The Overlook Hotel of The Shining is actually The Stanley Hotel in Colorado. In October of 1974, King and his wife stayed in Room 217 of the Stanley, a room rumored to be haunted. As King slept, he dreamed of his young son being chased around the hotel by a fire-hose.
"I got up, lit a cigarette, sat in a chair looking out the window at the Rockies, and by the time the cigarette was done, I had the bones of the book firmly set in my mind."
2. The Inspiration for It Came from a Bridge
King got part of the idea for the novel when his car broke down one summer day in 1978. He took the car to the shop and, when it was fixed, walked three miles back to the mechanic to pick it up. King's route took him across and old wooden bridge, which caused him to remember an old fairytale about three goats encountering a troll who lived beneath a bridge. Somehow, this fairytale sparked in King the structural device of It.
King was also inspired by the local sewer system of Bangor, Maine, the town in which he was living.
"Somebody told me apparently you can put a canoe down into the sewers just over across from here at the Westgate Mall and you can come out by the Mount Hope cemetery at the other end of town. This same guy told me that the Bangor sewer system was built during the WPA and they lost track of what they were building under there. They had money from the federal government for sewers, so they built like crazy. A lot of the blueprints have now been lost and it’s easy to get lost down there. I decided I wanted to put all that into a book and eventually I did. Bangor became Derry."
3. The Stand Is Based on Chemical Warfare
King explains that he had always wanted to write an epic fantasy novel akin to the work of JRR Tolkien. He found inspiration for such an epic tale when he happened to see a TV program on chemical warfare and was horrified by footage of lab mice dying.That program, combined with a story King read about a chemical spill in Utah that resulted in the death of several sheep, served as the basis for The Stand.
4. Thinner Is Based on Doctor's Orders
"I went to see the doctor and he told me 'Listen, man, your triglycerides are really high. In case you haven't noticed it, you've entered heart attack country.' I used that line in the book," King said.