“This stuff (writing) keeps you young. They let us guys go out and be designated kids for everybody else, and we get to make stuff up and live on the playground. The challenge is to be an adult at least 50% of the time.”
Any guy who thinks of the page as a playground gets my vote. OK, I admit it — Stevie is not a go-to author for me, although his guide On Writing is great. But here’s what I love about him: the guy just loves to write! And he loves to talk about the fact that he loves to write!
In a world where most writers seem to be either angsty or arrogant, someone who unabashedly proclaims the joy he finds in his craft is a breath of fresh air. And, when it comes to creativity, Stevie is a veritable engine of invention. Nor is he afraid to go out on a literary limb: his latest novel, 11/22/63 is a blend of fact and fancy — and represents Stephen’s first foray into historical fiction. In it, he envisions someone going back in time to prevent JFK’s assassination. What a fantastic premise!
The seed of the book was first planted in 1971, but back then, Stephen didn’t have the tools or the time to tackle such a huge topic. But when he took it on, he did it in a big way, doing lots of research and then letting his mind run free. The result was totally energizing. When one character tells another that he met Lee Harvey Oswald, Stephen recalls, “I can remember writing that line and saying, ‘I’m actually going to meet Oswald in my imagination.’ I don’t think I really have been as excited or turned on or had all my lights go on since (1977’s) The Shining.”
Now that his new novel is out, Stephen is off pursuing new horizons. He’s joined forces with a songwriter to develop a musical. When someone asked him what kind of a writing duo, they were, he said they were going to be the next Gilbert and Sullivan. Now that’s chutzpah! That’s writing dangerously. Write on, Stevie!