Take a look at that novel in which your poolside neighbor or fellow passenger is so engrossed and there’s a more than reasonable chance that it’s a Stephen King.
The Maine born author of the supernatural and science fiction has sold more than 350 million copies of his books, many of which have been adapted into feature films and TV miniseries, including such classics as ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, ‘Pet Sematary’, ‘The Shining’ and ‘The Green Mile’.
The city of Bangor, or “Derry” as it is known in the Stephen King world, serves as the backdrop for many of his stories, the inspiration for a number of his novels and has provided the locations for several King movies.
Indeed, the ‘Langoliers’ mini-series was filmed almost entirely in and around Bangor International Airport during the summer of 1994.
So popular is the city with the author’s fans that SK Tours of Maine (www.sk-tours.com) provides guided tours for those eager to see King’s home, as well as places that he has worked and written about. Each three-hour tour is hosted by Stuart Tinker, a lifelong local resident and owner of the original Betts bookstore, which he and his wife bought in 1990 and where they maintained a complete catalog of Stephen King’s books and memorabilia for 20 years.
The store became the ‘go-to’ place for Stephen King items and led, in turn, to the creation of the tours, which now run twice daily, taking in the Barrens, the Standpipe and the Birdbath, all from the novel ‘IT’, the cemetery where Pet Sematary was actually filmed, and places that Stephen King lived, including his current residence.
“We’ve met people from all over the world, all brought together by the love and enjoyment of Steve’s stories,” says Stuart Tinker. “But we also have a lot of spouses, partners, and tagalongs that are not fans. That’s where the real fun is. The non-fan usually is truly amazed when they find out that their favorite movie is a Stephen King story.”