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The King of Horror

14 Oct

Stephen King, the world’s bestselling horror writer, began writing in his college newspaper and then a number of pulp magazines before bursting on to the world scene with his novel of possession, Carrie, in 1974. This was followed by The Shining in 1977, a brilliant tale of a couple and their little boy who are snowed in for the winter in a Colorado resort hotel full of ghosts. In these books, and the many that followed, King took the centuries old traditions of the gothic tale, ghost story and sensation novel and successfully moved them on to a new era, inspiring a fresh generation of horror authors in the process. King has written over 250 novels, novellas and short stories, which have sold in excess of 350 million copies, winning every major horror, fantasy and science fiction award in the process. He is also one of the most anthologised – and filmed – writers who has ever lived, meaning that there is almost no one on the planet who has not heard of at least one of his novels or characters, even if they have never read any of his stories. He remains as popular today as he was when he debuted in the 1970s – even extending his talents to acting recently when he made a suitably creepy appearance on the hit series Sons of Anarchy! What has driven this man to write all his life and what has made him so phenomenally successful? Let’s take a look at King’s career, influences, writing style and legacy.

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