Dropping said nugget here because it is precisely how I felt -- and continue to feel -- about King, who continues to be my hero (even after I cried all over him in Atlanta that one time). Anyway, what Gaiman said:
"After that I bought everything King wrote as it came out. Some books were great, and some weren't. It was okay. I trusted him."
By god, that nailed it. The reason I love Stephen King is because I trust Stephen King. Because that man writes true. Sure, sometimes it's also meh (Duma Key) and sometimes magnificent (11/22/63), but always true. And that seems pretty damned important in terms of a writer's goals. Sure, story is king but truth is CEO; it's what keeps the whole shebang running.
Anyway. There were other chunky nugs o love in that post, like Gaiman's descriptions of the various iterations of King as encountered over the decades. Read the whole interview here.
So which King did you read first? I think for me it might have been IT. Hurm...