Before They Were Famous: Stephen King

Steven King

One of America’s most beloved horror and suspense writers, Stephen King has published numerous best-selling titles including The Shinning, Misery and the Dark Tower series. The recipient of a Bram Stoker Award, an O. Henry Award and many other literary honors, King has penned 54 novels and nearly 200 hundred short stories. 

However, King’s early career was fraught with struggles as the now-established author suffered many rejections in addition to financial stress. While writing his first novel, Carrie, King became so discouraged he discarded his manuscript. Luckily, his wife Tabitha retrieved the draft from the trash and encouraged her husband to keep writing.

In 1973, Doubleday Publishing House accepted King’s Carrie for printing, paying him $400,000 for the paperback rights. This was a significant sum of money for the struggling writer. This was King’s first major publishing success and the one that would solidify his career.

In the decades since then, King has continued to publish profusely both as himself and under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Despite his initial hardships, he has distinguished himself as a remarkable writer with a macabre imagination, a favorite among many for his strange and unsettling fiction. 

— Dominique Dusek, Assistant Managing & Submissions Manager

Books on Screen: Carrie

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

As I may have mentioned in the past, I love Stephen King.  Needless to say, I have seen the 1976 movie “Carrie,” featuring Sissy Spacek.  There is a 2013 adaptation of the cult-classic, which will release on Oct. 18, which features Chloe Grace Moretz as the title character.

Carrie is King’s first published novel, released in 1974.  Since then, the story has become a totem for most horror buffs.  Because most of the novel is actually written in articles, letters and book passages, it makes it more interesting to the reader.  However, it does give a reason to wonder how much of the book actually comes through in the movie.

The movie is definitely in King-fashion.  Lots of blood, black humor and simple situations that turn terribly wrong.  For those of you that don’t know the story, Carrie revolves around a high-school girl who’s growing up.  In school, she’s a shy wallflower, whom everyone teases for not understanding her development into an adult.  At home, her religious mother coddles her, turning her back into a little girl.   Carrie begins to rebel, and the relationship between the mother and daughter begins to change.  When the students at her school take a prank too far, Carrie’s telekinetic powers are awakened, and she is able to exact her revenge.

Personally, I think the movie is pretty strange.  After all, why would you make fun of someone just because they don’t know how they’re going to change, especially considering the type of household that she was raised in.  I think it does bring up a lot of interesting issues to think about, including bullying.  I’ll be really interested to see how the remake version turns out.  From the trailers, I’m willing to bet that there are more fires, more violence in the way she kills her tormentors and of course, more blood.  I really hope that they don’t overdo it because it just gets tiring after a while.

The 2013 remake of Carrie will be released Oct. 18 in theaters everywhere.  Until then, happy reading!

-Lauren Pirc, Asst. Blog Editor