Friday night I went to see Stephen King presented with a life-time achievement award. The theatre was full and the stage was decorated with at least two dozen of his book covers, that still represented only about a third of his body of work. The night started with speeches by Margaret Atwood, Clive Barker, and King’s publisher. Then King took the stage with Chuck Klosterman, author of Fargo Rock City. Klosterman interviewed King with a tone that was laid back and informal. King showed himself as witty, engaging and self-effacing. He mentioned his love of story and lack of respect for literary showboating. When the interview finished the president of the booksellers association of Canada presented King with the award. King gave an acceptance speech and while he claimed that he wasn’t much for public speaking, he spoke well. He mentioned a number of Canadian authors that he’s enjoyed reading, including Margaret Atwood, Robert Charles Wilson and Robertson Davies.
You can watch his acceptance speech here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me8xi8q6Wzo
The footage comes from a video phone and there’s a lot of audience noise, but it’s watchable.