Thursday, 24 December 2009

In Conversation With Stephen King

Exclusive (short) interview taken from the Dec 2009 edition of The Literary Pancake.

Me: Hi, Stephen. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Steve: Uh huh.

Me: So, let’s begin by discussing the new book, The Possessed Fishmonger With Cystitis. Your 3,483rd book, I believe?

Steve: No.

Me: OK, well… would you like to tell us a little about the plot?

Steve: It’s about a man who wakes up to discover he’s a fishmonger, and then wakes up again to discover he’s possessed by the spirit of Linda Blair, and then wakes up again to discover he has cystitis.

Me: Fascinating. Where do your ideas come from?

Steve: [giggles] Well, I… can’t say, I… oh, I’ve gone all shy now!

Me: No, I wasn’t complimenting you, I was actually asking. Where do your ideas come from?

Steve: Oh, all right. I buy them from a fleet of Mexican sailors and Tijuanan hookers. Very acceptable rates, and I’m a multi-billionaire, so there’s never a drought of inspiration in my wallet.

Wow. I want to talk about Hollywood adaptations of your books. How did you first get involved in movies?

Steve: People read my books and made them into movies. I’ve never had any input in the process. In fact, I wish they’d ask my permission next time they make another movie. I don’t see a penny of that money they make. And they’re all having great big parties behind my back, saying ‘That Steven, oh, he’s such a sap!’ And they laugh, Mark. They bloody laugh.

Me: OK. Um… let’s talk about your writing routine. How often do you write?

I’m always writing. I never stop. In fact, I’m writing now. I’m writing my eight millionth novel with my left foot, and my eight million-and-first with my right. I’m also writing an article for Time in my pancreas. To become a successful writer, you have to be able to write in your sleep, to write during sex, to write when piloting a Boeing 737 across the Atlantic. Otherwise, kid… you ain’t gonna make it.

Me: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Steve: Lose the quiff, Jack.

Me: How do you get over the hump and write that first book?

Steve: Start with the first word. Then – and here’s a rare trade secret – write the 89th word. Somehow the novel begins to write itself. Honestly, it’s dynamite. Look at Salman Rushdie.

Me: What does that mean?

Steve: Kid, I ain’t got time for that.

Me: Sorry, Stephen. Tell me, how do you get into characters when you start writing them?

Steve: I usually go to the bedroom and imagine the character screwing. You can tell a lot about someone when they’re screwing. I usually hire a prostitute to get into the role – if the protagonist is a woman, I imagine myself screwing her, and vice versa with the man – I’m the protag being diddled. It’s been really effective, especially in writing Carrie. I hired a child hooker for that.

Me: Really?

Steve: Well, she was twelve. Not really a child, more a woman-in-waiting. It’s OK, though – I’ve arranged marriages with girls in the womb. Two kicks in the ultrascan means ‘I do.’

Me: Um… could we move away from that and talk about your literary influences? What authors have inspired you?

Steve: I've only read the one book. Dr. Jang Vulpine’s Unbearable Lightness in the Body of Healing. It’s a book about how all people need to become fully content in themselves, and to achieve a total understanding of the universe, is to become a multi-trillionaire bestselling author named Stephen King.

Me: What is your favourite food?

Steve: Yellow meat.

Me: What is your favourite colour?


Me: What is your favourite film?

Steve: I like films about women who want to become fish, who then become fish, who then decide it’s a drag being a fish.

Me: Steven, thank you.

Steve: Uh huh.

And… especially for Steven, a short fishy film:


  1. *dies*

    I think I died about ten times reading this. The funny thing is, I can actually imagine him SAYING most of this anyway. *snort*

    Best fishes for the cystitis season!

    *badly wants to watch video, but will wait because daughter has entered the room and I'm not sure video will be suitable for 8 year-old*

  2. Yes, poor Steve. I'm glad you died, though!

    The video is brilliant, though probably too dark and disturbing for an eight-year-old (though you may disagree).

    It stars Shirley Henderson as the woman who wants to be a fish, who then becomes a fish, who then decides it’s a drag being a fish.

  3. *snort* Oh dear...

    I'm with Tara--Stephen King would actually probably get a kick out of the interview. I grumble about his writing sometimes (endings mostly) but he has a terrific sense of humor.

    Video--BUWAHAHAHAHA! so strange...

  4. The most disturbing part of course is "Help, help, help" at the end. Just the thing for the Christmas season. :)

  5. Tami: Stephen is my pal. We go lacrossing together. But when he blows his top... better stand back.

    Chris: I hope the video provided relief from the family gloom. :)

  6. “I buy them from a fleet of Mexican sailors and Tijuanan hookers. Very acceptable rates, and I’m a multi-billionaire…”

    Hmmm…You know, I live not far from Mexico. While not an *aire of any kind, I sense a synergy of need and supply; I never have ideas. Suppose if it works for a big shot like SK, it will work for me??? Hey, they can’t be worse than the drivel I conjure.

    Best Regards, Galen.

    Imagineering Fiction Blog

  7. Honestly, mate... squeeze the mammory of a native chicano and you'll be raking in the Pulitzers.

  8. I liked this whole post. Thank you for an excellent diversion.