• Jamie Tinker


    Stephen King Expert Speaks to Students

    Students in Maria Johnson’s Maine Writers class have been reading some of Stephen King’s stories lately, so it was a real treat when Jamie Tinker of SKTours of Maine stopped by Wednesday to talk about the prolific author.

         “It was so cool,” Fiona Allen said.

         Jamie, who has known Stephen King for many years and who entertains thousands of King fans annually on tours of Bangor, aka “Derry,” spoke widely about the writer, the foundation Stephen and wife Tabitha started, and much more. Jamie also took questions from the students.

         In response to a question about the author’s influences, Jamie said that when Stephen was young, a trip to the local drive-in to watch “Creature from the Black Lagoon” really sparked his interest in monsters, horror, and the like.

         Though he also had literary influences, such as Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen’s love of cinema and television shaped his story-telling style, which was panned by literary critics early in his career. Stephen didn’t pay those critics much mind and just kept writing.

         About what? Stephen follows the classic advice to “write what you know,” Jamie said. When Stephen and Tabitha were in Colorado, he was inspired to write “The Shining,” set in Colorado, about a former teacher trying to finish a book. Not many years before, Stephen King was a teacher at Hampden Academy, writing at night, hoping to make a living as a writer.

         With reportedly 350 million books sold and more than 100 film and television adaptions finished or in development, Stephen has certainly made it as a writer, and his financial success has benefited many in Maine through gifts from The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. Much of that giving is dedicated to community institutions like libraries and schools. In fact, GSA has benefited from their generosity. A gift from the foundation a few years back was used to buy furniture that students sit in every day in the GSA library.

         Jamie finished by encouraging the students to come to Bangor for a tour. Visit www.sk-tours.com for more information.

         Thank you, Jamie, for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm about Maine’s most prolific author with student from Maria’s Maine Writers class, as well as visitors from Erin McCormick’s Sophomore English class.

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