King talks Duma Key

Posted: June 8, 2007, 00:26
Bev Vincent gave the following report about the Edgar Awards event:

King was interviewed by Hard Case Crime's Charles Ardai at the Edgar Awards last month in NYC. I just received a DVD of the interview. During the lengthy talk, King had this to say about Duma Key:

1) As of last month, he was still working on revisions

2) He once described the book as The Maltese Falcon meets The Shining

3) He was walking down a lonely, quiet road in Florida one evening. Most of the houses on the road were empty. He noticed a sign that said "Slow -- Children Playing," but he'd never seen any children there before. Maybe their ghost children, he thought. He had an image of these ghost kids walking behind him and he decided at that moment that somewhere in Duma Key there were going to be dead children.

4) The book also features a mystery from the 1920s that required him to do some research.

5) The book is in part about memories -- how we keep them and how they change. How we remember things one way and someone else remembers them another way.

6) Edgar's new talent, discovered after his accident and after he moves to Florida, is reminiscent of Patrick Danville's skill (though King did not mention Patrick during the interview)

7) There was a famous child kidnapping/murder case that played out while King was in Florida. Videotape captured the kidnapping--a man walked up to the missing girl in a parking lot and lured her away. The brief video played over and over on the news. At one instant, it captures the young girl looking up at her captor with a look of trust. When the culprit was caught, he said, "I got high and did a terrible thing." King was so angry with the guy that he decided to put him in the book and do a bad thing to him.

In unrelated news, King mentioned that he at one time considered writing a Travis McGee novel. He had the whole thing imagined in his head -- it was going to be called CHROME and would start with Meyer being shot and seriously injured while he and Travis were out for a walk on the beach. The question was going to be whether the shooter had been after Meyer or Trav.

King was serious enough about the book to track down John D. MacDonald's son and literary estate guardian in Australia or New Zealand, but the younger MacDonald wouldn't give him permission to do the book.

Thanks to Bev Vincent