Stephen King (of Horror) Talks ‘Mr. Mercedes’, What Scares the Shit Out of Him

Stephen King Reveals Biggest Fears, Mr. Mercedes InterviewPictured: Stephen King

Even the practitioner of terror loses his shit sometimes.

Stephen King, 69, is the noted king of horror who’s single-handedly responsible for our most fucked up nightmares, isn’t as fearless as most would believe. In a recent interview with Variety (August 8), King shared on everything from the upcoming 10-part series adaptation of his 2014 novel Mr. Mercedes on DirecTV’s Audience Network to what he considers his deepest fears.

“Air travel is a big [fear] with me because I feel like I’m not in control. I’m close to 70 now, so I’m worried about basically having the cheese slide off my cracker — Alzheimer’s, dementia, stuff like that,” the writer starts. “I don’t like bugs, I don’t like bats, I don’t like things that creep and crawl. With the exception of snakes, somehow they don’t really turn my dials. But I’m also afraid of people like Brady Hartsfield, they’re out there. And it crosses my mind every time I do a public event. You think about somebody like Mark David Chapman, and you think maybe somebody’s got a knife out for you. But that’s part of life.”

Mr. Mercedes, which premiered Wednesday (August 9), follows a detective who becomes tormented by an unsolved case involving a man who has just killed eight crowdgoers with his Mercedes vehicle. Unbeknownst to the detective—who begins to receive anonymous clues from a “Mr. Mercedes” concerning the atrocity—the murder is the local ice cream truck driver. (Twisted, amiright?)

Stephen King Reveals Biggest Fears, Mr. Mercedes Interview
DirecTV’s Audience Network

When asked to give comment on the adaptation so far, King replied, “It isn’t a one-to-one translation, it’s pretty close, but everything that they did really added to it. There’s a part in the book when they discover who the Mercedes Killer is and Beaty goes to a motel room to shave his head. When you see it, I think its episode 8 or 9, what they thought of in place of the motel room is absolutely genius.”

King has authored more than 250 works—including 200+ short stories, 56 novels, as well as works under the alias Richard Bachman—many of which have been optioned for film. Among some of his most notorious reworks have been Carrie (based on King’s 1976 debut novel); IT (a 1990 mini-series starring Tim Curry, scheduled for film rebirth come September 5); The Shining (a 1980 film led by Jack Nicholson); and The Mist (first transformed on the big screen in 2007, and is currently a series on Spike).

Last week (August 4) marked the theatrical release of The Dark Tower, inspired by King’s 1991 fiction franchise, and features actors Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in leading roles. The film is one of King’s works to be adapted for the silver screen this year.

The author’s wicked Pennywise will also make its vengeance in the feature film, IT, which releases September 5, 27 years after the television original debuted in 1991, which also pays homage to the urban legend in King’s book that mentions It’s reappearance every 27 years.

What do you think of King’s biggest fears? Can you relate?

Share your thoughts (and biggest fears) with us in the comments below!

Paris Close
the authorParis Close
Editor-in-chief at Paperback Paris. Saving myself for Andy Cohen. Give me Gillian Flynn, or give me death.