl who could light fires simply by thinking about them, and by the way she was treated as a lab project. I became an instant fan, and went on to read almost all of Stephen Kings books… probably a large part of the reason that I’m almost 38 years old and still prone to being afraid of the dark! But in addition to scaring the pants off me at regular intervals for the past 30 years, I think I’ve also learned a lot about the craft of writing, and of storytelling, from Stephen King. Even after all the novels, I think On Writing remains my favourite of his works, and one of my greatest inspirations as a would-be writer.

So when we were noodling ideas on where to go on our summer vacation and we stumbled on Bar Harbor, and I realized that to get to Bar Harbor we’d have to drive through Bangor, Maine, my fascination with Stephen King helped seal the deal. I was introduced to the idea of Maine through the works of Stephen King: Salem’s Lot, Carrie, Cujo, Pet Semetary, The Tommyknockers, and of course, It. I think It scared me worse than any other book in my life, and it’s actually set in the town of Bangor, masquerading as “Derry.”

I was delighted to find out that the Bangor visitors and convention bureau actually sponsors the Tommyknockers and More Bus Tour of Bangor, a tour of some of the places immortalized in King’s work – and then was crushed to realize we will be missing the first tour of the season by a scant five days.

Reading this article in Maine Today about Stephen King’s Maine, I followed references to Bett’s Bookstore in the heart of Bangor, home of a giant collection of King’s works and memorabilia. I sent a quick e-mail to the owner briefly outlining my fascination with Stephen King, our upcoming vacation and my disappointment at missing the bus tour. He returned my e-mail the same afternoon, saying he’d be glad to give me a copy of the same map they use for the tour if I’d like to stop by the store.

In my ongoing stalking research, I found this Roadside America link with photos and a map to the exact location of Stephen King’s own house, just around the corner from the bookstore. I mean, it’s one thing to take a walking tour of the Barrens *shudder* or to make my way up to the Standpipe, but to actually walk by Stephen King’s house? Way wicked cool!

So, our trip to Maine will be memorable for many, many reasons. There’s a playdate scheduled with an old bloggy friend I can’t wait to meet, and the boys’ first trip to the ocean (and out of the country, for that matter.) There will definitely be my first-ever visit to Target.

But Stephen King? I’ve got shivers just thinking about it.

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