“I remember rummaging in the basement and liked the scary stuff on the covers. At first, I stuck to the stories in Night Shift but soon picked up The Bachman Books. It was comforting for me to know that there were other people out there with weird ideas in their heads. And of course, then I read it and became a fan for life.”
That’s Kevin Quigley, writer and die-hard Stephen King fan. Since discovering the literary genius of King in the early ‘80s, Quigley has dedicated his writing life to studying King’s craft and has most recently joined fellow authors Brian James Freeman and Hans-Åke Lilja to release The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book, a testament to all of King’s movie work and one guaranteed to make your head spin.
Stephen King’s writing career has spanned decades and includes 49 novels and 350 million copies sold (and counting). Early on, he earned his “King of Horror” status by taking classic horror tropes and combining them with very recognizable, very flawed, and very real characters.
“Stephen King is responsible for the horror boom of the 1980’s,” Quigley said. “There was some precedent, of course – things like The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby – but Carrie changed the horror game and Salem’s Lot, The Shining, and to some degree, The Stand solidified it. And in Danse Macabre, King not only highlighted contemporary horror authors like Peter Straub and Anne Rivers Siddons, but also introduced the public to his influences, Shirley Jackson and Richard Matheson.”
And when horror became a mass commodity and more accessible to the public, for better or for worse, King worked to strengthen that. Quigley also credits the mainstream success of the supernatural crime novel The Dead Zone.
“It was King’s first number one hardcover bestseller. And I’ve always found it fascinating that this accessible, human, (mostly) gentle story gets lumped in with the ‘King of Horror’ mentality. But since a lot of people read it and found it palatable, it changed the concept of what horror could be,” Quigley said.
But this trivia book isn’t about King’s literature, it’s about the screen adaptations of his work. Between the movies, short films, TV shows, and miniseries, there are over 75 and counting. Some are good, and some are bad... really bad.
“Oh boy, are some bad! I can’t believe I sat through The Mangler. And you know how people say that once you get to a certain level of rich, none of it starts being real anymore? That’s how it is with the level of bad in Children of the Corn. And I will reluctantly say that Children of the Corn II actually isn’t terrible. Or as terrible,” Quigley said.
Whether it’s Misery or Children of the Corn, it’s sure to be covered in The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book chock full of over1,000 questions, including special illustration-based ones from graphic artist Glenn Chadbourne.
“I don’t like number or date questions – trivia is more fun if you can make your way to the answer by thinking about the movie rather than reciting rote facts. It’s such a cool book, “ Quigley said.
The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Bookwill be released nationwide this fall, and includes a forward from director Mick Garris (The Stand, The Shining, Riding the Bullet, Desperation, Bag of Bones).
You can pre-order your copy on Amazon.com or cemeterydance.com, also home to Quigley’s other literary works: Chart of Darkness, Blood In Your Ears, Drawn Into Darkness, Wetware, and Ink In the Veins, all about, you guessed it: Stephen King.