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Would he have gotten the idea from The Constant Gardener by John le Carré?
I suppose he likes to shake things up and change them every now and then. He also does the chapter index different from novel to novel - he likes change.
It's the same with the use of 'Uncle Stevie'. These things come and go.
i think it was because he has so many return readers who have been with him conistantley from carrie, or such.
or he needed to adress us as something. I know joe hill has tried to come up with some type of fan name for his fans i think, but has not found one that has stuck
....it's a safe assumption as a writer that has sold so many thousands of books....got to be a few returnees, they aren't all going to be Noobs.....plus, it's one of those "terms of endearment" if you will.....kind of his way of chumming up with the reader....But how does he know he has return readers? It's not that you know who exactly buys the books.