14 Things We Learned From Stephen King’s Reddit AMA

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Last night, everyone’s favorite multitasking, hyper-prolific author/producer/actor/director/screenwriter Stephen King joined the folks over at Reddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) in support of his new series Under the Dome — and, ostensibly, also in support of his just-released novel Joyland. After the jump, 14 things we learned about the contemporary legend from the session. Food for thought while you read: where do you suppose he is in that picture?

1. He wishes he could rewrite some of his early books, published before he quit substances.

“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.”

2. He wants to bring The Dark Tower to the big screen.

“I like the idea of doing the DT books as films, and the adventures of the younger Roland as TV. I like changing it up and trying new things.”

3. The actor that best captured his character on the big screen was…

“Kathy Bates was a great Annie Wilkes.” But: “I’d say the four boys who played the kids in Stand By Me. River Phoenix was a standout.”

4. His favorite of his own novels is…

Lisey’s Story.”

5. His worst fear is…

“Alzheimer’s Disease.”

6. He overcame rejection with perseverance

“I just went on to the next story – there’s no way to deal with rejection other than to continue on, banging on the door.”

7. He likes to chat with legendary rock stars about his work.

“I’m a huge Ramones fan, and my radio station got them to play a concert in Bangor. They put on a great rock and roll show. We had dinner afterwards, and talked about Pet Sematary. The song followed. It was great. So was getting AC/DC involved in Maximum Overdrive.”

8. But he doesn’t like Led Zeppelin.

“Favorite musical act of all time? Probably Creedence Clearwater Revival. But AC/DC is close…and The Temptations…the Stones…ah, man, don’t get me started. Just not Led Zeppelin.”

9. He has an unusual qualm about e-readers.

“I like stories. The delivery system isn’t as important to me as a good story. I will say this: if you drop a book into the toilet, it doesn’t short out. And a lot of us read in the bathroom!”

10. He lets his characters lead.

“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.”

11. He’s scared of spiders.

“Well, not ALWAYS aliens or spiders, but think about it: are spiders the most alien creatures on earth, or what? I’ve just got a thing about them. I don’t usually use snakes, because they don’t creep me out.”

12. His favorite thing he wrote for film is…

“…the Storm of the Century miniseries. That’s one I still feel good about. You never get it all right, but we got most of it.”

13. His favorite TV show is…

The Americans.”

14. He might have been a teacher in another life.

“If I wasn’t writing, I’d probably be teaching school, but this is what I was meant to do. As far as high achievements, that’s for other people to decide. I try to keep myself amused. Every day I do that is a good day.”