A tragic childhood incident and the most terrifying meeting with a fan: interesting facts about Stephen King

By SSPDaily editionJan 21, 2024 08:12 AMShowbiz
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5 interesting facts about Stephen King
5 interesting facts about Stephen King. Source: lithub.com

The famous horror author Stephen King has a fruitful career and an intriguing past. SSPDaily offers to get acquainted with some little-known facts from his life and work.

Possible origin of King's horror stories

In King's childhood, a terrible story happened. When he was 4 years old, he dared to play with a friend near the railroad tracks and returned home alone. Unfortunately, his friend was tragically killed by a passing train. King had forgotten the tragedy due to his state of shock, but a few years later his mother shared the disturbing story with him.

This tragic incident may have laid the foundation for the author's future works.

An unexpected debut in the movies

Although King appeared in cameo roles in film adaptations of his novels, his film debut came in an unrelated work. In 1981, he appeared in the unconventional film Knight Rider directed by George A. Romero. The film tells the story of a traveling group of motorcyclists, among whom King portrays the character "Hoagy Man," an ardent fan who is recognizable by his insatiable appetite for sandwiches.

Exposing the pseudonym of Stephen King

Stephen King once hid his work under the pseudonym "Richard Bachman". But fate decreed otherwise. An astute bookstore clerk named Stephen Brown noticed a distinct similarity between Bachman's writing style and King's prose while reading the 1984 novel The Thin Man.

Intrigued, he delved deeper into the reading and discovered that another Bachmann book, The Fury, shared a copyright with King. Brown immediately notified King's agent, which led to the discovery of the secret pseudonym. Eventually, Bachman's books were republished under King's name, attracting considerable attention.

King's generous offer to emerging filmmakers

As a sign of his support for young talent, Stephen King allowed the rights to his short stories to be purchased for just $1. This gesture, affectionately nicknamed "dollar babies," is intended to give aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to adapt King's works without facing commercial barriers.

There are certain conditions for this. The work cannot be purchased for commercial purposes, and the finished film must be presented to the public only at festivals.

One of the most striking examples is the successful adaptation of his short story "The Woman in the Room" by Frank Darabont, who later became a screenwriter and director of the famous films "Escape from Shawshank", based on King's story, and "The Green Mile".

His most terrifying meeting with fans

King had a terrifying encounter with an ardent reader. In 1998, he told Entertainment Weekly a story about a fan breaking into his home with a suspicious package that caused the writer to become concerned.

King said: "I think the scariest thing a reader ever did was break into our house and say he had a bomb." However, upon further inspection, it turned out that it was a set of paper clips attached to pencils.

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