Thursday, July 25, 2013

Stephen King

Stephen King's new novel, Doctor Sleep, will be published in September by Scribner. The author calls it a "return to balls-to-the-wall, keep-the-lights-on horror." Doctor Sleep, the sequel to 1977's The Shining, catches up with the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and finds him working at a hospice where he uses his innate supernatural powers to ease the suffering of the dying.

From King's Q & A with Anthony Breznican for Entertainment Weekly:

Entertainment Weekly: At what point did you first consider reviving this character from The Shining?

Stephen King: Every now and then somebody would ask, ‘Whatever happened to Danny?’ I used to joke around and say, ‘He married Charlie McGee from Firestarter and they had these amazing kids!’ But I did sort of wonder about it.

What finally inspired you to explore that question seriously?

Well, the other thing people would ask me is, ‘How come [his father] Jack Torrance never tried AA?’ Because he was this total dry-drunk in the book who never goes anywhere near a meeting. One of the things you hear from people who go into AA, or people who have substance abuse problems, is they say it runs in the family. … When the [sequel] idea would pop up in my mind I would think, ‘Now Danny’s 20, or now he’s 25. … I wonder if he’s drinking like his father?’ Finally I decided ‘Okay, why don’t I use that in the story and just revisit that whole issue? Like father, like son.

Doctor Sleep finds Dan Torrance as kind of a loner, working with terminally ill patients. His shining comes in very handy there, but what sparked you to the idea he would end up in a place like that?

Probably five years ago, I saw this piece on one of those morning news shows about a pet cat at a hospice, and according to this story the cat knew before anybody else when somebody was going to die. The cat would go into the room, curl up on the bed, and the people never seemed to mind. Then those people died. I thought to myself: ‘I want to write a story about that.’ And then I made the connection with Danny Torrance as an adult, working in a hospice. I thought: ‘That’s it. I’m...[read on]
The Shining is among Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders's ten horror novels that are scarier than almost any movie, Charlie Higson's top ten horror books, and Monica Ali's best books.

--Marshal Zeringue