By Christine Verstraete
This is part two on Saturday's event in Milwaukee featuring Stephen King and his son, Owen King, who are touring to promote their newly released collaboration, Sleeping Beauties. * Read the first part of the story and some of their comments here.
Here are some of their comments on writing:
How they became writers:
Owen King: "As a kid, we had books all over the house. Both my parents were writers, so I had the idea it was easy to be a writer. (Laughter in crowd.) We could read whatever we wanted. My childhood job was I read books for him (his father). I started at 7 or 8, and the fist book I read was The Watchers by Dean Koontz. (It was) part of my big education as a writer."
What to do to become a writer?
Stephen King: "Read all the time. My mother was a single mom, we didn't have a TV for a long time." His mother was reading paperbacks, so early on, "I got to meet Miss Marple."
"When I was very young, I wanted to read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, so she read it to me." When it came to the part about hearing "the bones snapping," I said, 'I want that."
So, what are they reading now?
OK: "Get Shorty (Elmore Leonard)."
SK: "Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton (Kinsey Millhone series #25)"
Their favorite books?
SK: "Great Expectations."
OK: "I think I learned a lot of writing lessons from my father over the years. It's scary and inspiring to be part of a collaboration. You constantly feel you have to raise your level. If the story runs into a bit of a narrative roadblock, he always has a solution for it that feels organic. That wizardry is not something you can teach."
What's coming up:
SK: An adaptation of the story, 1922, from Full Dark, No Stars, airs next month on Netflix: "I like what they did with it, frankly."
SK: A new book, The Outsider, comes out next June. "I like this one a lot. It's one of those stories I don't want to say a lot. Even the opening is a spoiler. "
On collaborating with his wife, author Tabitha King:
SK: "I would love to collaborate with my wife. ... Marriage is a collaboration. We've been married like 45 years. She tells me what to do and I do it."
Would father and son collaborate again?
OK: "We might. We had a great experience. I think people are always disappointed (to hear) how great it was. No drama."
SK: Called writing with his son "a gift." See story, part one.
* Best way to judge a book: *
SK: "... To my mind, the ultimate success or failure of a book can be decided on how it sounds when it's read aloud. It's like the extreme close-up in a movie almost. All the blemishes show. I can't listen to James Patterson without laughing wildly to myself."