Plays/Stephen King Biography term paper 5957

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Stephen King's first novel would never have been published if not for his wife Tabitha - she removed it from the garbage where he had thrown it. Three months later when he submitted it to Doubleday publishing, he received a $2500 advance on the book that went on to sell a modest 13,000 hardcover copies. The book was Carrie. Reviews were mixed, but when United Artists and Brian De Palma released the film version in 1976, it was a critical and commercial success. New American Library purchased the paperback rights of the book that went on to sell over two and a half million copies.

Stephen King was born on September 21st, 1947 in Portland, Maine to Donald and Nellie Ruth King. His father left when he was three years old; he went out for cigarettes and never came back. But young Stephen did not let that stop him. By the time he was seven years old, he had written his first short-story. He had also become a fan of 50s horror movies. While a teenager, he did things like other teens; he joined the football team, played in a rock band, but he also had two of his short-stories published.

King attended the University of Maine at Orono and earned a Bachelor's degree for English in 1970. He married Tabitha, also a writer, the same year. After graduation, he worked as an English teacher and spent his free time writing and being rejected by publishers. Then came his break with Carrie and things have never been the same.

Today, Stephen King is the world's most successful writer. He has over a hundred million copies of his works in print and that number is climbing rapidly as he is translated into more languages and as he continues to release new books at a rate of almost one per year. At one point, he had an unprecedented five books on the New York Times Best Sellers List at the same time. King is also the richest writer; according to Forbes Magazine, he earned $84 million in 1996 alone.

Despite his success, Stephen King, his wife and his three children (Owen Phillip, Joseph Hillstrom and Naomi Rachel) live in the small town of Bangor, Maine, where many of his stories take place. He is a tall, bear of a man at 6'4" and 200 pounds, and occasionally wears a beard (he grows it at the end of the World Series and shaves it when spring season starts). King is a blue jeans and leather man who doesn't suffer the pretensions of wealth and gets $200 a week from his accountant for spending money - a pittance compared to what he could afford. As relaxation, he enjoys poker, bowling and playing with friends in the band "Rock Bottom Remainders".

Hollywood has had a great relationship with Stephen King right from the beginning. It is taken for granted that almost any novel that he writes will eventually be adapted for the big screen, sometimes by King himself. While some have been critical failures, it is interesting to note that none of his movies have ever lost money. On the other side, The Shawshank Redemption (which received seven Oscar-nominations) was a critical and financial success.

The undisputed king of literary and film horror, Stephen King continues to scare and horrify us with his work. Despite the nature of his profession and his unbelievable success at it, he has managed not to lose sight of who he is. This alone could be counted as a major feat, but combined with the number of books he continues to release, it marks him as a man whose story has no end in sight


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