The novel focuses on Paul Sheldon, a writer famous for Victorian-era romance novels involving the character of Misery Chastain. One day he is rescued from a car crash by crazed fan Annie Wilkes, who transports him to her home and, once finding out what he has done to Misery in his latest book, forces him to write a new book modifying the story - no matter what it takes. There are a lot of references to King himself, including Sheldon having to use a typewriter without a working N (as King did IRL), and King making a cameo as the hero on the cover for Sheldon's last Misery Chastain book.
Takes place in Sidewinder.
But it was still a long time before he was finally able to break the dried scum of saliva that had glued his lips together and croak out “Where am I?” to the woman who sat by his bed with a book in her hands. The name of the man who had written the book was Paul Sheldon. He recognized it as his own with no surprise. “Sidewinder, Colorado,” she said when he was finally able to ask the question.
Annie mentions the Overlook Hotel when she's talking to Paul about Pomeroy.
"When I told him I had a place in Sidewinder, he said that was a real coincidence. He said he was going to Sidewinder. He said he'd gotten an assignment from a magazine in New York. He was going to go up to the old hotel and sketch the ruins. His pictures were going to be with an article they were doing. It was a famous old hotel called the Overlook. It burned down ten years ago. The caretaker burned it down. He was crazy. Everybody in town said so. But never mind; he's dead."
It's subtly revealed that Paul used to live across the street from the Kaspbraks (which, in turn, reveals that Paul grew up in Derry).
It was summer vacation, his father working, his mother gone to spend the day in Boston with Mrs Kaspbrak from across the street.
References will be here!