Monday, December 9, 2013

now the scariest man on twitter

Stephen King is on twitter. Yep, that Stephen King. Of course, there are plenty of writers on twitter, but most of us are trying to launch a career. Magillas in the publishing world (or their handlers) generally don't feel the need to give it away in a medium that is unfamiliar to them. Some are opposed, even vehemently, to the suggestion, that twitter, or any social space matters. After mocking Facebook, Jonathan Franzen told students at Tulane last March that "Twitter stands for everything I's like writing a novel without the letter 'P'." (Interestingly, he now has a Facebook page.)

I like that Stephen King's twitter account is, apparently, written by him. His first tweets bear all the endearing marks of a newbie:

The wish for mercy: "My first tweet. No longer a virgin. Be gentle!"

The stage fright: "On Twitter at last, and I can't think of a thing to say."

The flailing for content: "Watching THE RETURNED."

But I have utmost confidence that the author of 56 novels and the winner of a bajillion awards will soon find his twitter legs and run with the alpha tweeters. Even with just 13 tweets, he's got 175,000 followers. I commend him for venturing into a new medium, for bringing his awesome chops to the social space, for not delegating the task to a PR machine as some other bestselling authors do.

I'll follow his stream not only for what he comes up with, but for his engagement with other authors. I didn't realize Jeanette Winterson tweeted until I saw her listed in the Guardian today. She, apparently writes her own posts, too: "I have bought a light-up reindeer. Even writers need a night off." Seeing what famous people do when they're not doing what makes them famous.  I love that about twitter.

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