7 Fearsome Facts About Stephen King’s “It”

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The original screen adaptation of It remains one of the largest horrors of my childhood, and I’ve been told that the latest reimagining was also pretty darn good. Now, we’re getting a second chapter to the story, and to celebrate, how about some fun facts about the source material (it was once a book, after all!)?

Join me!

7. King was high on cocaine when he wrote it.

King has over 30 years of sobriety under his belt, but more than a few of his novels were written between 1978 and 1986, when he (along with a lot of other people) used cocaine heavily.

It was the last novel he wrote before getting sober.

6. The novel was inspired by a Norwegian fairy tale.

The classic Norwegian fairy tale, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, is about 3 goats outsmarting a bridge troll. It’s the inspiration, King says, for this tale.

“I decided that the bridge could be the city, if there was something under it. What’s under a city? Tunnels. Sewers…I thought of how such a story might be cast; how it might be possible to create a ricochet effect, interweaving the stories of the children and the adults they become.”

5. Pennywise isn’t always a clown.

It is a mythical creature that takes the form of what people fear most when it returns to terrorize Derry, but he shows up most often as a clown, King says, because what scares children more than that?

“I thought to myself, ‘What scares children more than anything else in the world?’ And the answer was ‘clowns.’

4. The book took 4 years to complete, and is King’s second longest draft.

The book is 1138 pages long – just 15 pages shorter than The Stand, King’s longest tome – and (depending on the edition) weighs up to 4 pounds.

3. King had his own childhood scare from a clown…called Ronald McDonald.

King revealed to Conan O’Brien that he once sat next to Ronald McDonald on an airplane.

“You think, ‘What if this plane crashes? I’m going to die next to a clown.'”

2. The novel contains a controversial scene that will probably never be adapted.

The novel contains a scene that basically boils down to gang rape – the 11 and 12-year-old boys of The Losers’ Club have to have sex with the long girl in order to escape the sewers – and even King acknowledges it wouldn’t fly today.

“It wasn’t really thinking of the sexual aspect of it. The sexual act connected childhood and adulthood … Times have changes since I wrote that scene and there is now more sensitivity to those issues.”

1. The fictional Derry is basically Bangor, Maine.

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King has lived in Bangor since 1979, and most of his novels are set in similar fictionalized versions of his adopted hometown.

I, for one, love facts about authors and books, so these were pretty cool!

Were any of these news to you? Let us know in the comments!