The book he’s currently working on was initially set in 2020, which seemed like a harmless choice at the time he started.
“I thought, ‘OK, when I publish it, if it’s in 2021, it will be like in the past, safely in the past,’” King told NPR.
After the pandemic hit, King noticed a couple of his characters went on a cruise.
“And I thought, ‘Well, no, I don’t think anybody’s going on cruise ships this year,’” he said. “And so I looked at everything and I immediately set the book in 2019, where people could congregate and be together and the story would work because of that.”
King said readers often tell him that they feel like they’re living in one of his books these days (specifically, “The Stand,” in which a virus nicknamed Captain Trips wipes out much of the human race).
“I keep having people say, ‘Gee, it’s like we’re living in a Stephen King story,’” he said. “And my only response to that is, ‘I’m sorry.’”
King’s latest collection, “If It Bleeds,” will be released on April 21.
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