Stephen King

Occupation: Director, Screenwriter, Writer
Date of Birth: September 21, 1947
Place of Birth: Portland, Maine, USA
Sign: Sun in Virgo, Moon in Sagittarius
Relations: Wife: Tabitha Spruce; kids: Joe, Owen, Naomi
Education: University of Maine


WHEN he was 3, King's merchant seaman father went to get a pack of cigarettes and was never seen again. Because of  or in spite of  this event, the boy wrote his first short story at 7 and, well before he discovered his dad's hidden cache of pulp horror-fantasy novels, became a '50s horror movie fanatic. Things lightened up a bit when he joined the football team and a local rock band and sold two $35 stories to a mystery magazine.

As a high school English teacher, King collected rejection letters for his first two novels before receiving a $2,500 advance for Carrie, which his wife had rescued from the trash can. He was 27. The book and subsequent movie were hits, and he embarked on a wildly prolific and lucrative career as a writer. So far, he's sold over well over a hundred million copies of his terrifying tales  what he calls "fearsomes"  to become the richest writer in world history. He is predictably ranked among Forbes' highest-grossing U.S. entertainers.

In 1989, King signed a deal with Viking that netted him $35 million for four books  a new record. As generous as that deal was, King announced his decision to leave Viking (his publisher of eighteen years) in 1997, in order to establish a new relationship with a house willing to pay a $17 million asking price for his latest novel, Bag of Bones. He soon struck a deal with Simon & Schuster, in which he will receive an $8 million advance for the 1,000-page tome, in addition to a healthy 50-percent share of the profits earned from its sale, and from the sale of two upcoming works, a short-story collection and a nonfiction book about writing. King is also hard at work adapting his best-selling book Desperation for a New Line Cinema feature film.

A gentle, cheery family man who lives in a twenty-five-room house near exciting downtown Bangor, Maine, the master of the macabre enjoys bowling, poker, and getting together with Dave Barry, Amy Tan, Robert Fulghum, Matt Groening, and Roy Blount, Jr. in a "hard-listening" band (so dubbed by Barry) called the Rock Bottom Remainders.

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