Stephen King: A Rare Interview With The Master Storyteller


Parade catches up with Stephen King, the rare author who has succeeded across genres—he has written best sellers as well as literary fiction—whose books have made the leap to film, TV, and the stage, and who has become a celebrity in his own right.

King, 65, continues to write accessible stories at a remarkable rate. His new novel, Joyland, a paperback original, is due June 4 and has already been optioned for the screen. A series based on his 2009 novel Under the Dome will air on CBS later this summer, and his musical-theater collaboration with John Mellencamp, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, begins a tour of American cities this fall.  A few highlights from the interview:

On the fact that Joyland, his new book, isn’t a horror novel:

“I’ve been typed as a horror writer … but I never saw myself that way. I just saw myself as a novelist.  With Joyland, I wanted to try my hand at the whodunit format.”

On his daily writing regimen:

“I wrote 1,500 words this morning. Five pages a day, that’s usually what I get through.”

On why he and his two novelist sons show their work to his wife, Tabitha:

“She’ll say, ‘Here, you’ve done this before. This sucks. This is dumb.’ There’s no soft landing with Tabby, and that’s fine. [My sons] both dedicated their first novels to her, so it means a lot.”

On the current TV shows he enjoys:

“Justified, Bates Motel, The Walking Dead. The best show of the year is The Americans. I don’t watch Mad Men. I think it’s basically soap opera, and if I want soap opera, I watch Revenge. That show is crazy, but they have great clothes.”

On whether he thinks he’ll be popular beyond his lifetime:

“Well, you really can’t worry about it. … Fantasy has a better chance of lasting than a lot of other things. The Hobbit and the Narnia books … because they’re set in a fantasy world, they can remain relevant. So maybe things like Salem’s Lot and The Shining might last, the Dark Tower books. … The idea of posterity for a writer is poison. … You do the best you can.”

On his main reason to keep writing:

“The major job is still to entertain people. Joyland really took off for me when the old guy who owns the place says, ‘Never forget, we sell fun.’ That’s what we’re supposed to do—writers, filmmakers, all of us. That’s why they let us stay in the playground.”


For more Stephen King, including what he read as a kid, his views on gun control, and what it was like working with John Mellencamp, please click HERE

Published by Larry Fire

I write an eclectic pop culture blog called THE FIRE WIRE that features articles about books, comics, music, movies, television, gadgets, posters, toys & more!

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