Life of King
Also known as the King of Horror, Stephen King was born September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine, second to his adopted older brother David. The father ran out on the family when King was very young and their mother thereafter raised the brothers. Until 1958, they moved around to several states before settling back in Maine.
When King was 12, he and his brother decided to start their own newspaper called David’s Rag, priced at 5 cents an issue, to help out with their household finances. David bought the micromachine and King helped provide the stories. King’s first actual publication was while he was still in high school. His short story ‘I was a Teenage Grave Robber’ was published in Comics Review in 1965.
King attended the University of Maine and, during his first year, completed his first novel The Long Walk. Unfortunately, it was rejected by publishers (though it would eventually be published), and this destroyed King’s confidence. While in college, King wrote for the school paper, published his first adult short story in Startling Mystery Stories (1967), and met the love of his life Tabitha working at the library. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in English and his teaching certificate. After a short bout as a laundry worker, he eventually landed a job as a high school English teacher.
He continued to sell his short stories to men’s magazines until his big break, the novel Carrie, came to fruition. It almost didn’t happen either. King was so frustrated while writing the novel that he threw away the manuscript incomplete. His wife Tabitha fished it out of the trash and begged him to keep going with it. It sold to the publisher for $400,000. After that check was written, King gave up his teaching job and started writing full time.
King and his wife together had three children (two of which have become writers themselves) and years of success, although not all years were good. In 1999, King underwent a severe physical trauma. After being hit by a speeding car, he suffered five major surgeries in less than two weeks. With a broken hip and plenty of therapy, King continued to write, although he had to take his time. While he lay healing, he worked on his nonfiction piece On Writing, in which he pulls from his own experiences to try to share with his fans how to write, or at least, how to love writing. Also in 1999, King released to the public that he suffered from Macular Degeneration, a disease that will decrease his vision as he ages.
Despite a few setbacks, King manages to remain one of the top-selling authors. He and his wife own three houses, one of which has become famous for its ‘horrifying’ iron gate.
King has published 50 fiction books, 5 nonfiction, and over 200 short stories. Some of his books have sold almost 400 million copies, winning him many awards, including the following: The National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2003, Bram Stoker Awards, and British Fantasy Society Awards. His short story ‘The Man in the Black Suit’ won the O. Henry Award in 1995. In 2003, he received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
So much of his work has been adapted into movies and television shows, in fact, that it puts him at the top of the list. Some of his most famous movie adaptations are The Shining, Pet Sematary, Carrie, and Children of the Korn. The most recent, and high-ranking scripted series, is the TV summer hit Under the Dome.
List of Popular Novels
Carrie (1974), Salem’s Lot (1975), The Shining (1976), The Stand (1978), The Dead Zone (1979), Fire Starter (1980), Danse Macabre (1981), Cujo (1981), The Dark Tower(1982), Christine (1983), Pet Sematary (1983), The Talisman (1984), It (1986), The Tommyknockers (1987), Needful Things (1991), Gerald’s Game (1992), Insomnia(1994), Rose Madder (1995), Desperation (1996), The Green Mile (1996), The Regulators (1996), Bag of Bones(1998), On Writing (2000), Dreamcatcher (2001), Black House (2001), Cell (2006), Lisey’s Story (2006), Blaze(2007), Duma Key (2008), Under the Dome (2009), 11/22/63 (2011), Doctor Sleep (2013), and Mr. Mercedes(2014).
1 “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
2 “Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
3 “Get busy living or get busy dying.”
4 “You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
5 “We lie best when we lie to ourselves.”
6 “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”
7 “It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.”
8 “Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.”
9 “The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.”
10 “There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.”