Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cat Fight!

Yesterday’s post talked about Stephen King’s belief in ebooks and the Kindle. Today, more about King. One thing he apparently does NOT believe in is author Stephenie Meyer.

According to The Guardian, here’s what he said in an interview earlier this month:
"The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn.”
How then, does King explain Meyer’s huge success?
King also drew a comparison between Meyer and Perry Mason mystery writer Erle Stanley Gardner. "He was a terrible writer, too, but he was very successful," he said, going on to criticise prolific thriller author James Patterson - "a terrible writer but he's very successful" - and fellow horror author Dean Koontz, who although he "can write like hell", is sometimes "just awful".
I don’t know if Meyer has responded to King, but her fans certainly have.
"Steven [sic] King doesn't know what a real book was if it hit him in the face. He's just a bloody guy who is jealous of Edward's good looks."
Ooh, ooh, cat fight! King vs. Gardner (in spirit), Patterson, Koontz, Meyer, and 50 million teenagers.


  1. Actually I agree with him on all but 1 point, I don't think Rowling's writing is particularly noteworthy. Also, I think King falls into exactly the same category as Koontz, can be brilliant, hugely popular, sometimes seems to phone it in.

  2. My personal opinion on King's statement (and how sad that I actually have one) is that he isn't precisely jealous, just puzzled. I agree that Meyer isn't a brilliant technical writer. However, it does take talent to do what Steph has done. King just doesn't recognize, appreciate or respect the kind of talent it takes to write that kind of popular fiction. There are other kinds of writing talent other than being "a really great writer" in the sense he means (but that's just my take on it).

  3. I don't think it's up to one writer, one reviewer or one reader to say this book is great and this one is not. I like a variety of books, from mystery to fantasy to memoir. I've read a bit of King and Koontz, all of Rowling (I think), all but one of Meyer, and lots of other writers. There have been some I didn't like. I'm reading one now that I keep putting down and swearing I won't pick up again, yet I do because someone close to me gave it to me for Christmas. It's not bac; it's just not my cup of tea.

  4. Why badmouth a fellow author? It just makes him look bad for doing it and won't change anyone's mind.

    Morgan Mandel

  5. I agree. No writer should criticize another unless one of them has done something incredibly wrong, unethical or illegal.


  6. I've made some comments about books I didn't particularly like, but I didn't name the book or the author. Reading likes and dislikes are totally subjective. And though some writers may break generally accepted rules, it doesn't mean they're bad, just different.

  7. We do entirely too much tiptoeing around works other than ours. These are quotes, so I don't know what conversation led up to his statements.

    I for one, admire the fact that he had the gumption to speak up about *his* opinion on the books by other authors. He also has been known to criticize his own work.

    I am a fan of both King and Koontz, and both have been hit and miss over the years.

    The world has enough readers for all kinds of work, good or bad.

  8. I agree, there are enough readers for all kinds of work. I'm not sure of King's reasoning for going after fellow big-selling authors. He doesn't say, that I know of, what his motivation was.

  9. From politics to sports and now writing it seems to be fashionable to trash talk others in your profession. I am a long time—very long time, public school teacher and try to keep up with what the kids are reading. Couldn’t do the Twilight books, I agree with King on this one. But there must be something there, and I admire that in a writer. I am not a horror story reader either but I have read some of King’s works—he is a great wordsmith but I skip the really scary stuff. King is just one who answers questions as he sees it, seldom does he worry about being politically correct.
    Wow—this post is much better than any of the others today—just kidding. Helen, this is a great sight, lots of stuff to talk about.

  10. I do believe you've got the wrong name. You're not rambling at all!

    Someone liked all of these writers or they would not be the "big" names. And I'm sure each of them have those who do not like them. It's a little odd that King went so public, though.

  11. Woo hoo! Snarkism and criticism in the ranks of the literary giants. They both can write. King needs not criticize his peers. But it's America - God love it.

  12. King has always stated that writers need to be true to the lie within the story they are telling. He is a big supporter of new writers learning the craft, and puts plenty of free advice out there for others to use as they see fit.

    Since his accident he has stopped tip-toeing around anybody. Personally, I'd have stopped after the Christine movie rights were sold.

    From a writing stand point, his opinion of Meyers technical ability is correct. But she has written a story which reached the masses, and should be congratulated for that - which King does.

    All writers pen dreck on occasion and the bigger the writer, the more likely that dreck will get published because the house wants money and are willing to pump you dry to get it.

    I can't believe a fan's comeback was King is jealous of an undead teenagers good looks - God I hope I can one day write a character people will go gaga over...

  13. King, and everyone, has a right to his opinion. I do believe it's best to point out what's good as well as what needs to be changed. It's a "rule" I try to work with as an editor. And I've always found writers to be the most supportive folks around. True, my experience is limited, but so far, it's held true.


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