Interview with Stephen King
Last updated 2 years ago
Interview with Stephen King
Congratulations on the un-put-down-able Revival; my children almost went hungry. What was your inspiration for this book? And is it really "the most terrifying conclusion" you've ever written? Stephen King: The inspiration was Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan, which is a terrifying story about the world that might exist beyond this one. Other influences were Lovecraft, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and my own religious upbringing. And I've been wanting to write about tent show healings for a long time!(citation is from https://www.goodreads.com/interviews/show/989.Stephen_King)
GR: The book is concerned with what you call the "fifth business," "change agent," or "nemesis"—the person who pops up at regular intervals throughout life with a purpose yet to be revealed. Who is this person in your life, if there is one? SK: I think we rarely recognize the fifth business in our lives at the time those people are changing us. As a writer, I'd have to say it was Philip Roth, who first spoke to me in college when I read [Roth's 1967 novel] When She Was Good. Since then, he's shown up again and again, at 10- or 20-year intervals, always saying—through his work—"Come a little farther. Do a little better." ((citation is from https://www.goodreads.com/interviews/show/989.Stephen_King)
GR: How did your experience of addiction and playing in a rock band (the Rock Bottom Remainders) inform your portrayal of the hero Jamie Morton? SK: There's a saying—"Write what you know." It's bad advice if you take it as an unbreakable rule, but good advice if you use it as a foundation. I did spend years as an addict, so I know that world, although I wish I didn't. When it comes to rock music, I'm not much of a player, but I do have entry-level chops. I'm more knowledgeable as a listener, and Revival gave me a way to write about rock and roll without being preachy or boring. Through Jamie I had a chance to talk about how important rock is to me and how it lifted my life.((citation is from https://www.goodreads.com/interviews/show/989.Stephen_King)
GR: Which of your books/stories are you most attached to and why? SK: Lisey's Story, because it's about the secret world that exists inside every long marriage. Also—and I'm not the first person to have said this—no writer ever feels that the execution of a book lives up to the idea for that book. The execution always falls short. But I got pretty close in Lisey's Story.
GR: Revival seems as much a meditation on family and aging, love and loss, as it is a mystery/horror story. Was this your intention from the outset? SK: I never have a thematic intention at the outset. The story informs the theme for me rather than the other way around. But as it happens, you're right—this is, at least to a degree, about getting old and the rapid passage of our lives. "It's a damn short movie," James McMurtry says, "how'd we ever end up here?"