Stephen first came up with the idea for Desperation in 1991, when he was driving his daughter's car cross-country. He passed through Ruth, Nevada, a small town with seemingly no inhabitants. He immediately thought, "They're all dead," and then "Who killed them?" At that point, his "Voice" immediately answered "The sheriff killed them all." In 1994, he decided to pursue this idea further while driving across country on his motorcycle during the Insomnia book tour.