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Destiny Gilbert

Ms. Mckenzie
American Literature
22 March 2016

Stephen King Biography


Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland,
Maine as the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. ("Bio.com")
He is now an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction,
suspense, science fiction, and fantasy. King is recognized as one of the most
famous and successful horror writers of all time. His books have sold millions
of copies, many of which have been turned into movies, television shows,
and comic books. King has published 54 novels and six non-fiction books. He
has written close to 200 short stories which have been collected in book
collections. King has received many awards for his works, including Bram
Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, and British Fantasy Society Awards.
King attended Durham Elementary School and graduated from Lisbon
Falls High School, in Lisbon Falls, Maine in 1966. (King, "StephenKing.com About the Author") He began writing for fun while he was still attending
school, contributing articles to the newspaper his brother published with a
mimeograph magazine named Daves Rag. He shortly began selling stories
to his friends that were based on movies he had seen; although, his teachers

made him return the money once they discovered what he was up to. After
high school, King took a scholarship to attend the University of Maine. Later
that summer he began working on a novel titled Getting It On, which was
about a few kids who take over a classroom and try to ward off the National
Guard. During his first year at college, King completed his first full-length
novel titled The Long Walk, only to have it rejected. King took the rejection
pretty badly and filed the book away. In June 1970 King graduated from the
University with a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a certificate to
teach high school. King took a job at a filling station pumping gas for only
$1.25 an hour. He shortly began to earn money for his writings by submitting
short stories to mens magazines such as Cavalier.
On January 2, 1971, he married Tabitha King. That fall, King took a
teaching job at Hampden Academy, causing him to earn $6,400 a year. They
then moved to Hermon, which was west of Bangor. Stephen then started to
work on a short story about a teenage girl named Carietta White. Once he
finished a few pages, he came to the conclusion that it was not a worthy
story and crumpled the pages and tossed them into the trash. However,
Tabitha took the pages out and read them. Once she was aware of his talent,
she encouraged her husband to continue the story, which he did. In January
1973 he submitted Carrie to Doubleday, which bought the book in March.
On May 12, the publisher sold the paperback rights for the novel to New
American Library for $400,000. His contract allowed him to get half of that
amount, and he then decided to quit his teaching job to pursue his writing

career full time. King and his family ended up moving to southern Maine
because of his mothers failing health. Soon after Carries release in 1974, his
mother died of uterine cancer. His Aunt Emrine had read the novel to her
before she died. He began writing a book titled Second Coming, later titled
Jerusalems Lot, before finally changing the title to Salems Lot which
was published in 1975. King has admitted to having a bit of a drinking
problem, mentioning that he was drunk delivering the eulogy at his mothers
funeral. After her death, he and his family moved to Boulder, Colorado,
where he wrote The Shining, which was published in 1977. The family
returned to western Maine in 1975, where King finished his fourth novel,
The Stand. In 1977 the family traveled to England shortly before returning
to Maine that fall, and keeping Maine as his primary residence. In 1985, King
wrote a few pages of Heroes for Hope Starring the X-Men. The books
profits were donated to assist the famine relief in Africa. The following year
King wrote the introduction to Batman No. 400, an anniversary issue that he
used to express his preference of Batman over Superman.
In the late 1970s, King began a series of interconnected stories about a
lone gunslinger, Roland, who pursues the Man in Black in an alternatereality universe. (Viking press, "The Dark Tower Official Website") The first
story, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, was published in five installments
by The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction from 1977 to 1981. The
Gunslinger was continued as an eight-book series called The Dark Tower,
which books were published inconsistently over four decades. In 1982,

Donald M. Grant printed the stories together in hardcover with illustrations


by Michael Whelan. Each chapter was named for the story that was originally
published in the magazine. In 1987, King released The Dark Tower II: The
Drawing of the Three. Grant published the book with illustrations by Phil
Hale. King argued that the series was for a specific group of his fans, until he
finally decided to bow down to his fans and his publishers and agreed to
release all of the Dark Tower books in trade paperback and mass-market
formats. In the early 2000s, King revised the original book because he felt
that the voice and imagery didnt match the voice of the latest installment.
The revised version was published in 2003 by his former hardcover publisher
Viking. Grant published the hardcover limited edition of the revised version
of The Gunslinger along with another story set in the Dark Tower world
titled The Little Sisters of Eluria in 2009. In October 2005, King signed a
deal with Marvel Comics to publish a seven-issue limited series spin-off of the
series called The Gunslinger Born. The first issue was published on
February 7, 2007, and had sold over 200,000 copies by the next month. The
success of this led to an ongoing miniseries published by Marvel.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, King published many short novels
under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Among these books were Rage,
The Long Walk, Roadwork, The Running Man, and Thinner. It is said
that Kings reasoning for this was that he needed to make sure his popularity
was based on his work, rather than happening by accident. An alternate
explanation was that publishing standards were only allowed to publish one

book a year. Steve Brown, a persistent Washington D.C. bookstore clerk,


noticed similarities between the works and later got ahold of records at the
Library of Congress that named King as the author of the novels. This, of
course, led to a press release in which Bachman died. King dedicated his
1989 book The Dark Half to the the deceased Richard Bachman, and in
1996 when Desperation was released, the companion novel The
Regulators carried the Bachman byline. However, Bachman was not the
only pseudonyms King used. He published The Fifth Quarter under John
Swithen in Cavalier magazine in April 1972. The story was later reprinted in
Kings collection Nightmares & Dreamscapes in 1993 under his own name.
In the introduction to Blaze King claims that Bachman was the person
using the Swithen pseudonym.
On June 19, 1999 at about 4:30 p.m., King was walking on the shoulder
of Maine State Route 5 in Lovell, Maine. Bryan Edwin Smith was distracted by
an unrestrained dog moving in the back of his minivan and struck King,
causing him to land about 14 feet from the pavement of Route 5. According
to Oxford County Sheriff deputy Matt Baker, King was hit from behind and
some witnesses said the driver was not speeding, reckless, or drinking. King
was conscious enough to give the deputy phone numbers to contact his
family, but was in considerable pain. King was first transported to Northern
Cumberland Hospital in Bridgton and then flown by helicopter to Central
Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. His injuries included a collapsed right lung,
multiple fractures of his right leg, scalp laceration and a broken hip. Due to

the seriousness of those injuries King was kept at CMMC until July 9. His leg
bones were so shattered that the doctors initially considered amputating his
leg, but stabilized the bones in the leg with an external fixator. After five
operations in ten days and physical therapy, King resumed his work on On
Writing in July. Kings lawyer and two others purchased Smiths van for
$1,500 supposedly to prevent it from appearing on eBay. The van was later
crushed at a junkyard, which disappointed King because he wanted to hold a
charity event in which individuals would donate money for an opportunity to
smash it with a sledgehammer. In 2002, King announced that he would stop
writing due to his frustration with his injuries which made sitting
uncomfortable and reduced his stamina. He has since then resumed writing,
but states on his website that he is writing at a much slower pace than he
was before and that he would publish his work if he came up with something
extremely good.
In 2000 king published a serialized horror novel titled The Plant
online. The public assumed that King had abandoned the project because
sales were unsuccessful, but King later admitted that he had simply run out
of stories. The unfinished epistolary novel is still available from Kings official
site for free. He also published a digital novella titled Riding the Bullet that
same year. In August 2003, King began writing a column titled The Pop of
King which would appear in Entertainment Weekly often every three weeks.
The column commonly attributed to Michael Jackson. In 2006 King published
an apocalyptic novel titled Cell. The books plot consists of every cell

phone user turning into a mindless killer. In 2008, King published both a
novel, Duma Key, and a collection, Just After Sunset. The latter featured
13 short stories including a novella titles N. which was later released as a
serialized animated series that could be seen for free, until it was adopted
into a limited comic book series. In 2009, King published Ur, a novella
written exclusively for the launch of the second-generation Amazon Kindle
and Throttle, a novella co-written with his son Joe Hill and released later as
an audiobook titled Road Rage. Kings novel Under the Dome was
published on November 10th of that year.
On February 16, 2010, King announced that his next book would be a
collection of four unpublished novellas called Full Dark, No Stars. In April,
King published Blockade Billy. The following month, DC Comics premiered
American Vampire, a monthly comic book series written by King which
represents his first original comics work. Kings next novel, 11/22/63, was
published in November of 2011 and was nominated for the 2012 World
Fantasy Award Best Novel. During his Chancellors Speaker Series talk at
University of Massachusetts Lowell on December 7, 2012, King stated that he
was writing a crime novel about a retired policeman being taunted by a
murderer. The book, titled Mr. Mercedes was inspired by a true event about
a woman driving her car into a McDonalds restaurant. It was originally meant
to be a short story but turned out to be one of three books, the first of which
was released on November 11, 2014. The second of the trilogy, Finders
Keepers, was released on June 2, 2015. In April of 2015, it was revealed that

King is currently working on the third book of the trilogy which is named End
of Watch.
Stephen King is known all around the world as one of the best
American authors ever to rise to fame. With his many collections of books,
comic books, and books turned into movies, the world simply cant get
enough. Without a doubt, Kings work will remain a legacy 20 years from
now. What sets King apart from the other writers of his time, is that he has a
talent for putting his readers into the world he creates. He creates engaging
characters who you want to root for and then puts them in situations where
they must fight for their lives. Another characteristic he has that others dont
is that he isnt afraid to kill off the good guys. In other words, Stephen King is
a great storyteller, and we all gather around him to listen.

Works Cited
"Stephen King Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television. Web. 22 Mar.
2016.
King, Tabitha. "StephenKing.com - About the Author." StephenKing.com About the Author. Ed. Marsha DeFilippo. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.

"StephenKing.com - About the Author (Press Biography)." StephenKing.com About the Author (Press Biography). Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
"Stephen King Biography." IMDb. IMDb.com. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.