Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gratuitous Blog/Gratuitous Hero Worship Post

OK. So my blog at the end of this week will be about my writing. But—I’ve been a fan of Stephen King for years and years and tonight I finally got a chance to see and hear him in person at the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul, MN along with Audrey Niffenegger (author of The Time Traveler’s Wife). If this isn’t a perfect excuse for a gratuitous hero-worship blog post I don’t know what is. Here goes—

Twenty Stephen King Observations 11/18/09

20. His first computer was a Mac (hey, mine too)

19. He uses Google, although it distracts him from his writing at times

18. He knows how to make funny faces while being interviewed. He’s not afraid to say when he’s goofed something up.

17. He is incredibly well read. He’s got a great vocabulary. He knows his poetry and music lyrics. (All things us writer types should aspire to.)

16. He likes to listen to AC/DC, Metallica and the like while doing his revisions (me, too, sometimes.)

15. He talks fondly of his wife “Tabby” and his kids and wasn’t afraid to share some personal details of his life.

14. His least favorite of his books is Rose Madder

13. His favorite movie adaptation of one of his stories/books is Shawshank Redemption. He also likes the film adaptation of Cujo.

12. His favorite book? Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

11. He thinks of writing as a kind of telepathy, although it is imperfect. The writer’s thoughts get picked up by the reader across time and distance. He noted that even though Dickens is dead you can still pick up one of his books and have a connection to that author.

10. He was never frightened by clowns, but he noticed other good little kids were. He never thought of himself as a good kid.

9. While answering audience questions he noted that if the upper balcony collapsed many, many people in the 99-year-old theatre would die. He said he would never sit up there.

8. He came out on stage in jeans and comfy looking Velcro tennies. His manner was pleasant—he seems like the type of guy you’d like to sit down and have a beer with. The audience loved him—and he knows how to make people laugh.

7. His idea for his latest book, Under the Dome started 30+ years ago. This gives me hope that the lengthy duration of time I’m spending on my book may not be in vain. (I also lucked out and got an autographed copy of the same—can’t wait to start it. May take me a while, at over 1,000 pages.)

6. His toughest character to write? “It” (Pennywise the clown) from It.

5. He writes every day. He writes from beginning to end of his stories, but it doesn't sound like he necessarily knows how they will end when he begins.

4. He has an appreciation for the old black and white movie Frankenstein.

3. He does not bother to keep a notebook of ideas. Good ideas stick with you, bad ideas (if you are lucky) go away and self-destruct on their own.

2. He believes writing is about language, and it’s a writer’s duty to be as specific as possible so that the reader sees exactly what you (the writer) intend them to see.

1. He has now written 51 books, including many of my favorites: The Stand, ‘Salem’s Lot, It, The Dead Zone, The Dark Half, Firestarter (and the list goes on and on.)

Sidenote: Now don’t get me wrong, I liked hearing Audrey Niffenegger tonight, and I enjoyed her first book (she writes beautifully), and I plan to read her next, but—I couldn’t bring myself to comment much on seeing her this evening. Even she noted during their onstage interview that appearing with King was a bit like the writing equivalent of “opening for the Stones.”


ZBrenda said...

Saw the show as well and agree that Steven was definitely the main attraction. I, too, enjoyed the Time Traveler's wife and hearning about Audrey's new book (which I'm hoping to read soon), but Steven just has such a large body of work that it's hard to compare.

Great post!

Jon said...

I almost felt a little bad for her. Nobody asked her a question during the Q&A. She only got to answer some of the ones aimed at King that were nice enough to include her.

I hope people stayed for her autograph... I didn't, so I hope others did.

It must be weird to know for certain that you are there as a second fiddle