Stephen King’s biggest fear is Alzheimer’s

The novelist revealed this and more in an AMA on Reddit

Topics: Stephen King, The Shining, Novels, Books, Reddit, Fiction,

Prolific best-selling author Stephen King held an AMA on Reddit Thursday evening, revealing, among other things, that his fans should not expect sequels to his works. Although fans are anticipating his sequel to “The Shining,” due out this fall, when asked whether there will be a continuation of “The Eyes of the Dragon,” King responded, “As a general rule, I don’t revisit. Too many new stories to tell.” But he also said, “I might go back there. I wrote a sequel to ‘The Shining,’ so anything is possible.”

A sequel that definitely won’t happen, however? “It”: “There will be no ‘It’ sequel; I don’t think I could bear to deal with Pennywise again. Too scary, even for me,” wrote King.

King fans may be further disappointed that King also has no plans to give recurring character Randall Flagg, who has appeared in “The Stand,” “The Eye of the Dragon” and “The Dark Tower” series, among other novels, his own, full life story. “Giving Flagg his own story would make him too coherent, somehow. He’s the guy behind the scenes, pulling all the strings.”

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Ultimately, King’s philosophy is to stay true to the story. “I think the most important thing about storytelling is to let the characters lead, and not try to force them into things they don’t want to do.”

“I never think about movie versions when I write, because that would put a border around my thinking. I just write the stories.”

That said, “If someone wants to make a movie, that’s fine.”

“I loved Shawshank. I wasn’t crazy about the Kubrick version of “The Shining.” As far as dope and booze goes, I’d like to have some of those early books back. They’re not bad, but could have been better. For the record, most of the work was done straight and sober.”

As for upcoming projects fans can expect, King would like to see the “Dark Tower” series on the big screen, and “the adventures of the younger Roland” on television. “I like changing it up and trying new things,” he wrote.

The AMA is scattered with bits of writing wisdom that reveals how King thinks (inspiration for “Joyland” came from an image of “a boy in a wheelchair flying a kite on the beach. Eventually I looked farther down the beach and saw an amusement park”) and his greatest fear (Alzheimer’s). Read the full discussion here.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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