Stephen King's Doctor Sleep is a sequel to The Shining, but the new novel isn't simply an attempt to reclaim the classic story — now often remembered for Stanley Kubrick's subsequent film adaptation.
"People made too much of the way that I feel about the Kubrick film [The Shining]. I've had a lot of books that have been turned into films. I like some of the adaptations — in fact, I like a lot of the adaptations — and there are a few that I don't like. The Shining is one of the few I don't care for, but I don't take it personally and I don't take it to heart," the bestselling novelist told Jian Ghomeshi on CBC's cultural affairs show Q on Thursday.
"Movies and books are apples and oranges... [When] a book gets sold to the movies, it's like sending a kid off to college. You hope they're going to do well and everything. Most of them do. Every now and then, somebody falls by the wayside."
After writing more than 50 novels (which have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide), King says he was inspired to return to The Shining's child protagonist Danny Torrance by those who regularly asked him what happened to the character after the tale ended. He was also inspired by the story of a therapy cat reportedly able to predict the impending death of terminally ill patients.
Published earlier this fall, Doctor Sleep came to life, in part, thanks to fresh-eyed feedback from King's youngest son, Owen. A screenwriter and author who has just published his comic novel debut, entitled Double Feature, Owen King was born in 1977, the same year The Shining hit bookstores.
The pair arrived in Toronto to speak at writers' rights group PEN Canada's annual benefit, the opening event of the 2013 International Festival of Authors.
In the attached audio, Stephen and Owen King talk to Q about picking up the thread of The Shining in Doctor Sleep, their father-son relationship, the challenges facing King's adult children (now writing novels as well) and whether they might one day collaborate.