Owen King, child of iconic writer Stephen King, is letting readers into his life as the son of arguably the most popular writer of the last century.
Bring in the presence of Stephen King must be crazy. But what if you were his son?
In a recent piece for The New Yorker, Owen King intimately let fans into his family. Telling about his father’s long hours and interesting requests, like paying Owen to read books on tape long before audible was a thing, it’s a great look into family, fathers and youth. Oh, did I forgot to mention his dad is Stephen King?
While the piece is mostly about how the immortal writer helped Owen become a better reader by requesting spoken books on tape like “The Lord of the Rings” and “Dune,” — for $9 an hour — what strikes me most is the view into King’s process. How the writer often spends all day in his office typing and how our love of King, and King’s love of writing and the process, affects a young son just wanting a father. King isn’t neglectful father, but becoming an icon takes a lot of time.
Here are some of the best passages from Owen’s piece:
"“The job was also excellent practice for writing. Closing my door and sitting at my desk echoed what my parents did each day, when they shut themselves in their respective offices and sat alone for hours on end. (Dad sometimes returned to work after dinner and kept on into the night. If, lying in bed on the other side of the house, I discerned the sinister bass line of one of the AC/DC LPs that he liked to listen to at jet-engine volume, I knew that he was revising.)”“His tragedy was my best opportunity to pet him, so I’d plunk down, too. In the background, the plastic tumult of Dad’s keystrokes came from inside the office. It occurred to me once, as I petted Marlowe and the rattle of keys went on and on, to wonder if my father was actually typing anything specific, or just making as much noise as he could to keep bad things away.”"
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A writer myself, although I won’t dare compare myself to a novelist let alone Stephen King, I often spend large chunks of time writing. My pursuit of a career and a better life through passions causes me to lack a social and romantic life at times. Although I don’t have children, I often think about the toll of art to an artist’s family. This causes me to enjoy the piece even more. I find the perspective invaluable.
The rest of the article is interesting as well. Co-author of King’s“Sleeping Beauties,” Owen being paid to read a book on tape by his iconic author father is amazing. While the King kid says his father didn’t do it to shape the young man’s mind and improve his literary skills, I’m thinking the author’s being coy. Either way, this is a story for the ages. All King fans should approve.
Fan of Stephen King? Enjoying Own King story as much as we are? Let the other wretched writers know what you think in the comment section below.