Dear Mr. Stephen King,
Hi, how are you? I’m doing okay — well, actually I have this rash that’s been giving me some concern, but that’s a subject I’ll save for my open letter to Dr. Oz.
If you’re wondering why I’m contacting you, I was pondering something that I wanted to propose, and I think it will go over gangbusters, and I’m not talking about busting gangs.
Being no stranger to pop culture, you are well aware that for years artists who want to be more artistic have taken other artists artistic works of art and, you know, re-arted it.
For example, how many versions of the song “House of the Rising Sun” exist? My last count was 392 with the last cover made by Big Bird on the album “Sesame Street Serenade.”
Movies, as you know, are replete with remakes, retentions and redundants.
Look at the “Halloween” franchise as an example. It’s one remake/reboot/remodel away from Pee Wee Herman as the iconic killer.
Even visual art like...well, visual art, has re-imaginings and re-upholsterings and redactings.
Look at Andy Warhol’s take with “The Mona Lisa,” introducing different color filters to slightly alter the already mysterious smile of Leonardo DaVinci’s subject to change her mood, make you wonder if she has gas or make you believe she’s a can of Campbell’s tomato soup.
Now, Mr. King, you’re probably wondering why I’m addressing you in an open letter other than the fact you had already blocked any packages from me after I sent you my underwear to sign, and I’m sorry I didn’t wash them first, but I was excited, as you could tell after you opened that package.
Anyway, as an author, you’re probably well aware that it’s darn-near impossible for a writer to “cover” a favorite piece of literature without being considered to be a “plagiarist” or what the French call, a “le copycat.”
Sure, other writers have refurbished and restructured such works like, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters” or “War and Peace and Pee Wee Herman,” but those are more of a satire or parody or what I call a “Saturday” and not a true cover or recover of a written piece of art.
That’s why I’m contacting you. I want a shot at doing a cover of a novel — not just doing the art for a book’s cover, but actually reimpressioning, remixing and rebuttaling an already-published work.
There was a horror novel published in 1978 called “The Shining” that I think you know about since you, you know, wrote it. That’s the book I want to cover.
So, if you’re curious on how I can possibly do that, then wonder no more because it’s all about style, baby.
Here’s my pitch: to re-cover the book’s cover picture with a photo of me holding up the original hardback edition of “The Shining” with me either kissing it or licking it — I haven’t decided how artistic I would need to be for that yet.
Anyway, when the reader opens the book or slides it open on any book-reading device, they will see a totally different letter font than any other edition has ever had.
Right now, I’m indecisive between the fonts DejaVu Sans Condensed Bold, Microsoft New Tai Lue, Segoe UI Semibold or just using Emojis.
Any suggestions from you on the font front will be greatly appreciated.
Finally, I wanted to butter you up to this idea by telling you that you’re the reason I started reading in the first place and then took up writing. The first book I ever read was “It” as I checked it out at the local library because if anyone tried to mug me on the way home, I could beat them to death with your 1,138-page behemoth of a novel.
So, with that said, I think my idea will be a fitting homage to you and a fast-cash money grab for a strapped-for-cash reporter like me, which is what remakes, reboots and rebellion are all about anyway.
If you don’t want to take me up on my offer, then that’s fine. Just at least please mail me back my underwear because Fruit of the Looms ain’t cheap.
All the best,
According to Hofmann is written by staff reporter Mark Hofmann of Rostraver Township. He hosts the “Locally Yours” radio show on WMBS 590 AM every Friday. His book, “Stupid Brain,” is available on Amazon.com.