Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947)
The life cycle 6 3
Important years of life
The first of his stories to be independently published was “I Was a Teenage Grave Robber”; it was serialized over four issues (three published and one unpublished) of a fanzine, Comics Review, in 1965. That story was published the following year in a revised form as “In a Half-World of Terror” in another fanzine, Stories of Suspense, edited by Marv Wolfman.
Soon after Carrie’s release in 1974, King’s mother died of uterine cancer. His Aunt Emrine had read the novel to her before she died. King has written of his severe drinking problem at this time, stating that he was drunk delivering the eulogy at his mother’s funeral
After his mother’s death, King and his family moved to Boulder, Colorado, where King wrote The Shining (published 1977). The family returned to western Maine in 1975, where King completed his fourth novel, The Stand (published 1978). In 1977, the family, with the addition of Owen Phillip (his third and last child), traveled briefly to England, returning to Maine that fall, where King began teaching creative writing at the University of Maine. He has kept his primary residence in Maine ever since
In the late 1970s, King began what became a series of interconnected stories about a lone gunslinger, Roland, who pursues the “Man in Black” in an alternate-reality universe that is a cross between J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and the American Wild West as depicted by Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone in their spaghetti Westerns. The first of these stories, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, was initially published in five installments by The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction under the editorship of Edward L. Ferman, from 1977 to 1981.
…It was followed by the sequel to The Shining (1977), titled Doctor Sleep, published in September 2013.
His 1980 novel, Firestarter, had an initial print run in trade hardcover of 100,000 copies, and his 1983 novel, Christine, had a trade hardcover print run of 250,000 copies, both by the much larger publisher Viking.
1983: “The Breathing Method”
In 1987, King released the second installment, The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three, in which Roland draws three people from 20th-century United States into his world through magical doors. Grant published The Drawing of the Three, with illustrations by Phil Hale, in a slightly larger run of 30,000 copies, which was still well below King’s typical initial hardcover print run of a new book. It, published in 1986, had an initial print run of 1,000,000 copies, King’s largest to date.
He has also received awards for his contribution to literature for his entire oeuvre, such as the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement (2004)
In the early 2000s, King revised the original book, The Gunslinger, because he felt the voice and imagery of the original stories of the late 1970s did not seem to fit the voice of the final installment of 2004; King felt the style of the work had markedly changed during the intervening 27 years.
King also wrote the nonfiction book, Faithful (2004), with novelist and fellow Red Sox fanatic Stewart O’Nan.
On February 16, 2010, King announced on his website that his next book would be a collection of four previously unpublished novellas called Full Dark, No Stars. In April of that year, King published Blockade Billy, an original novella issued first by independent small press Cemetery Dance Publications and later released in mass-market paperback by Simon & Schuster. The following month, DC Comics premiered American Vampire, a monthly comic book series written by King with short-story writer Scott Snyder, and illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque, which represents King’s first original comics work. King wrote the background history of the very first American vampire, Skinner Sweet, in the first five-issues story arc. Scott Snyder wrote the story of Pearl
In 2010, King appeared in a cameo role as a cleaner named Bachman (a reference to his pen name Richard Bachman) on the FX series Sons of Anarchy
Also in 2000, he wrote a digital novella, Riding the Bullet, and has said he sees e-books becoming 50% of the market “probably by 2013 and maybe by 2012″. But he also warns: “Here’s the thing—people tire of the new toys quickly.”
Doctor Sleep, published in September 2013.
On January 25, 2013, King published an essay titled “Guns” via Amazon.com’s Kindle single feature, which discusses the gun debate in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. King called for gun owners to support a ban on automatic and semi-automatic weapons, writing, “Autos and semi-autos are weapons of mass destruction…When lunatics want to make war on the unarmed and unprepared, these are the weapons they use.” The essay became the fifth-bestselling non-fiction title for the Kindle.