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Stephen King's Reddit AMA

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Stephen King
Michael Tackett/CBS

What spooks Stephen King?

Though Dark Tower fans may have guessed that the writer isn’t a big fan of spiders — as he wrote yesterday during a Reddit AMA, “Are spiders the most alien creatures on earth, or what? I’ve just got a thing about them” — King revealed during the Q&A session that his actual greatest fear is a little less tangible and a lot more serious: Alzheimer’s Disease. (Maybe he should team up with Samuel L. Jackson to fight it!)

Generally speaking, though, King kept things light throughout his Reddit jaunt. While he was nominally on hand to promote CBS’s Under the Dome — a new series executive-produced by King and based on his 2009 novel) — talk of the show didn’t dominate the conversation; instead, the horror master gamely answered questions about his favorite of his books (2006’s Lisey’s Story), his current favorite TV show (The Americans), and the creepiest thing about Maine (“the endless woods”).

Here are a few other highlights from King’s moment in the virtual sun:

Which actor best captured your vision of one of your characters?

It’s a two part answer: “Kathy Bates was a great Annie Wilkes…” and “I’d say the four boys who played the kids in STAND BY ME. River Phoenix was a standout.”

Which novel do you wish you could “unpublish”?

“If I were to ‘unpublish’ a novel…hmmm. There are some I’d probably rewrite, but unpublished? Probably not even ROSE MADDER, which has always seemed less than successful to me.”

Will IT‘s Pennywise ever return in a future story?

“I don’t think I could bear to deal with Pennywise again. Too scary, even for me.”

Will Randall Flagg ever get his own story?

“Giving Flagg his own story would make him too coherent, somehow. He’s the guy behind the scenes, pulling all the strings.”

How should The Dark Tower be adapted — movies or TV?

“I like the idea of doing the DT books as films, and the adventures of the younger Roland as TV. I like changing it up and trying new things.”

How did you end up in Creepshow… and Sons of Anarchy?

Creepshow: “George Romero asked if I’d take a shot at playing Jordy. I said yes, with the caveat that he should fire me if the dailies looked bad. I never expected an Academy Award nod, and boy, was I right about that.” Sons of Anarchy: “Kurt Sutter said ‘if you want to play a part in Sons of Anarchy, we’ll put you on a big-ass motorcycle.’ and I said ‘I’m there.’ I didn’t have any input — and I didn’t want any input, he told me what the character would be and I said ‘terrific!'”

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?

If I wasn’t writing, I’d probably be teaching school, but this is what I was meant to do. As far as high achievements, that’s for other people to decide. I try to keep myself amused. Every day I do that is a good day.

And finally: How the hell do you play “Louie Louie” on guitar?

“‘Louie Louie’ is just E, A, and D. Rinse and repeat. The lyrics are entirely up to you.”

Read more:

TV Review: “Under the Dome”

Bryan Cranston’s Reddit AMA: Ryan Gosling’s soft skin, Power Rangers, and sarcasm

‘Before Midnight’ Reddit AMA: Seven insights from Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater