Stephen King

Stephen Edwin

King is one of today’s most popular and best selling writers. King


the elements of psychological thrillers, science fiction, the paranormal, and

detective themes into his stories.1 In addition to these themes, King

sticks to using great

and vivid detail that is set in a realistic everyday

place.2 Stephen King who is mainly

known for his novels, has broadened

his horizons to different types of writings such as

movie scripts, nonfiction,

autobiographies, children’s books, and short stories. While

Stephen King

might be best known for his novels The Stand and It, some of his best work

that has been published are his short stories such as “The Body” and “Quitters


King’s works are so powerful because he uses his experience and

observations from his

everyday life and places them into his unique stories.

Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine, on September 21,

1947, at the

Maine General Hospital.4 Stephen, his mother Nellie, and

his adopted brother David were

left to fend for themselves when Stephen’s

father Donald, a Merchant Marine captain, left

one day, to go the store

to buy a pack of cigarettes, and never returned.5 His fathers


had a big indirect impact on King’s life. Stephen King recalls how his family


was altered: “After my father took off, my mother, struggled, and

then landed on her

feet.” My brother and I didn’t see a great deal of

her over the next nine years. She

worked a succession of continuous low

paying jobs.”6 Stephen’s first outlooks on life

were influenced by his

older brother and what he figured out on his own. While young


and his family moved around the North Eastern and Central United States. When

he was seven years old, they moved to Stratford, Connecticut.7 Here is

where King got

his first exposure to horror. One evening he listened to

the radio adaptation of Ray

Bradbury’s story “Mars Is Heaven!” That night

King recalls he “slept in the doorway,

where the real and rational light

of the bathroom bulb could shine on my face."8 Stephen

King’s exposure

to oral storytelling on the radio had a large impact on his later writings.

King tells his stories in visual terms so that the reader would be able

to “see” what was

happening in their own mind,somewhat in the same fashion

the way it was done on the

radio.9 King’s fascination with horror early

on continued and was pushed along only a

couple weeks after Bradbury’s

story. One day little Stephen was looking through his

mother’s books and

came across one named “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.

Hyde.” After

his mother finished reading the book to him, Stephen was hooked. He


asked her to read it again. King recalls “that summer when I was seven, [my

mother] must have read it to me half a dozen times."10 Ironically that

same year, while

Stephen was still seven years old, he went to go see his

first horror movie, The Creature

from the Black Lagoon. This is important

because Stephen says, “ Since [the movie], I

still see things cinematically.

I write down everything I see. What I see, it seems like a

movie to me."11

During this year the biggest event that probably had the biggest impact


Stephen King’s writing style was the discovery of the author H. P. Lovecraft.


would later write of Lovecraft, “He struck with the most force, and

I still think, for all his

shortcomings, he is the best writer of horror

fiction that America has yet produced."12 In

many of Lovecraft’s writings

he always used his present surroundings as the back drop of

his stories.

King has followed in his footsteps with the fictional town of Castle Rock,

Maine. Castle Rock is acombination of several towns that King moved to

and from with

his family in his childhood.13 The main town that it resembles

is that of Durham, Maine. It

was after the exposure to H. P. Lovecraft’s

stories that King first began to write.

While growing up and

moving around the way his family did, Stephen had never been

able to feel

comfortable and settle down in one place and make friends they way other kids

his age did. Around the age of twelve the King family finally settled

in the town of

Durham, Maine. For Stephen King, Durham was the place where

his imagination began to

shine. It was at this time that Stephen first

began to make friends. Along with his friends,

Stephen would go the movies

a lot. Stephen