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What Stephen King and Jessica Fletcher Have in Common

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
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Stephen King and Angela Lansbury
Both images courtesy of wikipedia

Ok, so it’s obvious I’m a fan of both Stephen King (best-selling horror author) and Jessica (JB) Fletcher (fictional character in the television series ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ which ran from 1984 to 1996.) Horror and crime have been my favourite genres since I was a child.

I've read Stephen King for as long as I can remember and I own the full series of 'Murder, She Wrote' on DVD, but it was only recently that I read Stephen King’s biography and began to see a few parallels between my favourite writer and the television character I've come to know so well.

Stephen King and Angela Lansbury
Image courtesy of wikipedia

To begin with - and quite obviously – both have a knack for writing suspenseful thrillers that easily rocket to the top of the best-seller list.

Both live in the state of Maine in New England in the United States, JB in the fictional town of Cabot Cove and King in Bangor. Although King lived for a short time in Boulder, Colorado, he returned to the familiarity of his home state. Jessica Fletcher, while spending part of her time living in Manhattan to teach at the university there, always returned to the place she loved in Maine.

Stephen King and Angela Lansbury
Image courtesy of wikipedia

Both writers began their careers as high school English teachers before the success of their books meant they could leave the profession to write full-time, but both returned to teaching after becoming best-selling authors, JB teaching criminology and King teaching creative writing.

Although JB had no children of her own, family was a highly important part of her life, which is evidenced by the vast parade of nieces, nephews and cousins appearing throughout the series. For King, also, family has always figured prominently in his life.

Stephen King and Angela Lansbury
Image courtesy of wikipedia

Stephen King generously uses his fame to provide scholarships and support a variety of charities, while JB does the same including regular sponsorship of charity events.

Both were of Irish ancestry with Kings origins in the north and JB’s in the south.

OK, so you’re probably thinking that there are lots of ways in which the two are poles apart. King writes horror while JB writes who-done-its, King in his spare time is a musician, playing in a band called ‘Rock Bottom Remainders’ and in JB Fletcher’s spare time she goes fishing or jogging. But you can’t deny that the similarities are intriguing. I’m betting that whoever created the Jessica Fletcher character was a bit of a Stephen King fan, too.

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Interesting. I'd never noticed that. Hopefully Stephen King doesn't have Jessica Fletcher's death cooties, with people dropping dead wherever she goes.
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