Stephen Edwin King is a master author best known for a writing numerous horror, supernatural, fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy stories. His books reached more than 350 million in sales and a number of these have been adapted into films, TV series and miniseries, and comic books. In addition to the 54 novels that he wrote, King also penned stories using the pseudonym, Richard Bachman. The movie The Shawshank Redemption, based on the novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, was considered as one of the greatest films of all time.
Because of his achievement in writing, King was the recipient of various awards including the Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, and the British Fantasy Society Awards as well as a Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. His other awards include the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, the Canadian Booksellers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the Grand Master Award awarded by the Mystery Writers of America, and the National Medal of Arts from the United States National Endowment for the Arts. The novella The Way Station and the short story The Man in the Black Suit also received recognitions from various institutions.
KING’S ORIGINS AND PERSONAL LIFE
Stephen King was the son of Donald Edwin King and Nellie Ruth King. He spent most of his childhood in Portland, Maine where his father left her mother and his siblings and never came back. Together with his mother and adapted brother, King lived in various places like De Pere, Wisconsin, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Stratford, Connecticut but they eventually came back to settle in Maine.
King went to Durham Elementary School and Lisbon Falls High School in Lisbon Falls, Maine. He was an avid fan of EC’s horror comics, most especially Tales from the Crypt. During that time, he started writing for a paper managed by his brother. Some of his stories also appeared in some fanzines like the Comics Review and Stories of Suspense.
After finishing high school, Stephen King pursued his degree in English at the University of Maine where he also became part of the school newspaper. His first professional short story, The Glass Floor, was published in Startling Mystery Stories in 1967.
When he finished his degree, King did sidelines by writing for men’s magazines like the Cavalier. Then in 1971, he married his wife Tabitha and also started working as a teacher at Hampden Academy in Maine.
STEPHEN KING’S CAREER
If not for his wife who encouraged him to finish the novel, King would not be able to publish his first novel, Carrie, which was released in 1974. The period before the novel’s publication was spent by King on writing his next novel, Salem’s Lot.
In Boulder, Colorado, King began working on The Shining which came out in 1977. In 1975, he and his family moved back to Maine and finished writing The Stand there.
During the late 1970s, King started his arduous journey in writing The Dark Tower series. He would first write The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger which was published in segments by The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction from 1977 to 1981. The Gunslinger evolved into an eight-book series more popularly known as The Dark Tower which King would only be able to finish until forty years later.
Meanwhile, Firestarter, a novel dedicated to Shirley Jackson, was released in 1980 and would eventually be adapted into a film. The novel It, which was published in 1986, would become one of Stephen King’s widely acclaimed novels and a recipient of the British Fantasy Award and Locus and World Fantasy Awards.
He also published an online serialized horror novel entitled The Plant and the digital novella Riding the Bullet in 2000. It was followed by the release of Cell in 2006 then by Duma Key and Just After Sunset in 2008.
In 2010, a collection of King’s novellas was published under the title Full Dark, No Stars. It was followed by 11/22/63 in 2011 which received a nomination for the 2012 World Fantasy Award Best Novel.
In 2012, The Wind Through the Keyhole, another Dark Tower installment, was published as well as the mystery crime novel, Joyland.
Meanwhile, the sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, came out after a year. Also in 2013, Mr. Mercedes, which was a part of trilogy, came out. It was followed by the second book in the series, Finders Keepers, which was released in 2015. The last book of the trilogy, End of Watch, is scheduled for publication in 2016.
The other novels that Stephen King wrote included The Dead Zone (1979), Cujo (1981), Pet Sematary (1983), Cycle of the Werewolf (1983), The Eyes of the Dragon (1987), Misery (1987), The Tommyknockers (1987), The Dark Half (1989), Needful Things (1991), Gerald’s Game (1992), Insomnia (1994), The Green Mile (1996), Desperation (1996), Dreamcatcher (2001), and many others. A number of these novels have also been nominated for various literary awards.
Using the name Richard Bachman, King also wrote Rage (1977), The Long Walk (1979), Roadwork (1981), The Running Man (1982), Thinner (1984), and The Regulators (1996), which was a twin novel for his other work, Desperation.
Stephen King also collaborated with Peter Straub and published the novels The Talisman (1984) and Blackhouse (2001) whose stories were greatly connected with the Dark Tower series.