“The Greatest Popular Novelist of Our Day, Comparable to Dickens” – The Guardian on Stephen King
As of this year, at least one book written by Stephen King can be found in over 350 million book shelves across the world. Stephen King has cemented himself as a pillar of numerous genres including horror, suspense, science fiction, thriller and fiction.
Stephen King was born in Maine in 1947. When Stephen King was just two years old, his father left the family under the excuse “He was just going out for cigarettes.” His writing career was jumpstarted when he won a scholarship award to the University of Maine and in 1971 he later taught English, while his wife studied for her degree.
It was the publication of books such as Carrie and The Shinning and their adaptation into motion pictures which spring boarded King into his current position as one of the most prolific writers of the past 4 decades. Carrie was followed by a host of best sellers including Hearts of Atlantis, Misery (which again was transformed into a film), Bag of Bones, The Dark Half, and the infamous Dark Tower Series, which has been transformed into a graphic novel headed by Marvel. His books have given an opportunity for some of cinemas most revered actors to tread the boards and participate in the very art of story telling. Jack Nicholson brought the role of Jack Torrance alive and gave cinema a line for the history books… “Heeres, Johnny.” And Morgan Freeman took the role of Red from the Shawshank Redemption in what was arguably one of the best films of a generation. Alas, Shawshank Redemption missed out on an Oscar. Currently, Stephen King lives in Bangor, Maine with his wife Tabitha who too is a novelist.
Over the last 4 decades Stephen King has been involved in writing throughout his whole life, writing articles, talking at seminars, writing short stories and also full novels.
When doing research for this article I went on YouTube to find interviews with Stephen King, and to find out what makes him tick, what his style of writing is and how he gets his ideas. One video detailed the very essence needed to be good writer, which is too read. In one he quotes “If you can’t make time to read everything then how can you expect to write…All of a sudden a real wake up call is when you read something and say, that sucked…I can do better, and this guy got published!” Words of wisdom, which I myself have taken heed.
Stephen King has also dabbled in writing short stories, and putting together a collection after a few stories have been built up, much like Denny Bradbury’s Denagerie of Poems. In Stephen King’s Different Seasons, he states, “It is the Tale, not he who tells it.” That phrase sums up the entity of fiction in my opinion.