Monday, June 1, 2009

An Interview with Stephen King

The following is an excerpt of an interview between Jordyn DeMarco and the author Stephen King. The interview covers his fears, addictions, his author-wife Tabitha, and plans for retirement.

"What was your first published story"?

"I was in high school, and had been sending out my stories to various magazines and kept getting rejection notices. Then one day I got a letter of acceptance back from Comics Review, they changed the name of the story and paid me with two free magazine copies. I didn't care; I was thrilled that I finally was a published author".

Jordyn: "As a child did you go to the theatre to see horror movies and did you read horror stories as well"?

Stephen: "Yes, I went to the horror movies because I liked to be scared and I also studied what went into the movie and was able to adapt this into my own writing how the technical effects are used in the movie. I enjoyed reading horror comics even if I woke up at night screaming with nightmares. My mother felt that these were junk and a complete waste of time. I told her someday I'm going to write this junk".

Jordyn: "Do you have any fears? And what do you do to overcome them"?

Stephen: "I just about fear anything the dark, rats, spiders, psychotherapy, squishy things, closed in spaces, death, losing a child, bats, flying, not being able to write, the number 13, just about everything. I am able to deal with my fears by writing about them in my stories. I have yet to be able to write about my biggest fear of spiders. They are the most horribly awful thing and scare almost everybody".

Jordyn: "Would you consider it a compliment if one of your readers had to stop reading a story because of the images created in their mind"?

Stephen: "Yes, I would consider it a compliment .We live in an area where it is very difficult to scare people or make them believe in a ghost or an evil being. Writing horror stories is my job, I'm supposed to scare and terrify my audience. If I do not do my job, I could be fired, the same as a plumber who doesn't fix the leaky pipe".

"Do you have a favourite character from any of your books"?

"I have a lot of characters that I have written about that I felt a connection to or liked. One of my favourites though has to be Annie Wilkes from the book Misery. When I was writing about her, I never knew what she would do next, there was more to her than was seen. I sympathized with her; she is truly one of my favourites"

"Do you feel that any of your books should not of been published and why"?

Stephen: "Pet Semetary is probably the one that I never liked and did not want published. It is a very depressing book, as it holds no hope, and seems to say that nothing ever works or nothing is worth the effort to try to make things better. I don't believe this, no matter how much effort is needed to accomplish our goal it is always worth it in the end".

Jordyn: "Would you ever consider writing a book with your wife"?

Stephen: We have thought about it, but neither of us thinks that it would work. It takes a lot of give and take and balancing of control, and I tend to take over. We probably would end up divorced (he laughs). Seriously, we did try it once, but once my representatives took over, it became my project. I didn't think that was fair to Tabby".

Jordyn: "Who is Richard Bachman"?

Stephen: He is a pseudonym that I made up. Back in the 1970's publishers didn't want to have more than one book released by an author for fear that profits from book sales would cut between both books. I had written several novels back in college that had previously been rejected, and I was hoping to have one published at the same time as Carrie. As a result I made up the pseudonym Richard Bachman to see if an audience would accept the book. Since that time I have written several successful books under that name, before it became public knowledge that I was the actual author"?

Jordyn: "Why did you release a new version of The Stand"?

Stephen: "I consider The Stand my first masterpiece. I wrote it in 1978, and it was 1200 pages long. My publisher only wanted 800, so I had to edit it down. Then in 1990, my publisher agreed to publish the full version of the original. It is one of my favourites, so I wanted to make sure that I could give the reader what they deserved. I added a new beginning and a new ending, as well as several new illustrations". No one could believe how well the new edition did.

Jordyn: "What are your addictions"?

Stephen: "I always needed to write, but I was also addicted to cigarettes, booze and cocaine, I managed to kick the booze and drugs, and have cut down in the smoking. After my accident I became addicted to painkillers, which I was very determined to beat and did. Now, I still smoke a few cigarettes a day, but my only addiction is writing. If I can't write my body goes into with drawl".

Jordyn: '"Over the years there have been many rumours of your retirement when will that be"?

Stephen: "When the stories no longer come, when I can't have fun with the characters and when I lose my identity or deny who I am, then it is time to turn off the computer".

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