Stephen King

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Born: 21 September 1947, Portland, Maine

At two, Stephen's father stepped out to get a pack of cigarettes, and has not been seen since. He started writing at age eleven, working with his brother Dave to turn out a mimeographed newspaper they sold for a nickel. His first story was published in a magazine when he was still in high school. After graduating from college he attempted to write, but was unable to find a market so he fell back on teaching. He started a story and threw it away in disgust, and only continued when his wife Tabitha found it in the trash and insisted he keep at it; that was Carrie. The paperback rights alone brought him $200,000 and he quit teaching. In 1999 he was hit by a passing van and only lived because of heroic efforts at the trauma center and a long series of surgeries. In addition to the horror titles he is best known for, I find his "On Writing" to be an important addition to my bookshelf.

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