Highlights from Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, and Margaret Atwood’s Reddit AMAs

Johann Thorsson

Staff Writer

Johann Thorsson is a native of Iceland, but spends much of his time in Bookland. He has lived in a few parts of the world but currently lives in Iceland with a pretty woman and a mischievous son who resembles Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) more each day. He has a complicated but ultimately useless degree in bioinformatics from a very pretty college in England. His favorite books are 1984, Flowers for Algernon and The English Patient. He hopes one day to call himself a writer without feeling like he's just fooling himself. Blog: Johann Thorsson - On Book and Writing Twitter: @johannthors

Reddit is the small dark corner of the internet. Every now and then, authors will answer any question the dirty undeserving proletariat Reddit community (people like me and you) want to ask them, events called “AMA,” for Ask Me Anything. Questions range from serious to downright silly, a common one being “Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck, or a hundred duck-sized horses?”

Here are great questions selected from three writer AMAs, to things we all want to know.

– Stephen King –

WhiteVisitation asks “Hi Stephen, which of your novels would you say is your favorite?”

Mr. King answers:


Cherblie asks: “What actor or actress in one of your movie adaptations, do you feel most captured your own vision of the character?”

Mr. King answers, twice:

1. “I’d say the four boys who played the kids in STAND BY ME. River Phoenix was a standout.”

2. “Kathy Bates was a great Annie Wilkes.”

Check out the rest of Stephen King’s AMA.


– Chuck Palahniuk –

Deart asks: “What are you drinking? Just curious.”

Chuck answers:

“Nothing, yet. But that does sound like a pick-up line. What are YOU drinking? (wink wink )”

Davisacunt asks: “I once brought up the quote “Self-improvement is masturbation, self-destruction is the answer” to my high-school philosophy class taught by a man who was planning on becoming a priest the next year.
After seeing Fight-Club and reading Choke, the idea meant a lot to me at the time but looking back…semi-cringe
My class didn’t get it. Everyone was surprised I brought up the word masturbation in a highschool class where we were getting our religion credit. My teacher wanted me to explain how it was like masturbation, so I stood at the front of my class stammering, trying to explain how self-improvement is pretty much just fucking yourself…
So my question is, how would you have described this quote to my high school class? and do you personally live following this idea?”

Chuck answers:

“I’m safe in saying this because David Foster Wallace said that eventually your writing is masturbation. Regardless of how much readers enjoy it, you’re really writing because it gets you off.

And I do mean it, but Tyler meant it more. The pleasures of writing include acting like exaggerations of your most-extreme self. A word to the wise? You should probably check the potty talk in class. Dude.”

Check out the rest of Chuck’s AMA.

– Margaret Atwood –


MuForceShoelace asks: “Onetime I looked through all your books with a word search thing and found that every time you use the word ‘football’ it’s in association with some sort of oppression. Intentional?”

Margaret answers:

“As in “Kicked around like a football?” I never noticed this but thanks for pointing it out. I must look. I’ve also been asked about the frequency in my work of bathtubs, glass jars, eggs, and mauve; and, more recently, maroon.”

snow_giant asks “Hi, I’m excited to see this since I’m reading The Year of the Flood right now. Thanks for doing this! I’ve always been impressed by your ability to write both male and female characters that feel real – many authors seem to only be good at writing one gender or the other. Do you approach male and female characters differently?”


“I’ve known a lot of both in my life. I ask some actual men to take a peek and tell me if I got anything wrong. Helpful! (You can’t shave off a beard with an electric razor, who knew?) I’ve had some swearing tips, etc. And there have been hot debates about whether a woman can be called an asshole. Stuff like that. The language is always changing, too…”

Check out the rest of Margaret Atwood’s AMA


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