One of the questions I have to answer for an upcoming interview is "When did you fall in love with horror?"
I was 22 years old and I was up in Cape Cod for a summer doing mediocre theatre by night and sharing a house with a middle - aged married couple by day and I had no car to take me where the cool kids were hanging out, so my only option for entertainment was to get immersed into a world other than my own. I stopped by a used book store on my way to rehearsal, and when I told the owner I need a book that is going to get me through an extremely boring summer, he offered up Stephen King's uncut version of THE STAND.
To this day, no movie, play, or any other kind of visual or electronic entertainment has ever taken me so much for a ride, has made me love and fear characters so much, has made me think about my own life more than the uncut version of THE STAND. It was technically my first love affair with horror, and ANYONE who tells me that they can't take the horror genre seriously, I tell them to read this story.
So... Stephen King... where ever you are... THANK YOU.