Stephen King has cup of joe “Under the Dome” on CBS

 

Stephen King  (photo: CBS)

Stephen King, Under the Dome      (photo: KharenHill/CBS)

Master of suspense and horror, author Stephen King wanted a coffee refill in the diner scene towards the end of Under the Dome’s opener. Well he can use that cup of joe to toast the sensational episode he wrote to launch season two of the blockbuster summer series. King is happy that the idea of his “Dome” story has captivated audiences. His thrilling novel was brought to life by CBS last summer and was a huge ratings success. King is an executive producer on the show so it was easy for him to get the cameo gig as one of the unlucky folks caught under the mysterious dome that seals off the volatile town of Chester’s Mill. Of course the real stars of Under the Dome are Dean Norris (of Breaking Bad fame), Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre, Colin Ford, Alexander Koch, Britt Robertson, and Mackenzie Lintz. Dead or alive, we’ll be seeing them all this season with more great storytelling. King’s stories have become mega-sellers, and big hit movies and TV shows. He attributes much of that to a crop of fans who grew up with “such television series as Twilight Zone and Star Trek. They have influenced this current boomer generation, who seem to have a lot more acceptance of fantasy themes, ghost themes, make believe, science fiction and a whole range of other worldly subjects.” Upcoming he has a movie based on his novella “Big Driver” airing on Lifetime this fall. The Syfy network series Haven is going into its 5th season and is based on his novel “The Colorado Kid.” At 66, King keeps busy. His first “hardboiled detective novel” called “Mr. Mercedes” just came out. Other recent projects include his novel “Joyland,” released to raves. It’s a dark ride as the coming-of-age summer tale is set in an amusement park. The prolific author also has “Doctor Sleep,” the long awaited sequel to his classic “The Shining.” It’s a battle of good and evil, and follows the grown up Dan Torrance, still haunted by his demons. King reports, “I like to scare people, but I also like to make them laugh. I like to entertain people. I’ve written some scary things, but I’ve also written some other things, too. You get a reputation and you’ve got it the rest of your life. I’m not interested in just being a ‘scream machine,’ although every novel is intended to frighten the reader, or at least give him something to ponder. But I like to write scary books.” His first published novel was the horror classic “Carrie” in 1973. He admits, “I don’t know where my ‘darkness’ comes from. I sit down to write and out it comes. I can’t explain it. It’s the only thing I can do. Books are my outlet. I try to think up ways to get the reader involved and be really upset. I want them to lock their doors, worry, and not be able to sleep. I like that. It gives me a feeling of power.” His writing, he swears, “isn’t for the money. I just like to write. I started writing as a kid, after I did my homework, and I don’t feel I will ever stop. I love what I’m doing.” But King warns would-be authors he has no great advice, “there is no such thing as a free lunch. That is not the way the world works. I can’t pass on any inspiration. Just believe in your dreams and work hard.” In an interview we did years ago, King told me his best advice for kids is “eat your green vegetables.” He also reports when his kids were young one of his favorite “dad things” was coaching his sons’ Little League teams “and teaching them to become Boston Red Sox fans.” #


Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.

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