Stephen King Changes Plot Details of His New Novel Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting the entire entertainment industry in countless ways, with author Stephen King revealing that the novel he is currently writing was originally set to take place in 2020, but given the ways in which the virus has impacted the entire world, he had to tweak the story as to avoid addressing the pandemic's impact on all corners of life. While King and the rest of the world hopes that the pandemic subsides sooner rather than later, there's really no telling how much longer we will be coping with the ramifications of the event, potentially making it more difficult for the novel to avoid addressing the situation.

"I set [the novel I'm currently writing] in the year 2020 because I thought, 'Okay, when I publish it, if it's in 2021, it will be like in the past, safely in the past,'" King revealed during an interview with NPR. "And then this thing came along, and I immediately looked back through the copy that I'd written and I saw that one of the things that was going on was that two of my characters had gone on a cruise ... and I thought, 'Well, no, I don't think anybody's going on cruise ships this year.' And so I looked at everything and I immediately set the book in 2019, where people could congregate and be together and the story would work because of that."

King's name has come up a lot in recent weeks due to the pandemic, as his novel The Stand follows a group of survivors after a majority of the world's population survives a deadly virus. Even King himself shared a specific chapter of his novel about the ways the world coped with the deadly events of the book.

"I keep having people say, 'Gee, it's like we're living in a Stephen King story,'" the author admitted. "And my only response to that is, 'I'm sorry.' "

King's new book, the novella collection If It Bleeds, has moved its release date forward, potentially to get into the hands of quarantined readers more quickly.

"From #1 New York Times bestselling author, legendary storyteller, and master of short fiction Stephen King comes an extraordinary collection of four new and compelling novellas — Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, The Life of Chuck, Rat, and the title story If It Bleeds — each pulling readers into intriguing and frightening places," King's website describes the book. "The novella is a form King has returned to over and over again in the course of his amazing career, and many have been made into iconic films, including The Body (Stand By Me) and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (Shawshank Redemption). Like Four Past Midnight, Different Seasons, and most recently Full Dark, No Stars, If It Bleeds is a uniquely satisfying collection of longer short fiction by an incomparably gifted writer."

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If It Bleeds hits shelves on April 28th.

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