Monday, January 5, 2009

Stephen King - The Author

As writers of horror go, Stephen King is probably one of the most famous names. His novels and movies have been read and seen by millions of us. For me personally his early novels are his best. Simple and straight forward terror.

Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine September 21, 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his parents separated when Stephen was a toddler, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family lived, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother moved the children back to, Maine, for good.

Stephen attended school in Durham, Maine, graduating in 1966. At University, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach at the high school level. While most of his friends were drafted to serve in the Vietnam war he never served in the army as he was found unfit for duty due to high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He and Tabitha Spruce married in January of 1971. He met Tabitha in the library at the University of Maine, where they both worked as students. As Stephen was unable to find a job right away as a teacher, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and Tabitha’s student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from Stephen’s short story sale to men's magazines.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.

His big break came in the spring of 1973, when Doubleday accepted the novel Carrie for publication. On Mother's Day of that year, Stephen learned from his editor at Doubleday, that a major paperback sale would provide him with the means to leave teaching and write full-time.

At the end of the summer of 1973, the Kings moved their growing family (1 girl and 2 boys) to southern Maine. Stephen wrote his next-published novel, originally titled Second Coming and then Jerusalem's Lot, before it became 'Salem's Lot, there.

Carrie was published in the spring of 1974. That same fall, the Kings left Maine for Boulder, Colorado. They lived there for a little less than a year, during which Stephen wrote The Shining, set in Colorado. Returning to Maine in the summer of 1975 the Kings purchased a home in the Lakes Region of western Maine. At that house, Stephen finished writing The Stand, much of which also is set in Boulder along with The Dead Zone.’

Maine is now home. Mr. King is working on a new novel entitled Under the Dome, it’s a reworking of an unfinished novel he tried writing twice before and its set to be published sometime this year.

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