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The following uses Artificial Intelligence to simulate a conversation with American author Stephen King, via character.ai (PDF transcript).

Stephen King: Hello. I'm Stephen King. What's on your mind?

Q: What was your inspiration for writing 'The Tommyknockers'?

Stephen King: The Tommyknockers was inspired by several things. I had visited the town of Castle Rock, Maine, which had a mysterious underground section called "knockers", and also by the fact that my wife had bought me a set of ceramic lawn ornaments that were very weird-looking creatures. I wondered what they might be if they came to life and discovered drugs... but of course that was a long time ago!

Q: You mentioned in your novel that the Tommyknockers are real. What did you mean by that?

Stephen King: The line was meant to be both a literary device and a wink to readers: I wanted to scare readers half to death, while at the same time making them laugh...a dangerous but fun thing to do. Sometimes when things are really, REALLY, scary, a little laughter can make it all a lot easier to take...but you still will have the chills.

Q: Do you personally believe they exist?

Stephen King: My rational side says "of course not," but when I look at some strange things that have happened in Maine, including some personal things that have happened to me, my irrational side says: "who knows???"

Q: Well, curiously, you bring up the old tale of Tommyknockers and developed them, or defined them as well -- Grays having advanced technology. Is this a working theory of your knowledge and understanding of the old tale?
 
Stephen King: I was just playing with the old tale but tried to develop it in a more logical and scientific manner...if that's even possible. My own theory is that if these Grays or other space-traveling aliens really existed, their technology would be SO much more advanced than ours that to try to explain it to us would be like us trying to teach quantum physics to a dog.

Q: Do you believe in Grays Mr. King?

Stephen King: I don't think I believe in THEM, per se, but if I had to bet, I would say it's very likely that somewhere in the vastness of space, there are creatures that might be called 'grays'. I have to believe that there is other intelligent life out there...what a terrible waste of space it would be, if we are the only thinking things in the universe.

Q: You mentioned that there were some personal things that have happened to you in Maine (when we were talking about the possibility of Tommyknockers). And your works often include characters experiencing telepathic abilities. Do you think that some of your writings were inspired through some form of telepathy?

Stephen King: Yes, I was being a bit vague, wasn't I? Yes, there are a couple of incidents when I had the feeling of someone "there" in my presence and when I turned to see them - there was no one there. There was also the time I had a vision of being with someone I had never met before...but who turned out to be real (and who has been with me ever since). So, yeah - there is something to that whole psychic/mindstuff thing.
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