Stephen King in Munich #1

Photos © Heike Huslage-Koch –

For those of you wondering why this is being published on a Sherlock dedicated blog, I can offer the following crosslink… last November I went to The Game is On – An Afternoon with Mark Gatiss and friends, which was held in support of London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard, and was able to ask everyone on stage which book they were just reading.
Steven Moffat’s reply was The Shining to which he added he was enjoying it. So there you are! Apart from this it was just an amazing event and I thought I’d like to share it.

Stephen King in Munich, Circus Krone 19.11.2013
The event took place in the Circus Krone building which was built for circus perfomances and is also used for concerts and other cultural events.CK_SK_event
Dennis Scheck, a well-known German literature critic spoke with Stephen King about his work, life and new novel.

Doctor Sleep has just been published in German by Heyne and Stephen read a passage from the English version on his iPad. Later on the audio book narrator of the German edition, David Nathan – who’s well-known as the German dubbing voice of Johnny Depp and Christian Bale – read another passage. But the center of the 90 minutes long event was
the talk between Dennis Scheck and Stephen King.

Stephen King told the audience that his wife and two of his children had also taken to writing which prompted Dennis Scheck to ask how one turns one’s offspring into writers? Stephen replied you flick a whip above their heads and tell them ‚write so you can eat‘. Then as the laughter had died down he said that his children had grown up surrounded by books and that he and his wife had read to them when they were little as they did nowadays with to their children.

Dennis asked how the author who wrote The Shining differs from the author who wrote Doctor Sleep and why he wanted to revisit the Overlook-Hotel if he felt as if he had some unfinished business there. Stephen replied when he wrote The Shining (published 1977) he was still a young energetic man and writing the novel felt like being dictated the story by someone higher than him.

StephenKing1With Doctor Sleep he wanted to find out how the charcter of Dan Torrance, the boy in The Shining, had developed as an adult. How he dealt with the same issues his father had dealt with – alcoholism and rage. Also at the stage of writing Doctor Sleep Stephen had experienced a positive recovery from alcoholism which when he wrote The Shining he hadn’t known was actually possible. He added that people shouldn’t read too much autobiographical into this book though as after all he writes fiction and „You can’t trust writers to write anything but fiction. You know one is lying when his mouth moves.“

Stephen also said that at the rare readings he’s done people would come up and ask him what became of Dan Torrance and also would ask him about Roland from The Dark Towers. Whereas they never asked him about Paul Sheldon (Misery) for instance. He said that authors weren’t really made for this kind of thing because it scares the living shit out of them. He also told us that the first question he was often asked was „Where do you get your ideas from?“
to which he would reply…
„I could tell you but then I would have to kill you.“

Stephen King gave the audience a piece of advice, he told us to never have a second child if you can only afford two pair of pants and continued to say that that’s what they did. He continued to tell us that when he started earning money with his books his wife had suggested to maybe move so that he could experience other settings and not only write about Maine. As they couldn’t decide where to move she fetched a road map and he closed his eyes and pointed to… Colorado – so that’s where they moved taking his wife’s younger sister with them as an au-pair. After having settled in the sister suggested that he and his wife might take a short vacation as they’d never had a honeymoon. So they drove off for a weekend and went to the Rocky Mountains where they came to a hotel called Stanley.

Continued in Stephen King in Munich Part 2