Lisey's Story: Stephen King Recalls How His Own Marriage Inspired the Project

Stephen King has spent decades delivering audiences some of the most horrifying tales imaginable, some of which have surprisingly personal and intimate inspirations from his own life, which includes what inspired him to make the novel Lisey's Story. The author has previously recalled how he was motivated to write the story after being hospitalized for multiple weeks, with his wife going on to remodel his office, resulting in King's return home feeling like he was visiting a former home after his death. This went on to inspire Lisey's Story and how a character copes with the death of her husband, who was a famous writer.

"What [wife Tabitha King] said was, 'Don't go up there. You won't like it,'" King shared with Vanity Fair of the experience. "The place was totally empty, from one end to the other. The bookshelves were empty, and the desk was totally clear. There wasn't even a laptop on it. I thought, 'Maybe I did die, and this is what I've come back to.'"

Lisey's Story is a deeply personal, pensive thriller that follows Lisey Landon (played by Julianne Moore) two years after the death of her husband, famous novelist Scott Landon (played by Clive Owen). A series of unsettling events causes Lisey to face memories of her marriage to Scott that she has deliberately blocked out of her mind. Joan Allen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Dane DeHaan, Ron Cephas Jones, and Sung Kang star alongside Moore and Owen.

Much like real life, King also noted that Lisey's Story is one of his more unconventional experiences that defies delivering readers an expected narrative.

"I don't want to put anybody off. It's not a simple story. It's not A to B to C," King confirmed. "You hope that the audience will understand that there are secrets here — there are really big secrets — and hope they'll stick with the show, find those things, and unravel them. I think everything becomes clear fairly soon."

Due to Scott Landon's legacy, even after his passing, he's planted clues for Lisey to uncover that ultimately keeps him alive in a sense.

"A treasure hunt, a scavenger hunt," the author expressed of these clues. "Little by little, she's able to come back to what she's hidden from herself."


A new adaptation of Lisey's Story is coming to Apple TV+ on June 4th.

Are you looking forward to the new adaptation? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars.