Stephen King on "The Outsider" and where his ideas come from

Stephen King talks new novel "The Outsider"

Stephen King's tales are the kind that inspire the question, "What happened to you as a child?" His latest novel is no different. 

In "The Outsider," King explores the idea of being in two places at the same time and, of course, an unspeakable crime. The so-called "king of horror" told "CBS This Morning" that he was partly inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe short story called "William Wilson."


"The guy is at school, another guy comes to school who looks just like him, dresses like him, and has the same name," King said. "And the thing that came to my mind is, what would a story be like if the evidence that somebody committed a horrible crime was ironclad. But if the evidence that the person had a perfect alibi, what if that was ironclad? You know, kind of an immovable object, an irresistible force."

The story centers on a little league coach named Terry Maitland who is accused of a crime that is supported by DNA evidence and seen by witnesses -- and yet he has an irrefutable alibi. It turns the town upside down.

King, who has published more than 50 best-selling titles over the past 44 years, said "The Outsider" was one of those "magic books" that seemed to tell itself.

"Sometimes you have to kind of pull them through. And this one kind of pulled itself through," he said of the story.

Despite his penchant for tales of horror, he said ideas come to him while living an ordinary life.

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"It's like what they say about sharks. They have to keep swimming and feeding all the time. But you don't do it on purpose," he said. "I go to the market, I shop, but every now and then you'll see something, sometimes it's two things that come together that give you an idea. And I don't keep a notebook or anything like that because I feel like the bad ideas would just sort of float away, but the good ones have a tendency to stay."

"The Outsider" is published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS.