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There is More to Stephen King than Just Horror

by | Sep 21, 2020 | Blog, News

Stephen Edwin King, was born on the 21st of September, 1947 in Portland, Maine, U.S. is an author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy novels. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, and many have been adapted into films, television series, miniseries, and comic books. King has published 61 novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman, and five non-fiction books. He has also written approximately 200 short stories, most of which have been published in book collections. His books were credited with reviving the genre of horror fiction in the late 20th century and has an estimated net worth of around $400 Million.

King married Tabitha Spruce on January 2, 1971, they both attended college at the University of Maine and they met through Tabitha work-study job in the Raymond H. Fogler Library. She too is a novelist and philanthropic activist and has written several novels of her own as well, including the titles Candles Burning and Survivor. The Kings have three children, a daughter and two sons, and four grandchildren King still lives in Maine and has used it as the setting for many of his horror novels.

Stephen King started writing and submitting his short stories when he was 16. Every time he got a rejection letter, he put the letter on a nail on his wall. Eventually, he got so many rejection letters that the nail fell down. King finally got his first acceptance when he was 19 for a story called “The Glass Floor.” He was paid $35. He was raised by his single mother, and his family grew up very poor. His first part-time job was pumping gas, and he eventually started cleaning laundry and working as an English teacher. Originally, he threw away the first draft of Carrie, that was intended as a short story, but it was his wife Tabitha who saw potential and urged him to continue on with it. He ended up dedicating the book to her.

King is an extremely fast and prolific writer: His 304-page book, The Running Man, was completed in only ten days. He called it “a book written by a young man who was angry, energetic, and infatuated with the art and the craft of writing.” A believer in extensive reading he has over 17,000 books in his personal library. He’s read them all except for a handful of the newest ones.

Due to high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet and punctured eardrums King was declared unfit for military service in Vietnam.

Not many have been as open as King about his struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction. Apparently, it got so bad during the late 70s and early 80s that he doesn’t even remember writing one of his most iconic novels, Cujo

He once said in a BBC interview that Jack Torrance (The Shining) was his most autobiographical character. At the time he wrote the book he was drinking a lot like Jack. Originally he saw Jack “as a heroic character battling his demons the way strong American men are supposed to do.”

Not many people know that King suffers from triskaidekaphobia – fear of the number 13. “The number 13 never fails to trace that old icy finger up and down my spine. When I’m writing, I’ll never stop work if the page number is 13 or a multiple of 13; I’ll just keep on typing till I get to a safe number. I always take the last two steps on my back stairs as one, making 13 into 12. There were after all 13 steps on the English gallows up until 1900 or so. When I’m reading, I won’t stop on page 94, 193, or 382, since the sums of these numbers add up to 13.”

King was always interested in drama and cropped up in a number of his movies. He was a man at the ATM in Maximum Overdrive, a minister in Pet Sematary, a cemetery caretaker in Sleepwalkers, Teddy Weizak in The Stand, Tom Holby in The Langoliers, Dr Bangor in Thinner, Gage Creed in the TV version of The Shining and a pizza delivery guy in Rose Red. He was recently seen in It: Chapter 2 as a shop keeper.

On his life regrets, King told fellow author Neil Gaiman that if he had the chance to live his life all over again he wouldn’t change a thing. Apart from appearing in an American Express advert.

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