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Stephen King - the Master of Malice

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The Master Of Malice

"It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there

to write, remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room. Life isn't a support

system for art. It's the other way around" states Stephen King in his book On Writing

(94). Stephen King is a world-renowned author for his works in horror fiction, fiction,

cinema and television. He has published more than forty novels and written nine

screenplays (Adams 1). Stephen King draws a great deal of his inspiration from his

surroundings, his job and his life experiences.

Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947. Stephen came as a

surprise to his parents, Nellie Ruth and Pillsbury King. Mrs. King was told she would

never conceive. The couple had adopted a son, David, Stephen's older brother. When

Stephen was just a toddler his parents divorced. Nellie moved Stephen and David to

Indiana for a short time then to Connecticut. At the age of twelve, Stephen's small family

moved back to Maine (Stephen 1-2).

Stephen showed an interest in writing at a young age. When he was growing up

his brother would allow Stephen to write articles for "Dave's Rag", his brothers

independently published newspaper (Full Biography 2). Throughout his

childhood he would read articles from horror comics and become inspired. He began to

write short stories and sell them to his mother's friends for a nickel (King On Writing

15). Stephen graduated from Lisbon Falls High School where he was sought after to be

on the newspaper staff. Stephen sold his first professional story to Starting Mystery

Stories in 1967 (Stephen 1-2).

Stephen King met his wife, Tabitha, while attending the University of Maine at

Orono. Tabitha and Stephen were married in January of 1971. The couple lived in a small

apartment; their only source of income was Stephen's salary as a laborer at an industrial

laundry. In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching sophomore English in Hampden

Maine and working on short stories on the evenings and weekends. In 1973, his first

novel Carrie was published. Not long after that his second novel 'Salam's Lot was

published. With the money made from the two novels Stephen and Tabitha moved to

Colorado on the fall of 1974. While there Stephen wrote The Shining, which is set in

Colorado. This novel cemented Stephens place as a popular horror fiction novelist.

Stephen and Tabitha moved back to Maine to start a family. They currently have three

children: Naomi, Joe and Owen (Stephen 1-2 ).

In 1976, Stephen realized he had a problem. He was an alcoholic. He was also

addicted to cocaine. The problem only got progressively worse over the course of eight

years (Adams 6). The problem began to surface in his characters. "I began to scream for

help in the only way I knew how, through my fiction and through my monsters." (King

On Writing 91-92). Today, King is clean and sober. His only problems are his fears of

insects, dark, death, closed-in places, rats, snakes and deformity. Also Stephen King has

a slight case of paranoia. (Full Biography 1)

In 1977, King began to write novels under the pseudonym Richard Bachman.

King made a whole life story for Bachman and told nearly no one that they were one in

the same. Bachman 'died' of cancer in 1985. When asked why he did it King replied, "I

wanted to know what was in a name" (Full Biography 10). At the time of his death,

Bachman had published five novels: Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork, The Running

Man and Thinner (9). Rage was actually written when King was 18. He drew the

inspiration for the book from his teen years (Adams 5).

On Saturday June 19 1999, at the age of 51 Stephen King was involved in an

almost fatal accident. He was on his daily four-mile walk when he was hit by a car. The

man who hit him was distracted by his dog and lost control of his car. King had to endure

ten hours of surgery to be repaired enough to be able to someday walk. At the present

time, King is well and able to walk (Full Biography 7). The accident gave King, if

nothing else new topics to write about. "You have to put your experiences to use for

you" (Adams 7). King's negative experiences help to shape his writing carrier.

The settings within Stephen King's writings are



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