Awesome Authors #14: Stephen King

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Image Credit: The Odyssey Online

Stephen King has become one of my favorite authors. Originally, I avoided his work because of the horror elements. But, I like a lot of the work that he’s done. Read on to learn more!

Born in September 1947, he lived in Portland, Maine. His father, a merchant seaman, left the family when Stephen was two years old. His mother was left alone to raise Stephen and older brother David. They moved several times – Wisconsin, Indiana, and Connecticut. They eventually returned to Maine, where King’s mother cared for her parents until they died. He was raised Methodist.

King developed an early interest in horror, reading horror comics such asย Tales From The Crypt. He contributed to his brother’s newspaper, Dave’s Rag. The first story of his to published was “I Was A Teenage Grave Robber,” serialized over four issues of a fanzine in 1965. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in English. His first child, Naomi Rachel, was born the same year. He married Tabitha Spruce in 1971, and also had two sons, Joseph King and Owen King.

He was nearly killed on June 19, 1999, when a distracted driver struck him while he was walking along the shoulder of Maine State Route 5. After five operations in ten days, and physical therapy, King was able to resume writing his memoir.

He has published 54 novels, and six non-fiction books. He has also written over 200 short stories. King has received multiple awards and medals, including Bram Stoker Awards, British Fantasy Society Awards, the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America, and a National Medal of Arts from the United States National Endowment for the Arts.


Carrie (1974)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

Carrie wasn’t the first book of King’s that I remember reading, but I do remember hearing about it for years before I read it. They even used the book as part of an episode on horror literature for Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego?ย in the mid-1990s.

The Shining (1977)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

This is one of those books where the author has a different opinion of the movie adaptation!

Misery (1987)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

I knew King had written Misery, but I didn’t actually read it until I was in college. One of my friends was in my Museums in Paris class. When we went to Paris over spring break, she was reading it for her American Literature class. I read it after school let out for the summer, and I was cold the entire time!

The Green Mile (1996)

 

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Image Credit: Amazon

The Green Mile is one of my favorite books. My parents said I was too young to see the movie adaptation when it came out in theaters in 1999. But, it’s now one of my favorite movies. Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan (May he Rest in Peace) give outstanding performances.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

King’s memoir was one of the first books that I read, and then immediately re-read. I originally borrowed it from the library and renewed it, but resolved to get my own copy as soon as possible. I think I first read this in either 2009 or 2010, when I was taking several fiction and non-fiction classes at Longwood.

This is one book that I will never give away. It’s incredibly valuable to me. In fact, I think I need to read it again soon.

11/22/63 (2011)

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

The only reason I can think of why this book is still on my TBR is because it’s just gigantic. Like, 849 pages.

However, Al and I watched the miniseries adaptation on Hulu in 2016, and that was impressive.


What about you? Have you read any of Stephen King’s books or work?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth ๐Ÿ™‚

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23 thoughts on “Awesome Authors #14: Stephen King

  1. I love Stephen King. I read “It” when I was in 5th grade. I recently re-read it because I didn’t grasp it at all at that age. I remember reading “Firestarter” & “Carrie” at my Aunt’s house in Ohio one summer.

    I have lots of great memories of devouring those books. He’s creates such deep characters & amazingly realistic worlds. Of course, some of his books aren’t my “thing,” but I think that’s the case for all authors.

    Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, William Shakespeare, & Edgar Allan Poe are probably tied for my absolute favorites. It might actually be the first two tied for favorite contemporary authors & the latter two tied for favorite “past” writers.

    Hmm. The more I try to compile that list, the more it gets murky. I better stop now! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Nice! I havenโ€™t read โ€œItโ€ or โ€œFirestarter.โ€ I want to re-read โ€œCarrie.โ€ I agree – His world-building is amazing. Weโ€™ve also watched most of โ€œUnder The Dome,โ€ too. Super creepy!

      I like Neil Gaiman. I read a lot of Shakespeare and Poe in school. Great list!

  2. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve read ALL of Stephen King’s published works. He’s been my favorite author since I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. At one time, I owned 1st-edition hardcovers of all of his books from _Carrie_ up through _Sleeping Beauties_. Sadly, I left everything from _Carrie_ through _Misery_ with a girlfriend in Missouri before returning to Tennessee for good, and she sold them to support her drug habit. That’s not the only thing of value I left with a former girlfriend in Missouri, but that’s a tale for another time.

    Stephen’s son Joe Hill is a fantastic author. I believe that he’s even better than Stephen was in the early part of his career. If you haven’t read him yet, do. His younger son Owen King is a budding author as well, though the only thing of his I’ve read is _Sleeping Beauties_, which he & Stephen coauthored. It’s excellent, by the way, I highly recommend it. Joe Hill wrote an AWESOME graphic novel series called _Locke & Key_. You need to read that, too!

    Neil Gaiman rocks too, and Poe. And Shakespeare.

    • Thank you! What a story. I’m sorry that your former girlfriend sold all of your first editions – Ouch.

      Thanks for the recommendations – I need to put Sleeping Beauties on my TBR. And I’ve heard of Locke & Key, but I haven’t read it yet. I appreciate it!

      Thanks for reading, and commenting!

    • Your “rocks” list looks familiar! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Considering our similarity in tastes, I’m going to have to check out Joe Hill! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Ugggh. That story about your ex-girlfriend is heartbreaking. I’d be so upset if I lost all those wonderful books! Also, it sucks that she had demons, of course. BUT THE BOOKS! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

      • Yeah, I was thinking that same thought about your interests looking familiar when I was perusing your blog earlier this morning.

        Such is life, right? It’s not like I would’ve ever sold ’em or anything, I’m not a hardcore book nerd. When it’s time for me to go, I’ll donate whatever books my kids don’t want to my local public library.

      • Excellent idea. I love libraries!

      • If you’re ever in Nashville, you MUST check out the main branch of our public library, it’s beautiful. We have an awesome public library network here!

      • You can count on it! Thanks!

      • Thank you for checking out my blog!! ๐Ÿ™‚

        You’re definitely a man after my own heart. I think that, once I’ve read them, if I don’t adore a book, I need to pass it along to someone who will love it.

        My hometown has a “take a book, leave a book” rack in its train station – an idea I think needs to be implemented everywhere!

        Where I live now has a great library system as well. A library card to any of the libraries in my county is a library card to all (15) of them. They offer some great activities & programs, including museum passes at a reasonable rate, which I need to check out soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

        We should do a library road trip. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • I love the rack in the train station. How cool is that!

      • Oh, man, I would love to do that someday!

      • So, it’s decided! Either separately, together, or somewhere in the middle, we’ll go on a wild, crazy library/book road trip! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • I may have to content myself for now with dreaming about the occasional “You won’t believe THIS library” ads posted on Facebook. While I hope to take my family on a library roadtrip someday, the prospects for doing so are rather slim for the foreseeable future. If you manage to squeeze one in, sneak some pics to share, please!

      • Oh man, those posts are both awe-inspiring & frustrating! I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to see them, or anything close to their splendor. :-/

        Now, we didn’t say it had to be a “luxurious, extravagant, overwhelmingly fantastic” library road trip. We didn’t even say we had to travel outside our own areas! I’m sure you could find some really lovely libraries in your own home state, or nearby.

        Although, my local area probably has more amazing libraries. I should really check them out &, as you suggested, take some darned pictures. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • I love the idea of exploring our own libraries. We have one here in Norfolk – Itโ€™s housed in a 100-year-old building, and mixes a traditional library with the digital age and technology. I havenโ€™t been there yet, but soon!

      • See?? We don’t have to travel far, or spend money to get a fantastic glimpse into years & years of glorious reading & community!

        Not to mention, Laura, you are making a trip to New York at some point, right? We have some fantastic libraries. I’d be very interested in joining in on a library trip!! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Yes, I am! My husband and I plan to take a trip up there in September or October. I love the main branch of the NYPL. Iโ€™m down!

      • Yes, yes, yes! I’ve been near the NYPL, but I’ve never actually visited it. I’m pretty sure on my “secondary bucket list” (a list of places in New York I’d like to visit someday) too!

        Plus, it’s a nice, unobtrusive place to meet a crazy blogger chick like myself. LOL ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Awesome!

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