9 Amazing Inspirations Behind Your Favourite Stephen King Books

How did cowboy boots inspire Pennywise?

In the last forty years, Stephen King has written over fifty novels, ten short story collections, multiple novellas and several works of non-fiction. When you get over how impressive his output is (if that's even possible), the question of inspiration is a particularly pertinent one. How do so many consistently adored, critically acclaimed stories come to life? King is responsible for some of the world's most famous horror novels: Carrie, The Shining, It and Misery are all textbook examples of incredible, terrifying stories. And while they all share similar ideas, they are wildly diverse (a fact furthered by King's hopping between genres), and each obviously has its own very specific source. Though many of King's stories take place in Maine €“ the American state where King was born, grew up and currently lives €“ there's no way that a single place alone could inspire so many diverse stories. In reality, it's the innumerable things that King has experienced in Maine that repeatedly fuels his prolific writing. Some of his most famous stories stem from the smallest of incidents, while others are a curious amalgamation of different sources.

9. The Shining Was Inspired By A Dream King Had In A Deserted Hotel

Undoubtedly one of the most famous novels King has ever written (and the cause of many debates regarding the merits of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation), The Shining was first published in 1977. Unlike It, King's inspiration for The Shining caused him to start writing almost immediately. King describes his inspiration like this: around September of 1974, he and his wife Tabitha spent the night in a massive old hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Though they weren't aware before checking in, it transpired that King and Tabitha were the only guests in the entire hotel, as the next day the hotel was set to be closed for winter. While pacing the hotel's deserted hallways, King decided the vacant hotel would be an absolutely perfect setting for a ghost story. It wasn't until a dream later that night, however, that the idea really crystallised. King dreamt that his three year old son was running around the hotel, terrified for his life, being chased by a fire-hose. The dream was so intense that King got out of bed, lit up a cigarette and began to construct the narrative outline of The Shining.

Commonly found reading, sitting firmly in a seat at the cinema (bottle of water and a Freddo bar, please) or listening to the Mountain Goats.