Q&A with King

Posted: November 18, 2009, 16:40
Star Tribune: Q&A

Q What's on the stereo today?

A I'm listening to a lot of alt-country -- Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robbie Fulks. I've really gotten into that; it sounds like the rock I grew up with.

Q Any books you'd like to revisit?

A I'd like to go back to "Firestarter." She was 9 or 10 at the end of the book; she's probably in her 40s now. I'm always curious about Danny Torrance in "The Shining," what it was like to grow up with psychic talent, in an abusive family. I'd like to see them meet."

Q What's your most underrated novel?

A "Needful Things." I thought it was a hilarious sendup of consumerism, but not a lot of people saw that.

Q Most overrated?

A Oh, how can I answer? How can any of my books be overrated? [Laughs.] There's a tendency of critics to overpraise a collection of stories; they can pick and choose.

Q You wrote a musical?

A John Mellencamp brought me the idea. It's one of those local legends from a town where he lived. Two brothers had a falling-out in a cabin, one had murdered the other and killed himself. People claimed, as they always do, that the cabin was haunted. I did a story about the ghosts and a later generation of brothers who dislike each other, and the father who wanted to tell them the consequences. It'll open in Atlanta, and there will be an audio version with Kris Kristofferson and Rosanne Cash. Elvis Costello plays the devil, which is typecasting.

Q You're in the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock band with other famous authors. Fender or Strat guitars?

A Neither one! I have a Farrington guitar. I got it from the guy who designed it. The first time the Remainders ever played, in '92, he said he would give us the guitar if one of us would play it onstage. I tried to give it to Dave [Barry], but he insisted I keep it.

Q Zombies or vampires?

A I think the zombie thing is correlative to terrorism, to people who are already dead. Doesn't seem to be any reasoning with them. Now, fast vs. slow zombies, that's the real controversy, but it still comes down to shooting them, you know, in the head.

The new DC comic is about a guy named Skinner Sweet, the first American vampire. He thrives in the sunlight. It's a corrective to the tender, sensitive "Twilight" vampire thing. It's almost a vampire version of "The Godfather," and I was really happy when they asked me to work on the comic. It was like walking past a stadium during the World Series, and having someone say, "Hey, you want to play?"

Q As long as we're on comics: Betty or Veronica?

A Both.

Thanks to Bev Vincent