Stephen King: 9 Surprising Facts About the Horror Author

Stephen King cartoon

One of my favourite authors of all-time is the legendary horror writer Stephen King. His first novel, Carrie, hit book shelves in 1972 and since then, his novels and short story collections have over 350 million copies worldwide. He’s still producing great stories to this day – releasing

Here are 9 surprising facts about Stephen King, my literary hero…

1) Fear of Public Speaking

Despite being a master of horror writing, Stephen King has stated that he has a fear of public speaking. He once admitted that he gets very nervous when speaking in front of an audience, which is somewhat ironic considering his career.

2) Stephen King’s Writing Rituals

King has several writing rituals. One of the most peculiar is his requirement to listen to hard rock music, particularly heavy metal, while writing. Bands like Metallica and AC/DC are among his favourites.

3) Carrie was fished out of the bin

King’s first published novel, “Carrie,” began as a short story that he threw away. His wife, Tabitha, retrieved it from the trash and encouraged him to finish it, eventually leading to the novel’s publication.

4) He collaborated with Michael Jackson

King co-wrote the music video for Jackson’s 1997 single Ghosts, which was set up a haunted mansion, and saw Jackson playing serious spooky entities.

5) King was an Ebook Pioneer

In 2000, King became one of the first popular authors to release an ebook. He offered his novella “Riding the Bullet” as a digital download, which was a groundbreaking move at the time. The ebook sold over 400,000 copies in the first 24 hours.

6) Richard Bachman isn’t his only pen name

Apart from his well-known pseudonym, Richard Bachman, King also wrote under the name John Swithen. He used this name for the short story “The Fifth Quarter” which was published in Cavalier magazine.

7) He barely remembers writing Cujo

King has been open about his struggles with addiction, particularly alcohol and drugs, in the past. He wrote his novel “Cujo” during a particularly hazy period of substance abuse, and later said he barely remembered writing it.

8) King tried his hand at directing

Most of King’s stories have been converted into movies and TV series, and he’s also created some original screenplays right off the bat. But you might not know that King has also sat in the director’s chair with Maximum Override – the 1986 adaptation of his short story, Trucks.

9) He owned a radio station

In the 1980s, when he found out his local radio station was about to be sold to a big corporation that liked to play ‘elevator music’ as he called it, King stepped in and bought the station to ensure it carried on playing his favourite genre – rock.

These surprising facts shed light on the lesser-known aspects of Stephen King’s life and personality, showcasing the man behind the famous horror stories.