Stephen King’s numbers speak quite clearly: he has written dozens of books, selling over 500 million copies in total; from his works, over 40 between films and television miniseries have been adapted; he claims to write 500 words from 8.30 to 11.30, every day – most of his books have no less than 500 pages; he is the best paid writer in the world (in 1989, for example, he personally got a check of 40 million dollars for four novels to be written). Many of his stories have had film or television transpositions, even by important authors such as Stanley Kubrick, Brian De Palma, J.J. Abrams, David Cronenberg, Rob Reiner, George A. Romero. When he writes, he loves to listen to rock music and drink beer. He’s been trying to quit smoking since years. And he thinks there is a perfect way to do it: read Quitters Inc. (from 1978’s Night Shift collection) to know it.
Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, on September 21st, 1947. He never met his father: he left home in 1949. This event will profoundly mark the character of the future writer, and in many of his novels you can find references to difficult relationships between father and son. Two years later, he found his father’s books in his aunt’s attic, and he started to discover Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovercraft and Richard Matheson. The mother guides him to listen to good music and to read the classics of literature. When he was 4, another unusual traumatic fact: he went to play by a neighbor and he comes back an hour later, pale and woozy. He remains silent all day, and only several hours later the mother discovers that the kid he was playng with was hit by a train. Stephen King said that he had no memory of the accident and he discovered it by his mother’s words, years later.
He graduated in 1966 in Orono and studied English literature at the University of Maine, where he wrote a in a column of the university newspaper for over two years. Working in the University Library he meets Tabitha Jane Spruce, poetess and graduated in history. They will marry in 1971 and three children will arrive, Naomi, Owen and Joseph (better known under the pseudonym Joe Hill). After graduating, he became literature teacher at Hampden Academy, Maine. He currently lives in Bangor in a two-storey victorian house, with two side towers and the outer gate decorated with spiders, webs and two wrought-iron bats.
During an interview, some time ago, Stephen King revealed his list of 22 favorite horror movies. The list was presented in the video below by Fandor, the page specialized in cinema and curiosity.
Among his favorites there are classics and modern movies, and of course most of them are horror or thriller movies. You can find the complete list below, with his comments aside:
- The Autopsy of Jane Doe (André Øvredal, 2016): “Visceral horror to rival Alien and early Cronenberg”
- The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, 1999)
- The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1980)
- Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro, 2015)
- Dawn of the Dead (Zack Snyder, 2004): “Snyder’s zombies are, it seems to me: fast moving terrorists who never quit.”
- Deep Blue Sea (Renny Harlin, 1999)
- The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005)
- Duel (Steven Spielberg, 1971): “His most inventive film, and stripped to the very core.”
- Les Diaboliques (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955): “He out-Hitchcocked Hitchcock.”
- Final Destination (James Wong, 2000)
- Event Horizon (Paul W.S. Anderson, 1997): “Basically a Lovecraftian terror tale in outer space with a The Quatermass Experiment vibe, done by the Brits.”
- The Hitcher (Robert Harmon, 1986 and Dave Meyers, 2007): “Rutger Hauer in the original will never be topped, but this is that rarity, a reimagining that actually works.”
- The Last House on the Left (Dennis Iliadis, 2009)
- The Mist (Frank Darabont, 2007)
- Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957): “The horror here is pretty understated, until the very end.”
- The Ruins (Carter Smith, 2008)
- Sorcerer (William Friedkin, 1977)
- Stepfather (Joseph Ruben, 1986)
- Stir of Echoes (David Koepp 1999): “An unsettling exploration of what happens when an ordinary blue-collar guy (Kevin Bacon) starts to see ghosts.”
- The Strangers (Bryan Bertino, 2008)
- Village of the Damned (Wolf Rilla, 1960): As far as “British horror (wrapped in an SF bow), you can’t do much better.”
- The Witch (Robert Eggers, 2015)