Stephen King was my go to author for my entire teens. I read just about everything that he had published including his works as Richard Bachman. Even now, I am drawn back to the works of Stephen King when I’m searching for a new book to read and can’t decide on what to give a try.
Recently the PBS series Blank on Blank published an old interview that Stephen King gave in 1989 and it is a fascinating look at an author who has been scaring readers for years with his blend of monsters, supernatural and evil characters.
Inevitably during the interview, the question of his childhood comes up to which Stephen King responds that the answer to that is no where near as fascinating as that question. People always assume that because of his writings, his childhood must have been awful. The thing I found most interesting about this was when he began to talk about how we know that what we are reading isn’t real, yet it scares us anyways because on a subconscious level we begin to find symbolism in the story.
When we deal stories of the supernatural whatever the supernatural element is, the mind sort of bifurcates and the story begins to talk to us on two levels. On the intellectual level you grasp the fact that it is make believe, that it is a dream, that these things don’t happen. But the subconscious grabs the story in a symbolic way, whether we like to or not.
It’s a truly fascinating look at the mind of a literary goliath who has made his business about scaring the crap out of us. The entire transcript for the video is here.
Along with this video, I would highly recommend On Writing by Stephen King. It’s a personal look at his life, how he writes, his approach to writing and life in general. Even if you are not a writer or have no intention of putting an idea or story on paper, it’s such a good read and peek behind the curtain that I think it should be on more must read lists.
What is your favourite Stephen King novel? Leave your comments below.