Friday, May 11, 2012

gaiman and king on writing

Neil Gaiman has shared the wonderful interview that he did with the ever-prolific Stephen King for the UK Sunday Times Magazine on his blog.
“I got the idea for the writer in Bag of Bones having books because somebody told me years ago that every year Danielle Steel wrote three books and published two, and I knew Agatha Christie had squirrelled a couple away, to put a final bow on her career. As of right now, if I died and everybody kept it a secret, it would go on until 2013."

King is always practical and engaging when he talks about his work, and reading him in conversation with another writer like Gaiman is a special treat. He also included a shout-out to writer John D. MacDonald, a personal favorite, which was appreciated, even more so now that I live in his adopted home of Florida.
I start to tell King my theory, that when people in the far future want to get an idea of how things felt between 1973 and today, they'll look to King. He's a master of reflecting the world that he sees, and recording it on the page. The rise and fall of the VCR, the arrival of Google and smartphones. It's all in there, behind the monsters and the night, making them more real.

King is sanguine. “You know what you can’t tell what is going to last, what’s not going to last. There’s Kurt Vonnegut quote about John D. MacDonald saying “200 years from now, when people want to know what the 20th century they ll go to John D. MacDonald”, but I’m not sure that’s true – it seems like he’s almost been forgotten. But I try and reread a John D. MacDonald novel whenever I come down here.”
Of course the downside to reading this interview is that I now have to add some more books to my enormous to-read pile — Bag of Bones, Different Seasons, 11/22/63. Plus his The Shining sequel, Dr. Sleep, is on the way ... oh, boy.
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