NY TIMES Discusses The KING Family

Check out Susan Dominus' lengthy article, Stephen King’s Family Business. (www.nytimes.com) There is actually more personal information in this article than in most of the Stephen King biographies I've read!  Which brings to mind, I am still waiting for George Beahm to update his wonderful biography of Stephen King, America's Best Loved Boogeyman.

Here's some bullet points:

  • They do read Dean Koontz. Some like 'em -- some don't.  They also like Larry McMurtry, Wilbur Smith, Tolstoy, C.S. Lewis, James Cain, John D. MacDonald, Neil Gaiman
  • Stephen King bribed his kids to read books on tape for him.  Including some pretty nasty stuff, like Raven, which is about the Jonestown massacre.
  • At bedtime, King's children were expected to tell their parents bedtime stories.  That's pretty cool!
  • Stephen King used to win prizes in Sunday School for memorizing verses.  No one should be surprised by this; his writing shows a working knowledge of the Biblical narrative.
  • They also took time to read after dinner books like The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia. 
  • Joe Hill cannot stop working if a sentence ends on an odd count of letters.  (Who counts?)  Rather compulsive, he has been known to miss appointments because he keeps going home to make sure the oven is off.  I understand this!  I run back to make sure the door is locked, then think, "now, did I really check?"
  • Naomi King wrote fantasy as a kid.
  • I appreciated Tabby's point that her children should not sulk too much about the burden of being children of writers -- since everyone has parents they will be compared to in some way.
  • As always, I love the love story between Steve and Tabby.  Not only how they were  young, in love and poor -- but how she was willing to confront his worst habits and demand the best in him. Dominus writes: Tabby explained to all of them that if their father did not agree to get sober, she would ask him to leave. “I didn’t want to lie to my kids,” she said. “I’ve never really gotten lying anyway, because all you do is postpone the day at which you’re revealed to be a liar.” As the family discussed the intervention all these years later, the conversation grew almost hushed. “It was terrifying,” Naomi said. “Are you going to have a dad anymore?”
  • The critic they all fear is Tabby.  She got Joe to change the ending of one of his books!  (And remember, she's the reason Dreamcatcher isn't named Cancer.)
  • Naomi King isn't really a fan of the horror genre -- she's a fan of theology.  Dominus quotes Naomi, "I do care about monsters — I care very much about theological interpretations of how we make friends with our monsters. If we demonize other people and create monsters out of each other and act monstrous — and we all have that capacity — then how do we not become monsters ourselves?”
  • Joe is a positive guy. (read the article)
photo credit: nytimes.com
I found this just down right sweet, about Owen King's wife, Kelly, and the King's:
The relationship between Kelly and Stephen has the easy rapport of in-laws relieved to enjoy each other’s company, the conversation light, less likely to turn to the mysterious process of writing than to the end product — either someone else’s work or their own. The Kings’ embrace of her writing is clearly not a function of politeness; they seemed to be competing to outdo themselves in their praise of “Save Yourself” when the subject came up. 
The full article is at: www.nytimes.com

1 comment:

  1. I think somebody needs to write a biography of the entire family. They are a fascinating, awesome bunch.