Ah, I knew Twilight would make it into this blog eventually. I read this article yesterday, in which Stephen King says that, “Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”
Now, to be perfectly honest, I agree with King. (Also to be perfectly honest, though, I have read Stephenie Meyer, which is more than I can say for Stephen King . . .). In fact, I wrote a very snarky review of Twilight in my personal book blog, and I get a sort of perverse satisfaction when I read other snarky reviews. Nonetheless, reading this blurb about Stephen King’s snarkiness toward Stephenie Meyer majorly rubbed me the wrong way, and I’ve been trying to put my finger on why. Some of the things I’ve wondered include
- Does this bug me because I’ve heard Stephen King isn’t a great writer, either? Is it a case of the pot calling the kettle black, two mediocre writers who have still managed to attain phenomenal success? Again, I haven’t read King, but I have heard from multiple people whose taste I trust that he’s not great.
- I wondered, does it bug me because I think Stephen King should “pick on someone his own size”? But in the teen girl world, Stephenie Meyer is wildly successful and probably is his own size.
- Is it because it’s a male established writer dissing a female newby?
Finally, I decided I think it’s just that I see no good reason for Stephen King to use his “literary status” to pontificate about how Stephenie Meyer doesn’t have what it takes. It’s one thing to have non-published writers diss her (I mean, let’s face it, us non-pubs can get resentful of others’ wild success); it’s one thing to have published, established writers who are writing about “serious” matters and not earning two pennies to rub together diss her; even those who consider her market competetive to their own may have something to gain from snarkiness. But Stephen King? She’s not stealing his readers. It’s not as if he doesn’t have his own success to make him feel comfy and secure. It just seems like a mean-spirited thing to do. And even if I may agree with his assessment of writing abilities, I have less desire than ever to pick up one of his books.