Books

Stephen King ‘nervous’ about Shining sequel reception

You'd have thought that penning over 50 books, shifting millions of copies and seeing your work transformed into some of the most famous films of a generation might give an author confidence in their art. Not Stephen King.

Ahead of the publication of Doctor Sleep, the sequel to 1977's The Shining, King told the BBC that he is nervous about how readers will react to his latest work.

Speaking to arts editor Will Gompertz, the 65-year-old author said he expects the majority of readers to compare the new title with his horror classic: "You are faced with that comparison and that has got to make you nervous, because there is a lot of water under the bridge. I'm a different man".

"People kept asking me - I'd go to autographing sessions and they'd say, 'Whatever happened to that kid from The Shining?'", said King, explaining the beginnings of his new work. "I've never been someone who wanted to revisit the past and I'm particularly leery about revisiting the scary books; I feel like a lot of people read those books under the covers with flash lights when they were children themselves.

"You meet people who say, 'I read that book The Shining or 'Salem's Lot and it really scared the hell out of me'. And I'm thinking to myself, well sure, you were easy - you were 14 and away on camp and shaking in your shoes."

King describes his new work as a "more adult book", one which will only scare readers if they are able to care about the characters he has created. Readers are now more educated as to a writer's tricks, and so Doctor Sleep won't be playing the same cards as The Shining.

"What a lot of people are saying is, 'Well okay, I will probably read this book but it cannot be as good as The Shining'. But I am obviously an optimist and I want them to say when they get done with it, that it was as good.

"But what I really want them to say is that it is better than The Shining".

Doctor Sleep sees a mature Danny Torrance using his 'Shining' abilities in his job at a hospice, helping people move on from this life to the next.

Doctor Sleep is released on 24 September 2013

(Via: BBC)

(Images: Rex)