Stephen King’s dark imagination as an adult always makes people wonder what the hell happened to him as a kid. But King didn’t have that unusual of a childhood. He’s more interested in everyone else’s curiosity about how he grew up and their assumption that something horrific must have happened for him to write about such dark things.

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He said, in an interview with The Public Radio Book Show in October 1989 which was recently animated by PBS’ Blank on Blank, that adults ask that question because they’ve forgotten what it was like to be a child. They’ve forgotten what life was like back then and how they thought. They’ve forgotten that life was once exotic and strange. They’ve forgotten that a child doesn’t think in straight lines or with perfect logic; their way of thinking is more similar to a dream state. So, in a way, kids live the way adults dream. That’s a nice thing to remember.