The Face of Horror


When you think of horror authors, I am willing to bet that the first name that pops into your head is Stephen King. King has been the face of the horror genre ever since he published his first book Carrie, a book about a girl with telekinetic powers. Over his extensive career, he has written and published over 70 books and sold over 350 million copies. Some of his most notable works include IT, Pet Sematary, and The Shining. Many of his novels have even been so successful that they have been made into movies. The most successful one of these movies is easily IT: Chapter One. This movie is one of the most successful horror movies of all time, earning over 700 million dollars at the box office.


On September 21, 1947, Stephen Edwin King was born in Durham, Maine. King was raised by his single working mother since his father abandoned the family when he was only a toddler. While growing up, he attended Lisbon High School and developed a love for writing. King wanted to pursue college but with his mother as his family’s only source of income, it would be difficult for him to afford it. To solve this problem, King decided to get creative. While attending the University of Maine, he started writing term papers for his fellow students. He charged $20 when the paper earned an “A” and $10 when the paper earned a “B”. If the paper happened to earn a “C”, King would not charge the students anything. He even vowed to pay his customers $20 if he wrote anything lower than “C” quality. This helped to mold him into an excellent writer because he knew that he could not afford to write poor papers. He graduated from the university in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in English. While attending college, King met his future wife Tabitha, and the two of them married the following year. Shortly after he got a job as a high school English teacher at Hampden Academy in Hampden, Maine. Throughout all of this time, King kept busy with his writing. Tabitha was always a huge supporter of his and made sure he had time in his day to write. She even discovered draft pages of what would become Carrie, tossed in King’s trash can. She read the material and demanded that he continued to work on it. In 1974, he published the final copy and it was a huge hit. In the first year of its being published, the book had over one million copies sold. Two years later, the novel was made into a movie. After receiving a boatload of money due to the success of Carrie, King cranked out six more novels (Salem’s Lot, The Shining, Rage, The Stand, The Long Walk, and The Dead Zone) in the next six years. From then on, Stephen King became a household name in the horror genre industry.