Stephen King's new novel is 11/22/63 [the date of the JFK assassination]. From his Q & A with Alexandra Alter at the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog:
You’ve never written historical fiction before. What took you in this direction?Also see: Top 10 works of literature: Stephen King.
I like doing different things because they keep what I do fresh and you get out of the rut a little bit. There’s a real challenge — I started to say there’s a real danger, but there’s no danger sitting in a room, the only danger is when the critics start to sharpen their little claws — there is a real challenge in trying to keep the story in front of the history. It’s exciting to take a real person like Lee Harvey Oswald and say, I want to give him some dimension, put some flesh on his bones, and I want him to be a real character.
Are you hoping this novel will attract new readers, maybe historical fiction fans?
I do hope for it….I always thought this might be a book where we really have a chance to get an audience who’s not my ordinary audience. Because you’d always like to say to people, ‘Well, if you try this you might like it.’ They’re a little bit like children with their vegetables. I ran into a lady in the supermarket in Florida. Old lady. There’re lot of old people in Florida; it’s like the law. I was coming up the house wares aisle and she said, “I know who you are, you’re that writer, you write those horror stories,” and I said, “Yes, ma’am, I guess,” and she said, “I don’t read that kind of thing. I respect what you do but I don’t read those. I like uplifting things like that ‘Shawshank Redemption.’” I said, “I wrote that one, too,” and she goes, “No, you didn’t,” and...[read on]