In the hands of Stephen King, the kids are usually all right — even if their situations always aren’t.
From Danny Torrance in “The Shining” to the Losers Club of “It,” the bestselling master of horror has written plenty of kid protagonists facing all sorts of terrifying foes over the decades. His latest, Jamie Conklin in the new novel “Later” (Hard Case Crime, out Tuesday), is a youngster who has to deal with enemies of the supernatural as well as human persuasion.
Jamie sees dead people, usually hanging out where they passed. And they not only can see him, too, they have to tell him the truth if he asks them a question. His cash-strapped mom Tia and her dirty-cop girlfriend Liz both take advantage of Jamie’s “gift,” but a more terrifying player emerges when Jamie meets a dead serial bomber inhabited by a haunting darkness that chills the boy’s soul.
Stephen King has two new books this year: “Later” and “Billy Summers.”
“I wanted to write about a literary agent because I never had” previously, King says of the story’s origins. “One client that this agent has who is worth big bucks dies suddenly. What’s she going to do about it? What if she has a kid who can see dead people and they have to answer any question that he asked? And I thought, ‘I got a story.’”
In addition to “Later,” the author also has two big projects coming this summer: the new novel “Billy Summers” (Scribner, Aug. 3), about a decorated Iraq war vet turned hitman who wants out after one last job, and an adaptation of his 2006 book “Lisey’s Story” as an eight-part Apple TV+ limited series starring Julianne Moore and Clive Owen.
USA TODAY chatted with King about his work, writing youthful personas and the effects of COVID on his storytelling.
Read the interview HERE.