The King of horror fiction | “We all float down here.”
By Rebecca Reed
Stephen King’s books have been adapted into feature films, miniseries, television shows and comic books, and with the re-release of IT in cinemas, we are getting ourselves prepared by hiding under a duvet and getting to know one of our favourite authors, nice and safe…
Stephen Edwin King was born on the 21st September in Portland, Maine in 1947. His books have sold an amazing 350 million copies and he is still writing to this day with a new novel that is being released on the 26th September. He has published 54 novels including the seven under his pen name Richard Bachman and 6 non-fiction books. With nearly 200 short stories with most collected in book collections. He is unquestionably the King of Horror and suspense fiction. Many of his stories are set in his home state.
“Read and write four to six hours a day. If you cannot find the time for that, you can’t expect to become a good writer.” – Stephen King.
Stephen King’s first novel Carrie was accepted by the publishing house Doubleday in 1973. He initially had thrown an early draft of the novel into the bin after becoming discouraged with the progress of a teenage girl with psychic powers. His wife Tabitha Spruce retrieved the manuscript and encouraged him to finish it.
The late seventies brought us The Dark Tower, a series of interconnected stories about a gunslinger pursuing the “Man in Black” in an alternate reality, crossed between J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and the Wild West as depicted by Clint Eastwood.
With many novels written in his lifetime, it all took a turn for the worse when he was hit by a van in 1999. He suffered a collapsed right lung, multiple fractures of his right leg, lacerations to his scalp and a broken hip. His legs were so shattered that doctors initially considered amputating his leg, but they stabilised it with an external fixator. After 5 operations in 10 days and physical therapy, Stephen King resumed work on his memoir “On Writing”.
In 2002 Stephen King announced that he would stop writing, motivated by the frustration of his injuries which made him sit uncomfortably and reduced his stamina. Thankfully he began writing again but states: –
“I’m writing but I’m writing at a much slower pace than previously and I think that if I come up with something really, really good, I would be perfectly willing to publish it because that still feels like the final act of the creative process, publishing it so people can read it and you can get feedback and people can talk about it with each other and with you, the writer, but the force of my invention has slowed down a lot over the years and that’s as it should be”
It has been a great year for Stephen King fans, with The Dark Tower film released last month, the remake of IT this month, Mr Mercedes the television show and two new novels, despite what he says it feels like Stephen King is certainly not slowing down anytime soon! Out of all of Stephen King’s work, do you have a favourite novel? If so tell us below.