Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King
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A fascinating look at the life of the author who created such modern classics as Carrie, IT, and The Shining.
One of the most prolific and popular authors in the world today, Stephen King has become part of pop culture history. But who is the man behind those tales of horror, grief, and the supernatural? Where do these ideas come from? And what drives him to keep writing at a breakneck pace after a thirty year career? In this unauthorized biography, Lisa Rogak reveals the troubled background and lifelong fears that inspire one of the twentieth century's most influential authors.
King’s origins were inauspicious at best. His impoverished childhood in rural Maine and early marriage hardly spelled out the likelihood of a blossoming literary career. But his unflagging work ethic and a ceaseless flow of ideas put him on the path to success. It came in a flash, and the side effects of sudden stardom and seemingly unlimited wealth soon threatened to destroy his work and, worse, his life. But he survived and has since continued to write at a level of originality few authors could ever hope to match.
Despite his dark and disturbing work, Stephen King has become revered by critics and his countless fans as an all-American voice more akin to Mark Twain than H. P. Lovecraft. Haunted Heart chronicles his story, revealing the character of a man who has created some of the most memorable---and frightening---stories found in literature today.
Stephen King on Stephen King:
“I’m afraid of everything.”
“As a kid, I worried about my sanity a lot."
“I am always interested in this idea that a lot of fiction writers write for their fathers because their fathers are gone.”
“Writing is an addiction for me.”
“I married her for her body, though she said I married her for her typewriter.”
“When you get into this business, they don’t tell you you’ll get cat bones in the mail.”
“You have to be a little nuts to be a writer.”
“There’s always the urge to see somebody dead that isn’t you.”
a new line of original and reprinted detective paperback novels, the most he hoped for was a cover blurb for one of the books. A big fan of the genre, King decided he’d rather write a book than a blurb, with the result being The Colorado Kid, which was published in October 2005 to lead off a season including books by Lawrence Block, Ed McBain, and Donald E. West-lake. The novel was extremely short by King’s usual standards, only 184 pages, but it was just a warm-up for King’s next project. And it
a major character right at the start!”: London Observer, August 9, 1998. 191 “like a buried body, they start to smell bad”: Omaha World Herald, June 29, 1998. 191 “which I haven’t used very much in my longer fiction”: Ibid. 192 “the writing works is very similar”: Amazon.com, March 2003. 192 “it’s always a little further along”: Interview by Stanley Wiater, September 1998. 192 “or to live confined in an emotional spiritual cage”: Sermon, “Holding Thee More Nearly,” September 23, 2007. 192
her life. As a teenager, she worked at a tourist seafood restaurant near Bangor called Lobsterland and often ran the lobster press, where all of the lobster left over from customers’ plates was gathered and dumped so it could appear on new plates the next day as lobster salad or lobster roll. She grew to detest the way the stale seafood smell permeated her skin, hair, and clothes, but it was the only work open to her at the time. “When I grew up in Old Town, there wasn’t any women’s movement,”
to pass it along to McCauley. As a result, Hautala signed with Kirby, who promptly sold Rick’s horror novel Moondeath to Zebra, which published it in 1981. King wrote a blurb for that book and Hautala’s second, Moonbog, which came out the following year. They also renewed their friendship by visiting bars in and around Bangor. “It scared me how fast he could drink a beer,” said Hautala. “I liked having a couple of beers, but he would put down six or eight in the same time I had two. At first, I
the idea of an anonymous fuck is appealing when some gal comes up at a bookstore signing and asks me to go to her place when I’m leaving the next morning. And I’m tempted to say, ‘Yeah, let’s pour Wesson oil over each other and really screw our eyes out.’ ” But he says he would never risk his marriage for a one-night stand. “Besides, sexually, I’m not terribly adventurous, there are no orgies in my life,” he admitted. “My marriage is too important to me, and anyway, so much of my energy goes