Hello all. First post. I need some opinions on an issue I've been dealing with quite a lot over the last few years, that issue being the total dominance that a certain person has over a certain genre.
I am of course talking about Stephen King and horror. Now don't get me wrong, I like Stephen King. Here's the problem: I was born and raised in Maine. I came to discover that I loved writing horror before I ever read a King book (I'm probably the only Mainer who's never met him) and in addition, I discovered that Maine-based horror is a lot of fun and has a lot of untapped potential, mostly with Algonquin folklore and the whole witch trial element of New England. But every time I tell someone I write horror novels, and more specifically horror novels about my home state, they ask me how I can so blatantly rip off Stephen King.
I could understand that reaction if I was from, say, Arizona, and decided to write New England horror after reading King. But I was born and raised in Maine, so no one can argue that I can't write about it. But is everyone going to have the same reaction? If I were to shop around with agents/publishers, would they tell me to set my books somewhere else? And even if they didn't, don't you think they'd be nitpicking for any similarities? For instance, one book I wrote was about a dog – even though it was a supernatural horror story, I feel like people would hear "dog in Maine" and immediately think Cujo. And there's more examples where that came from. Am I being paranoid, or is Stephen King's success going to make it difficult for other Maine-based horror writers to get anywhere?
Source: reddit post