Stephen Edwin King is the wildly popular horror fiction writer that started life working a regular jobs like the average American working stiff. But he has a twisted imagination and a penchant for writing dark suspenseful fiction that has set him apart. Born on September 21, 1947 in Portland, Maine, to a working class family, and with his mother becoming a single parent when his merchant seaman father, Donald Edwin King, left the family, Stephen King has known his share of financial struggles, and he had to work his way through college doing menial jobs. King worked as a janitor, gas station attendant, and finally as a high school teacher after graduation from the University of Maine in 1970.
But after he began to prosper by selling macabre short stories to men’s magazines, gradually morphed into a full time writer. And with the acceptance by Doubleday of his first bestselling novel entitled “Carrie”, he was finally able to pay the bill his turned-off phone and buy a brand new Ford Pinto with his $2,500 advance on royalties. And latter “Carrie” was made into blockbuster movie. “Carrie” is the story of a troubled, and bullied teenage girl with supernatural powers who was abused by her crazy, religious fanatic mother until a showdown between the pair ended in mutual murder. Mom, you see, could “Not suffer the witch to live,” according to her understanding of the Bible. King then went on to write many more bestselling books, such as “The Shining”, “The Stand”, “Misery” and many more books featuring the dark side of human nature that were made into famous movies. All in all, King has written 61 novels, 200 short stories , and 5 nonfiction books which include his memoir “On Writing.” Stephen King has actually sold over 350 million copies worldwide. His books all touch fored on the dark side of human nature such as the obsession of a dry writer turned family annihilator in “The Shining” and the the psychopathy of a twisted woman who kidnaps a writer in “Misery”. King has basically defined the horror story for a whole post-modern generation.
It is thought that the impetus for his dark imagination was witnessing a friend being killed by a train, although he himself does not remember it in his conscious mind, But he revealed that the seminal inspiration for his stories was a collection of horror stories by H. P. Lovecraft entitled “The Lurker in the Shadows”. And according to King in an interview, he knew he was home upon reading the book.
But King, unfortunately, has lived out his own horror story when he was hit by a car and suffered the catastrophic injuries of broken ribs, a broken hip, and a shattered leg, which put him at great risk of losing his leg, and left him in a chronic pain condition.
Stephen King is the winner of the Medal for Distinguished Letters award, and the Medal of Arts from the U.S. Endowment for the Arts, among many other awards, and currently lives in a stately Victorian mansion in Bangor, Maine.