Scottish writer Carole Johnstone’s award-winning short fiction has appeared in annual “Best of” anthologies in the US and UK. Her debut novel, Mirrorland, is described by Stephen King as “dark and devious…beautifully written and plotted with a watchmaker’s precision.” More information can be found at carolejohnstone.com
Stephen King was my very first writer crush. I started reading his books when I was fourteen years old, and I’ve been a Constant Reader ever since. When I wrote Mirrorland—a gothic psychological thriller set in an eccentric and frightening house filled with secrets, love, and lies—I chose a quote from Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption as its epigraph. Partly because the story features in the novel itself, but mostly because Stephen King’s writing has had such a huge influence on mine.
King’s greatest skill is his ability to create characters whom we feel we know, or whom we believe are real—and places that we can see and touch and smell and feel. No matter how strange or scary the story, there is always a sense of connection and familiarity. A knowing that we’re not alone; we’re all in this thing together. Narrowing my favorite Stephen King books down to only five has been a tough challenge, but here they are!