By now, everyone knows the name of Stephen King. Usually, people imagine a spooky dude who creeps people out. Whether or not that’s true is up for debate, but he is a prolific author who has written so many books, they could probably reach your ceiling if stacked one on top of the other, and that’s not just because The Stand, IT, and The Dark Tower are massive tomes. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, Hollywood mined his books for adaptable material. Because of that, more people have probably seen his movies than read his books. Today, there’s been a bit of a resurgence with his adaptations. With The Dark Tower, IT, Gerald’s Game, and his most recent work, Mr. Mercedes, Stephen King is putting out movies almost as fast as his books. So, who is he, really? Here are 25 Interesting Facts About Stephen King You Probably Didn’t Know.
He and his wife, Tabitha King, own a few radio stations.
Stephen King is a big fan of Rock N’Roll. He and his wif own three radio stations in Bangor, Maine. WKIT-FM, a rock station, WZLO-FM, & WZON-AM which is all under “The Zone Corporation” name.
He's a huge Boston Red Sox fan.
Stephen King is a huge fan of baseball and the Boston Red Sox. He’s such a big fan that he co-wrote a book with Stewart O’Nan, chronicling the 2004 season.
He threw the first draft of "Carrie" into the trash.
Before Stephen King was a world-famous author, he was a struggling, and broke, writer merely trying to get published in short story magazines. When he worked on the manuscript for “Carrie,” he threw it in the trash; fortunately for everyone, his wife Tabitha pulled it out, read it, and encouraged him to finish it. It eventually became his first published novel and a huge hit.
He's written under two pen names: Richard Bachman and John Swithen.
In order to publish more novels a year, Stephen King started using a pen name. He published seven novels under the name Richard Bachman and one short story under John Swithen. Eventually, his fans started to figure out King was writing under the name Richard Bachman. After that, he stopped using the name.
He likes to make cameos in his movie adaptations.
Many of Stephen King’s works have been adapted to screen, and he’s not shy about appearing in them. He’s made at least 14 cameos in both the television and movie adaptations.
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The Dark Tower series connects all of Stephen King's books.
Stephen King fans know all of his works are somehow connected. While characters from other books appear in some of his others, The Dark Tower series is the saga of books which connect the entire underlying universe together.
He's sold over 350 million copies of his books.
Stephen King has been called “The Master of Horror,” and there are hard numbers to back it up. He’s sold 350 million copies of his books.
Alice Cooper was going to play Pennywise.
In the original TV mini-series of “IT,” everyone knows Tim Curry played the evil and malevolent monster “Pennywise.” However, before Curry, Alice Cooper was in the running to play the character.
He's written 48 novels, 84 short stories, and 16 novellas.
Calling Stephen King an avid writer might be understating things. Since his first published novel, he’s written 48 novels, 84 short stories, and 16 novellas. He keeps writing today, publishing at least one book a year.
He had a major drug and alcohol addiction in the 80's.
In the 1980’s, when he was one of the hottest writers around, Stephen King’s addictions almost killed him. He used drugs and alcohol to escape his troubling past as a child, but eventually, it all caught up with him. His wife Tabitha and his family organized an intervention which was a big wake-up call, but he still struggled to get off the drugs.
He has a fear of flying.
Turns out, “The Master of Horror” has many fears; among them, he’s afraid of flying. He’s also afraid of writer’s block.
He tries to write a minimum of 2,000 words a day.
In order to write all those books, Stephen King makes a goal to write a minimum of 2,000 words a day. At that pace, he could finish a novel in a couple of months, depending on how big it is, of course.
He and John Mellencamp wrote a musical.
Stephen King doesn’t just write books. He’s collaborated with John Mellencamp to write the musical, “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t very well-received.
He was inspired to write by H.P. Lovecraft's "Lurker in the Shadows."
Stephen King started writing after he read the book Lurker in the Shadows by H.P. Lovecraft. That actually explains a lot.
He also teamed up with Michael Jackson to make a short film called "Ghosts."
Not many know Michael Jackson and Stephen King teamed up to create a short music video to top Jackson’s “Thriller.” It’s probably because their short film “Ghosts” was so bad, it was instantly forgotten and buried.
He hates "The Shining" movie adaptation by Stanley Kubrick.
Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Shining” is considered one of the best and scariest horror movies of all time. It’s beloved by both Kubrick and King fans. So, it’s a little odd that the only person who doesn’t seem to like it is King himself. He said, “It’s like this great big gorgeous car with no engine in it.”
His house looks like it could be haunted.
What kind of a house does a horror author live in? Turns out, Stephen King’s mansion fits the bill quite nicely with eerie architecture and a gate that looks like it came out of the Addam’s Family. We’re not saying it’s haunted, but, you know, good luck to the kids who trick or treat there.
Want more haunted houses? Check out 25 Terrifying Haunted Houses Few Are Brave Enough To Live In.
Being an author runs in the family.
Stephen King started something of a family business when he became an author. His wife Tabitha King published a few novels and their sons, Owen King and Joe Hill, are both novelists as well. Owen King also married an author.
When he was a child, he witnessed his friend die in a train accident and has no memory of it.
As a boy, he went to play with a friend who lived by train tracks. When he came back, his mother said he was white as a ghost. She found out later he had witnessed his friend die by a train. He had no memory of the incident and was told about it years later. Some believe this trauma could have been a catalyst for his desire to write horror stories.
"IT" is one of his own favorites.
Stephen King has said, “Lisey’s Story” is his personal favorite, but later admitted he likes “IT” and “11/22/63” as well.
He wrote "Heroes for Hope" starring the X-men.
If you ever wondered what an X-Men comic book might be like written by Stephen King, look no further than the “Heroes for Hope” edition he wrote to fight against the famine in Africa. Though, you may have trouble finding it.
He only autographs books at book signings.
Anyone who runs into him in person or mails in a book for an autograph won’t get anything back. He only will give out his autograph at book signing events.
King was hit by a van in 1999.
In 1999, Stephen King was horrifically involved in a car accident where a 1985 Dodge Caravan struck him while he was walking. Apparently, the driver was distracted by a rottweiler when he hit King. Later, King and his lawyer purchased the vehicle. King said, “Yes, we’ve got the van, and I’m going to take a sledgehammer and beat it!”
He banned his own book, "Rage."
First written while he was in high school, Stephen King later published the book “Rage” under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman. However, after four real-life school shooting incidents were linked to the book, he requested the book be taken off the shelves.
He suffers from triskaidekaphobia.
Along with the fear of flying, King also suffers from “triskaidekaphobia,” which is a big word for the fear of the number thirteen. He’s afraid of the number so much he won’t even go near multiples of it. He says he’ll never stop writing on page 13 and will keep on writing until he gets to a safe number.
Enjoy a bit of horror now and then? Check out 25 Best Horror Films To Keep You Awake All Night.
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