When you enjoy a person, you have some great memories of them. When you don't actually know the person, the stories you remember are stuff you got second or third hand. We all have favorite stories of famous people.
Here are a few of my favorite Stephen King antidotes:
Remember the time. . .
He slipped into a bookstore and started signing his own books.
A bookstore manager was stunned when she saw someone enter her bookstore and begin writing in the books. The person quickly left, causing the employees think they were the victims of vandalism.
Ms. Ellis said, "So we immediately ran to the books and lo-and-behold here was the signature in several books. We sort of spun around on our heels, [saying] 'where did he go, where did he go. . . So I went over and introduced myself ... He was lovely, very nice, charming."
King signed a total of six books. I don't know, I just find something fun about that story! Imagine going to the bookstore, not a specialty store or something like that, just a regular store, and choosing to buy a Stephen King book -- and it turns out to be signed! Cool.
The time the lady told him WHAT?!!!
King told Neil Gaiman at journal.neilgaiman.com this fantastic story:
I was down here in the supermarket, and this old woman comes around the corner this old woman – obviously one of the kind of women who says whatever is on her brain. She said, 'I know who you are, you are the horror writer. I don’t read anything that you do, but I respect your right to do it. I just like things more genuine, like that Shawshank Redemption.'
“And I said, 'I wrote that'. And she said, 'No you didn’t'. And she walked off and went on her way.”
Stephen King was so messed up, he forgot writing Cujo.
I'm not kididng! King has said that he was so drugged and drunk at the time he wrote Cujo, he doesn't remember the process of writing it.
Stephen King and his wife went to see Carrie in the theater:
In Stephen King Goes To Hollywood, King shared:
The first time I saw Carrie with an audience they previewed it about a week and a half before Halloween. They didn't do a screening in Maine, but they did one in Boston, so my wife and I went down to the theater, and I just looked around in total dismay, because the regular picture that they were showing was Norman, Is That You? with Red Foxx. The theater was entirely full of black people. We looked like two little grains of salt in a pepper shaker, and we thought: This audience is just going to rate the hell out of this picture. What are thing going to think about a skinny little white girl with her menstrual problems? And that's the way it started, and then, little by little, they got on her side, you know, and when she started doing her shtick, I mean, they were going, "Tear it up!" "Go for it!" and all this other stuff. These two guys were talking behind us, and we were listening to them, and at the end they're putting on their coats and getting ready to leave. Suddenly his hand comes up, and these two big guys screamed along with everyone else, and one of them goes, "That's it! That's it! She ain't never gonna be right!" And I knew it was going to be a hit. (p.ix)
Stephen King threw Carrie away:
Yeah, you remember that one. But what I love more is the story of the day he got the call Carrie was going to be a paperback.
Stephen King used another persons author photo for Richard Bachman
Richard Bachman's author photo taken by Claudia Inez Bachman. The actual subject of the photo is Richard Manuel, the insurance agent of Kirby McCauley, who was King's literary agent. (Source: Wikipedia)
Stephen King bought the van that almost killed him.
"Yes, we've got the van, and I'm going to take a sledgehammer and beat it!" King told the Bridgton News of Bridgton, Maine. (chicagotribune.com)The Crapper
This is from Tom Barton's short piece on King's speech in Savannah:King, who was in his mid-20s at the time, was in the Steel City on a book tour, promoting his first novel "Carrie." Part of his job, he said, was to appear on morning TV shows (AM Pittsburgh), along with jitterbugging grandmas, to plug his book to the locals.That evening, King said, he had a command performance at a dinner that the local newspaper hosted at a fancy restaurant. Unfortunately, the author was suffering from homesickness and a far worse malady -- an intestinal disorder that forced him to make an emergency trip to the joint's opulently appointed restroom.This was a place that had its own restroom attendant. King remembered him as an ancient man who appeared to be about 108 years old.Unfortunately, there was one necessity that this restroom lacked: Doors to the stalls. So as King was sitting on the toilet, the attendant approached the young author, carrying pen and paper."He said, 'You're Stephen King, aren't you? I saw you on AM Pittsburgh. Can I get your autograph?' I gave my first autograph sitting on the crapper."
Emily Shultz Spent Stephen King's Money
This is one of my favorites. In 2006, Emily Shultz wrote a book titled Joyland. A lot of people bought the wrong book!
Schultz writes at her website:
I'm Emily Schultz. My first novel came out eight years ago. It was called Joyland. Last year Stephen King released a print-only novel with the same title. That was cool, until a few King readers bought the e-book version of my novel by mistake and started leaving negative and confused Amazon reviews. I asked Amazon to change their search results to keep people from buying the wrong book but never heard back.
Apparently there were a lot of confused readers as this week I got a—for me—big royalty check for those mistaken books. I'm not so upset anymore. Sure, it's more a pleasant surprise than a fortune, and I'm stuck with those reviews, but I thought a blog detailing how we're spending the Stephen King money would be a nice way to end this funny and strange story.
So what do you do when Stephen King's money starts to roll in? Well, obviously, if you're a writer, you write about it!
Schultz has started a delightful blog titled, "Spending The Stephen King Money" With each purchase she records, she also asks the question, "Would Stephen King like it?" This includes: furniture from Ikea, a haircut for Brian, the deductible for bumper repair, books, Dinner for two at a place called "Junoon" . . . and more. She notes that she bought a new Apple computer, and asks if Stephen King would approve.
King told Entertainment Weekly that he is “I’m delighted for her." And, what's more, "I’m going to order her book.” So there's a real sale! And, from none other than Stephen King. Schultz said in turn that she would be buying King's book. Of course, she'll be buying King's book with King's money. A nice way to go!
What's your favorite (REAL) Stephen King Story?