Thursday, February 02, 2006

HNT - Special Guest SGK

For those of you eager to see the next Chapter in the "Spud Wars" Darth Tater saga, do not despair. Darth will be returning next week (I have something a lot more meaningful to share this week, and besides, a little suspense is healthy)

This week, I'd like to take the time to introduce a good friend of mine named Stephen King.

No, no, not that writer guy. No, wait, Stephen is a writer. But he uses his full name (Stephen Graham King) to write, because, as you guessed it, this is a joke he's heard thousands upon thousands of times. So what is it with people with that particular name and a huge talent for the written word? I'm not sure, I'm just extremely thankful for it.

For those of you just here for the HNT picture, here it is on the right -- it's from a series of author photos taken by a Saskatoon area pro photographer (Debra Marshall) as possible author shots for Stephen's new book Just Breathe. This is one of my favourites. And it's half of a full naked shot, so nicely qualifies as half-nekkid. More shots, many of them also of the traditional Half-Nekkid variety, can be viewed here.

For those of you interested in learning a bit more about this brilliant and talented writer and dear friend of mine, please do read on.

Several years ago, Stephen, a colleague at work, approached me and asked if I'd be willing to read his biographical account of a prolonged battle with a rare, aggressive cancer known as synovial sarcoma. I didn't know Stephen all that well at the time, just that he was a pretty decent guy and we shared a somewhat twisted sense of humour and a love of writing. So I hesitantly agreed I'd give it a read and offer comments.

I was completely blown away and swept into his world. Stephen's writing is powerful and stunning and brings the reader right into the heart of the issues surrounding cancer patients and cancer survivors. It's a heart-felt, gut wrenching, yet beautiful account of the struggles and triumphs of a gay man forced not only to fight the cancer consuming his body, but also to confront a series of body-image feelings and emotions in our hugely image-conscious society. I admit to both laughing and crying as I read the manuscript. I made pages of editorial notes and quickly joined in Stephen's dream to see this book published.

And that time is now here.

Here's an advance praise editorial blurb that I offered for Stephen's book:

"Stephen Graham King writes in a way that transcends the traditional reader-writer relationship. You don't read this book so much as you stand beside the author, his arm around your shoulder, as he lets you in on the intimate thoughts, feelings and emotions he experienced through his trials. His words are honest, touching, poignant and heartfelt; they come alive like a dear friend sharing his story across a coffee shop table"

Stephen also received some other wonderful advance praise blurbs from Robert J. Sawyer, Nalo Hopkinson, Suzanne North and Indigo's CEO and chief book lover, Heather Reisman.

Stephen is a beautiful man, a dear friend, and a writer whose brilliance and unabashed style shines gloriously in this, his first book.

I sincerely encourage anyone who has ever been touched by cancer to check it out. It's available in print format in Canada and the U.S.A. as well as in e-book format. You can also easily browse the content of the book online.

And, I will, of course, gladly accept e-hugs to pass along to Stephen.

Not sure what half-nekkid is all about? Click below



Lee Ann said...

E-hug to you and to Stephen! I see he has a scar on his knee, is that from the cancer? That is an awesome shot! Thank you for sharing with us, I am moved.

Happy HNT!

lime said...

is he in full remission now? peace and blessings and ehugs to him. and thank you for sharing that withus, mark. happy HNT!

mergrl said...

thanks for introducing us, great shot too, will have to check this out, it sounds like an amazing read.

Happy HNT!

Mark Leslie said...

Lee Ann - very observant, yes, that scar is from one of Stephen's many surgeries. It's also one of the things I like about the photo -- like Stephen's writing, it's forthright and honest and hides nothing, leaving all "scars" both physical and emotional, out in the open.

Lime - Stephen's last check-up in December revealed an "all clear"

Anonymous said...

I'll be looking into this. Sounds very interesting. Awesome topic for HNT! :)

madgirl said...

great picture...and an ever greater message. i lost my big brother to cancer last year, and it touches me deeply to hear about others whove had it invade their lives.

many hugs to stephen.

Anonymous said...

That's great. About time it came out. Definitely worth reading!

Bsoholic said...

Glad he's in the "all clear"! The book sound very interesting.

Marie said...

That's a wonderful commentary, Mark. I was becoming totally engrossed in your post. I will definitely have to check out his book.

Happy HNT. :)

Anonymous said...

definitely something to look in to...pass on my congratulations to a truely courageous individual.

Leesa said...

E-hugs from here too:) HHNT.

MightyLambchop said...

Wow. I must find a copy of the book.
Beautiful post about a an amzing person. Thank you.
Happy HNT.

daisyduke said...

great post...

Pieces said...

That is such an awesome HNT! I am going to have to check that book reeled me in!! Great pic! TTYL HHNT

MamaKBear said...

That's a great HNT pic and quite the nifty scar there on the leg! (I'd noticed it before I got to the comments)

Will definitely have to check his book a big Stephen King fan, it can't hurt to read the works of another Stephen King! :)

Happy HNT! :)

The Persian said...

amazing pic buddy!

Happy HNT!

Still Searching... said...

A truly fabulous photo.

And I believe I will be looking for the book as well. Quite a review.

S said...

Sounds like a great thing to read, and a very cool man, indeed! Happy HNT

T - Another Geek Girl said...

Lucky you to know someone so talented.


Anonymous said...

SGK here

Big thanks to Mark for the shout out and thanks to all commenters for your awesome e-hugs and good thoughts

Breathe deep
Feel loved

OLY said...

Sounds like a great man and an inspiration too! Always looking for a good read here..

Happy HNT!

Chuck said...

Man you're a trip! Thanks for the comment...decent looking? And I just spent a shit load on makeup....fuck!

Gabby said...

I think Darth Tater's exploits can wait one week for something like this.

Thats a wonderful HNT and I wish your friend luck with his book.

Happy HNT

Anonymous said...

This is a great post Mark. I will definately check this out.