Stephen King is usually an extremely prolific author, often publishing two or more novels in a single year. Surprisingly, though, the King of modern horror has not published any work at all since his supernatural detective story End of Watch came out in June, and he has not put out any real horror writing (other than short stories) since 2014’s Revival. That is one of the reasons it is so exciting that King is soon to return to his roots with Gwendy’s Button Box, a Twilight Zone-esque horror novella on which Stephen is collaborating with Richard Chizmar.
Cemetery Dance, the publishing house Chizmar founded, recently had one of its dedicated Stephen King reporters sit down with the pair of writers to interview them about the upcoming novella, and a number of interesting details, including that the book is partially inspired by the rise to power of Donald Trump (a man whom Stephen King has vocally despised since the beginning of Trump’s political career), were brought to light.
“I had the idea for the story last July,” Stephen King told reporter Bev Vincent. “It was a little like Richard Matheson’s ‘Button, Button,’ but could be its own special thing. I liked it because it basically postulates putting the fate of the world in the hands of a child — like Trump.”
As those who follow Stephen King-related news on the Inquisitr may recall, we published a story last November theorizing that King’s next horror work would concern a naive and corrupt politician in the vein of the way King views Trump. The piece was inspired by the Tweet Stephen sent out shortly before the story was published that said his next horror story would be about Donald Trump winning the Presidential race.
At the time, it seemed like Stephen King may have been joking, and the article was purely speculation. Now, though, it appears that King was partially serious. His new work with Chizmar will not actually be about Donald Trump or even a politician, but it will center on a woman (King revealed in the interview that the story’s lead is female) whose personality and motivations are inspired by The Donald’s supposedly “childlike” world view.
Stephen King’s passionate hatred for Donald Trump, which is summed up very succinctly in this compilation of King’s anti-Trump tweets from Mashable, will surely serve as some good fuel for effective character development in Gwendy’s Button Box.
Stephen King’s many fans will also be happy to hear that, with the story, King will be returning to Castle Rock, a fictional Maine town in which several of his past works, including Cujo and Needful Things, have been set. As King confirms in the interview, it is purely a coincidence that his revival of the familiar small berg coincides with the recent announcement of J.J. Abrams Castle Rock Stephen King anthology TV series at Hulu.
Another important takeaway from the interview is that Gwendy’s Button Box is to be a true collaboration rather than a project where one person writes a story and the other one only makes a few minor edits.
King notes that he did most of the work on the book’s beginning and Chizmar was responsible for the majority of content making up the middle, but he and Chizmar say they exchanged the complete manuscript many, many times before it was published, honing it and adding a bit each time.
“You don’t want the reader to be jarred by one voice giving way to another,” King mused. “The secret ingredient is that we both went over the story, giving it additional layers.”
Gwendy‘s Button Box will be published on May 30, 2017.
[Featured Image by Mark Lennihan/AP Images]