Surprisingly until now I had not read any of Stephen King's fiction, only Danse Macabre his book about horror in US popular culture. I've now picked up a copy of Night Shift, which was recommended to me as an introduction that avoids the commitment of time that one of the length novels would.
Unlike a lot of readers I did read the introduction and foreword, and one thing that struck me from both was the importance of keeping writing to anyone who wishes to be a writer.
The first story I read was Jerusalem's Lot, the title did bring up the novel and TV movie 'Salem's Lot that King wrote much later on. The actual structure of the story initially made me think of Bram Stoker's Dracula, by being constructed of letters and journal entries. As I read on, I realised that King was actually emulating another famous New England horror writer in H.P. Lovecraft. This story was maybe a bit predictable in its outcome, but was still entertaining and shows King's desire to have better characterisation than Lovecraft.