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The Master Of Horror Stephen King Shocks Students At A High School In New Brunswick With A Surprise
October 23, 2012
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As if Stephen King wasn't a cool enough guy already, he just did something that makes him even more awesome.

The other day, the master of horror made a surprise visit to a high school in Sussex, New Brunswick.

For more than a year, students at Sussex Regional High School did everything they could to persuade King to come to their school.

They wrote nearly 1,200 letters, made parody music videos and posted them on YouTube, and created art projects inspired by his work.

So King, who lives nearby in Bangor, Maine, decided to go.

"I came because of all those letters. I was just blissed out to get them all," King told the students.

He spoke to 80 of them in the school's theatre, talking about his writing career and his previous life as a high school teacher. He also gave a writing workshop to 18 students, giving them tips and advice.

awesome-thing-of-the-day-The-master-of-horror-stephen-king-shocks-students-at-a-high-school-in-new-brunswick-feature.jpg"I can't remember writing books because it's like dreams. That time just passes," King told the students. "I write from eight in the morning until about noon every day and when that time is going by for me, it just, I'm not in the world, I'm inside whatever the story is."

"This is a little bit like being crazy, only they pay you for it, which is really good," he said.

King even asked if he could take some of the students' writing home with him so he could sit down, read it and give feedback.

And he invited the students to send him more of their work, as they continue writing.

The school put together a short highlight video of King's visit. Take a look.

As you'd expect, the students loved every minute of it.

"I think it's safe to say the whole school itself is still in a bit of shock," said Matt Beyer. "It hasn't completely sunk in that he was here.

"It's absolutely ridiculous that he actually came to our school. I'm still a little flabbergasted by it," he said.

"After this year, it's just kind of surreal that he finally just kinda walks in the door without anyone knowing," said Jed Webster. "It's just beyond me."

Teacher Sarah-Jane Smith helped start the campaign, which was called 'Seeking Stephen King'.

She got a call from King the night before, saying he'd be at their school the next day. But she kept it a secret from the students.

Smith says they decided to pursue King because the students relate to a lot of themes in his work.

awesome-thing-of-the-day-The-master-of-horror-stephen-king-shocks-students-at-a-high-school-in-new-brunswick-feature2.jpg"He has such a wide range of genres he writes in - from suspense and horror, he has a comic series he does, 'Green Mile', 'Shawshank Redemption', 'Stand by Me', he has that gigantic portfolio of short stories, which are great for reluctant readers," Smith said.

"And when you look at 'Carrie' and 'Christine', he attacks great themes relevant to the high school age, like isolation, looking for belonging, bullying and the perils of revenge," she added.

"He was such a humble and gracious man to come here and do that, and to give his time to the students, and to continue to give his time to our students."

King has written more than 50 books and 200 short stories, including 'The Shining', 'The Dark Tower' series, and the recent JFK book '11/22/63: A Novel'.

King's been on the show a couple of times. He was in the red chair a few seasons ago, to talk about his writing, his characters, his band, and his recovery from a serious accident.

And in this interview, he speaks with George about receiving a lifetime achievement award and his morbid imagination.

Plus, here's a CBC radio interview about King's visit with teacher Sarah-Jane Smith and student Matthew Beyer. They were on 'Maritime Noon' with Norma Lee MacLeod.

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