My Day With Stephen King

5 Aug

Have you ever seen The Shining? Have you ever seen Carrie? Have you ever seen It? These are all movies based on stories by Stephen King–America’s number one horror factory. I recently learned that one of my favorite films, The Shawshank Redemption, is also based on a book of his.

As a writer myself, I can’t help but admire King’s ability to craft fine narrative and create believable characters. I had my editor get in touch with Stephen King’s people, and he agreed to let me shadow him for a day.

I reached his beautiful Maine estate at noon. I got out of the taxi and looked at the gate in front of King’s home. The gate has been constructed to resemble a spider web. Atop each column sits an iron bat statue. I take a few steps forward and reach my quivering hand out to open the black metal latch. A car honk from behind makes me nearly leap out of my skin.

“EY! You gonna pay me ah what?” The driver of my taxi yelled from behind me. He sounds like a mean Will Hunting.

“I’m going to–” I pause, still set off-kilter by the home’s appearance. “Where I’m going, driver–” I look to the house. “There is no ‘fare.’ There is only blood and terror. There is also shit tons of money–most of which, I’m guessing, is kept in an underground vault that Stephen goes swimming in.” I dream of Scrooge McDuck.

“You gonna get any uh dat money to pay me with?”

“Hey man, how about you get out of here and stop ruining this moment for me? Seriously.” I issue him a dismissive hand wave and walk towards the gate. An empty Miller Lite can hits me in the back of the head and the driver pulls away.

I open the gate and it offers little resistance. I take a moment to remark at how well lubricated the hinges are. After a few seconds, however, I come to my senses and jump away. The hinges are probably lubricated with blood.

I reach the door of King’s beautiful Victorian-style home and knock tentatively. The door opens and there stands Stephen King. He looks so nice. He looks like a Muppet maybe.

Handsome.

So disarming.

“Hello.” He says. “Iron Kyle, I presume?”

“Yes sir. Stephen King, I presume?” We share a brief laugh, then the room goes cold.

“Of course it’s fucking Stephen King.” He says, suddenly very angry. “This is my house. Come in, but don’t talk to me for a while.”

We go inside and enter Stephen’s office. He sits at his computer and starts to work. There’s really nowhere for me to sit except a chair with a big knife taped to it. He turns, seeing my confusion, and gestures towards the seat. He’s obviously annoyed, and glares sharply at me before turning back to his work. Stephen King is so eccentric. He’s such an artist. That’s why he treated me the way he did. He’s just brilliant. [Editor’s Note: Kyle’s only saying that because he’s afraid Stephen will read this and send something through the computer at him.]

Stephen King writes 2,000 words a day, usually taking between four and six hours. Today it took eight because Stephen kept stopping to turn around and flick paper clips at me. When I asked him to stop, he’d tell me “I’ll stop…as soon as you also have the Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Do you have that?” to which I’d usually respond with a deep, deep sigh.

After Stephen finished his 2,000 words, he took me on a walk of his estate. By this time, night had fallen, the stars and moon in full view. It’s truly beautiful, and not at all that haunted. It is a little haunted, though.

We walked along the beautiful Cedars. The grass was full and deep green. Birds could be heard calling to each other amongst the warm coastal air.

“Stephen, what inspires you to write the way you do?” Stephen begins to answer when he suddenly halts his step and looks around almost frantically.

“Hey, Kyle. Did you hear that?” Stephen asks.

“Hear what, Stephen?”

“I think it’s…I think it’s a ghost!”

Oh god! Where do you hear it?” I’m getting scared.

“Oh wait…here it comes again.” Stephen looks around and farts. The smell is almost unbearable. I hate Stephen King. He laughs hysterically, punches me on the arm a little too hard and walks back to his house.

He shows me my guest room and I go to sleep. The next morning over breakfast Stephen allows me to ask him a few questions about his success as an author.

“Stephen, you’ve had so many great books. Several of those have been adapted into film. Which film do you feel most accurately defines the tone and message of the book it was derived from?” Stephen thought on this for some time.

“Star Wars.”

“What?”

“Star Wars.”

“That’s not one of your books. You can’t–” At this point, Stephen looks up and points his knife at me.

“Star Wars.” He says.

“OK, next question.” Stephen King reaches over and wipes his mouth with a twenty dollar bill. I look down and notice his coasters are all DVD’s of The Mist.

I heard you’re going to work with J.J. Abrams on and adaptation of your Dark Tower series. Is this true?”

“Hold on. Tweeting.” He then holds his phone up, facing me. I hear a click. I log on later that day to see what he said.

“@JJAbrams Writer kid asking about Drk Twr movies. Looks like a gayer Shia LeBeouf. Pic: http://bit.ly/uf0jX”

We finished our interview without serious interruption and after awhile I packed my things and left. Stephen King made a few rude jokes about my mom and told me my blog sucked before I left.

What a fantastic weekend!

Advertisements

3 Responses to “My Day With Stephen King”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Favorite Posts of 2009 « Eat This, Internet. - December 31, 2009

    […] My Day With Stephen King- Stephen King is the man. In this post, he farts on me. I get farted on by the man. Written when I […]

  2. I Visit Stephen King Again « Eat This, Internet. - February 18, 2010

    […] the fare to the cabbie and step out to King’s estate. It is exactly as I remember it from the last time I was here. I breathe in the crisp Maine air. “Honey, I’m home!” I yell, pushing the gate […]

  3. “Miserable.” Chapter I « Eat This, Internet. - March 8, 2010

    […] Stephen King in another blog.” She seems stolid and cold for a moment, then melts and returns to her false, bubbly self. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: