September 17, 2019 Stephen King celebrates his 72nd birthday on Saturday. The prolific horror novelist has authored 52 books, and over 200 short stories. King’s ability to produce content is the envy of his peers including “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin who observes “I’ve had a really good six months if I've finished three chapters- and Stephen has finished three books in that time.” When Stephen was two, his father went out for a pack of cigarettes and never returned. King never saw his father again but found a box of horror novels his dad left behind including H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Thing from the Tomb” which eventually inspired the boy to become a horror writer. A few years later, Stephen witnessed one of his friends get killed by a freight train. Stephen walked back to his house in shock and unable to speak. It’s believed that the traumatic incident inspired some of King’s darkest stories. After graduating from University of Maine, the aspiring novelist worked as an English teacher. One night in 1974, his wife, Tabitha, rescued a manuscript that the frustrated writer had thrown in the trashcan of their double-wide trailer. The composition became King’s first published novel, “Carrie” which would be followed within a year by “Salem’s Lot” and “The Shining”. Soon, the prolific author was faced with the problem of flooding the market, so he began using the pseudonym “Richard Bachman” for selected novels. That name was used for five books until Bachman succumbed to what King described as “cancer of the pseudonym.” Bachman’s 1977 “Rage” chronicled a gun-wielding high school student who holds his school hostage. After the book was linked to four school shootings, King removed it from print. saying, “It took more than one slim novel to cause the shooters to do what they did. Yet I did see “Rage” as a possible accelerant” After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, King who is a gun owner published an essay calling for common sense regulations and donated all proceeds to the “Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence”. Near- Death Experience In 1999, King was walking near his Bangor, Maine home when he was hit by a distracted driver named Bryan Smith. King endured five surgeries to repair broken ribs, broken bones and a punctured lung. Smith had been convicted eleven times for DUI and his license was suspended three times in 1998 alone. In a macabre plot twist, Smith whom King once said “has the IQ of a tomato soup can” died of a drug overdose on September 21, 2000 which happened to be King’s 53rd birthday. Giving Back King doesn’t approach the generosity of, say, JK Rowling, but he gives back in several ways: He gave $240,000 to the rescue service and medical center that attended him after the accident. He also created the Haven Foundation to help writers and artists unable to work due to injury or illness He donated money to his city of Bangor for the construction of a baseball stadium, affectionately known as the “Field of Screams” He wrote a guide for aspiring authors that Roger Ebert called the most insightful book for writers since “The Elements of Style” King allows any aspiring filmmaker to buy the rights to adapt any of his short stories for only $1. Trivia King was extremely unhappy with Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining and hated Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack Torrance. King’s struggles with alcohol and cocaine were so bad during the late 70s that he doesn’t remember writing his brilliant novel, “Cujo” King’s fear of flying caused him to drive his motorcycle cross-country for his early book tours. The severe triskaidekaphobiac says. “When I’m writing, I’ll never stop work if the page number is 13 or a multiple of 13; I’ll just keep on typing till I get to a safe number. When I’m reading, I won’t stop on page 94, 193, or 382, since the sums of these numbers add up to 13,” Kathy Bates’ Best Actress Oscar for “Misery” is the only Academy Award for a Stephen King’s film. Have a great weekend. If you are looking for top-notch marketing support, contact