Stephen King

The Shining, 1980 film directed by Stanley Kubric, based on Stephen King's bookSome might say the Seventies were good to Stephen King, as it was the decade in which he got married, saw Carrie, his first book, published and gained increasing popularity with subsequent books such as Salem’s Lot, The Shining and The Stand. However, it was also the decade in which his mother died and he struggled with alcohol dependency. As with us all, the Seventies held good and bad for Stephen.

According to Wikipedia, Stephen King is the best-selling novelist in the world. He is the icon of the horror genre and his books’ themes are the key themes of horror so that his name is synonymous with the genre.

In the Seventies, the mass market paperback became extremely popular and Stephen King’s books were sold in extreme numbers. It has been suggested that his late-seventies pseudonym of Richard Bachman was due to the author’s insecurity about whether he could really cut it or whether it was pure fluke that he was a success. More likely it’s just that back then publishers didn’t like an author to put out more than one book per year.

I first heard of Stephen King when my Mum was reading one of his books and she told me not to read it. So of course the next book with the name ‘Stephen King’ on it that I saw in the library was snaffled. I didn’t get very far into it, but certain scenes of The Shining are emblazoned in my brain to this day. I would never have watched the 1980 film with Jack Nicholson as I was only 10 at the time, but have seen parts of it since. Parts, not the whole.

I think that his writing probably did influence mine, but in a negative sense of I really must not write like this! rather than any other way. Years later I read On Writing, which I found extremely interesting, insightful and useful, especially the bit about being selfish and shutting yourself away to write. I have always admired Stephen King as an author, not necessarily for his writing as I’ve read so little, but for his commercial savviness and his output.


 Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

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One Response

  1. sooo….
    what do you think about that long whispered rumour that someone else now ghosts his books then huh?

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