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Peter Straub Talks BLACK HOUSE

Author talks about his latest collaboration with Stephen King.

By Frank Kurtz     September 07, 2001
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram


Stephen King and Peter Straub's BLACK HOUSE
© 2001 Random House

The sequel to Stephen King and Peter Straub's THE TALISMAN comes out later this month, and the latter of the two is talking about its creation.


While talking to Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Jeff Guinn, Straub spoke of the sequel to the original 1984 book, saying, "Stephen and I always, I think, intended to do another book carrying the story forward. This particular book is based on an idea he had that, in turn, was based on an idea of mine we talked about 15 years ago: a bad house that's a doorway to all sorts of things."


Straub revealed that the creation of the book took "about a year and a half" to do. Initially, the got together in Florida to create and outline for the book. Still, that outline didn't have an ending "because we thought it would be more fun to come up with one when we got right there to it."


Then, the two authors returned to their respective homes to tell the story of a now grown up Jack Sawyer, the first book's main character.


As for how the authors actually wrote the book, Straub explains, saying, "It was my job to begin the story, because the part outside The Territories is set in an area of Wisconsin I'm familiar with. We alternated sections, working by phone and e-mail. Sometimes we'd take turns beginning new chapters, sometimes not. We might alternate paragraphs. It just depended."


Straub also spoke of creating a voice unique to the book that wasn't really done in a style of the authors' individual works, saying, "The first step, the most important one, was to begin with a voice that was neither his style nor mine. So the book begins in an elegant first-person plural voice. We tried it and found that both of us could do it comfortably. The book carries on in that tone for quite a long time, and after that we each adjusted to the writing style of the other. I know I got looser, more colloquial."


And, in site of the outline, the authors remained flexible on the creation of the book. Straub notes, "Certain moments came about when one guy or the other would get in touch and say, 'Hey, this change sort of happened.' If it made sense, then the change prevailed and we worked it in."


BLACK HOUSE will hit bookstores on September 15.

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