Ten things you may not have known about Stephen King

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You’ve read the books, you’ve seen the movies, but how much do you know about the author? Stephen King is one of the best known and best loved writers of our time. From tales of werewolves and vampires, through a car with a mind of its own, a rabid dog, an eight foot tall miracle worker on death row to a dancing clown who lives in the sewers! Stephen King books thrill, chill and intrigue readers all around the world.

So, just for fun, here are ten things that you may not have known about Stephen King:

1. Dark beginnings
Although King denies that that the episode may have inspired his skill at writing chilling stories, the writer witnessed the death of one of his childhood friends who was struck and killed by a passing train. King was so traumatised by the event that he retained no conscious memory of it.

2. His ranking as a bestselling author
Despite Stephen King’s undoubted success and popularity, he still only ranks as nineteenth in Wikipedia's list of bestselling fiction Authors. He still has an estimated sales volume of 250 million books, though, so we guess that King is not too disappointed at his sales to date.

3. His first published work
Stephen King has written since he was a child and his first ever published work, which appeared in a horror fanzine in 1965, was entitled ‘I Was a Teenage Grave Robber’.

4. His wife
The author is married to Tabitha to whom many of his books are dedicated. They married in 1971 and met when they were students at the University of Maine.

5. His first published novel
Recently re-made as a movie (The original movie was released in 1976), Kings first novel to be published nearly never made it to print! Fortunately, his wife Tabitha rescued the manuscript from the rubbish after King had thrown it away in frustration.

6. His intoxicated years
AT the height of his popularity the 1980’s, Stephen King was a heavy smoker, heavy drinker and a user of cocaine. He claims to barely remember even writing some of his best known works in this period and thanks his friends and his wife for helping to get him out of the addictions and save his life in 1987.

7. His near death experience
In 1999, King was hit by a minivan while walking along a road near his home in Maine. He suffered a collapsed lung, head injuries, a broken hip and his right leg was badly injured that his doctors considered amputation.

8. His alter ego
Concerned that people were buying his books because of his name rather than the quality of his writing, King released several novels in the late seventies under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman. Stephen King books originally published under this name included Roadwork, Rage and The Running Man.

9. His near retirement
In 2002, King threatened to retire following the injuries he sustained in his 1999 accident. He overcame the problems caused by the injuries, though, and continues to write today, although his releases of new books are now less frequent.

10. His love of Maine
Stephen King now lives in Bangor, Maine and many of his books have been based in the region that he grew up in. The towns of Derry, Castle Rock and Jerusalem’s Lot, which regular King readers will be familiar with, exist only in the author's mind.