The prolific horror writer Stephen King turns 75 years old. Not only does he reach this age with a few 65 fiction books published, but with an active participation in social networks. To the delight of his fans, King talks about his writing, he returns readings, recommends series and movies, self-promotes his imminent novel “Fairy Tale”, shows his political position and even lays bare his daily and family life. Because according to the author of “It” and “Carrie”, “Twitter is my Wikipedia” and “Twitter sees everything, knows everything”.
Stephan Edwin Kingborn in the North American city of Portland in 1947, began writing in the 1970s. His first novel, “carrie“, was rescued from the garbage by his wife, also a novelist Tabitha King. It was published in a hardcover edition by Doubleday Publishing that “only” sold 13 thousand copies, although later the Signet publishing house released a paperback edition that sold a million copies, and in 1976 the famous film of the same name was filmed, which made him an acclaimed writer.
Stephen King’s pseudonym
Since then, the author of the best-sellers “The Shining”, “The Dance of Death”, “The Dead Zone”, “Eyes of Fire”, the saga of “The Dark Tower”, “Cujo”, ” Christine”, “Pet Sematary”, “Misery”, “The Tommyknockers”, “The Dark Half”, “Gerald’s Game” and dozens of other works was conditioned by publishers to publish only one book per year, to not “devalue” the stamp of your name with too much offer. For this reason, King also began to use the pseudonym Richard Bachman. (Richard for Richard Stark, the pseudonym of author Donald E. Westlake, and Bachman for the band Bachman-Turner Overdrive).
With that heteronym, the writer published “Rage” (a novel that he withdrew from sale when they found that a serial killer had been inspired by that book), “The Long March”, “Cursed Highway”, “The Fugitive”, “Hex” and “Possession”. No one knew Bachman was King until he was “unmasked” by a bookseller in 1984.
Stephen King and an active life in social networks
In parallel to this copious and magnetic writing, the writer has always had a great public exposure that increased with the arrival of social networks. He was never elusive to new technologies.
This first presentation with the old topic of “false modesty” contradicts the activity carried out on that platform for nine years, where his intelligence, his coherence, his good taste for fiction and his fondness for literary or ideological criticism without fear are exposed. This can be certified by his almost 7 million followers.
His first contact he had on the social network was his son Joe Hill, one of the five novelists in his family: in addition to Joe, Stephen himself, his wife Tabitha, his other son Owen and his daughter-in-law Kelly enlist in this job. Braffet, while her daughter, Naomi is a minister in the Unitarian Universalist Church.
King has no problem showing his family’s life on Twitter. This year his son Hill had twins and the narrator often retweets his photos and even talks about them on more than one occasion. “Thanks to my son Joe Hill and his lovely wife Gillian, I am a grandfather to beautiful twins. I am practicing my rocking technique,” he posted a while back.
One of the important characters in this hypertextual novel that weaves with his own life on the social network is his dog. molly, also known as “The Thing of Evil”, an adorable Pembroke Welsh corgi. The author of “Cujo” describes on Twitter the life of the pet since his arrival. The animal, like any puppy, is seen breaking cushions and causing mischief in the family home.
Of course, this presence and his love for the animal goes against the idea of the novel he wrote in 1981 about a rabid Saint Bernard terrorizing a mother and her son. According to King, the story of this huge animal called “Cujo” was born the day he went to get his motorcycle from a mechanic shop in Maine (the city where he lived with his family) in the summer of 1977. In the lot there was a giant dog and angry at the writer: “the biggest St. Bernard I’ve ever seen,” he described in an interview. Molly is today his companion in readings and in his moments of watching series or movies.
The political positions of Stephen King
King doesn’t get to follow a hundred and a half personalities. He often retweets the posts of President Biden, for whom he openly shows sympathy. Another of his permanent attacks for years was on former Republican President Donald Trump, from whom he did not even hold back from posting memes against him. “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans are a threat to the very soul of this country. Trump sucks. Can we move on?”
In 2015, King was honored by President Barack Obama with the 2014 National Medal of Arts for his contributions to pop culture.
One of his strongest positions against the Republicans is the use of automatic and semi-automatic weapons, especially the AR-15 rifle that can be bought for $500 at any store in the United States. On December 1, 2021 he wrote: “Another school shooting. 3 dead, more injured, hundreds terrified. Until there are toothy gun laws in this country, like Britain’s, our children will continue to be sacrificed at the altar.” of the Second Amendment.” And he retweeted young Romy, daughter of director Rob Reiner: “YOU CAN KILL SCHOOL CHILDREN IN TEXAS BUT YOU CAN’T GET AN ABORTION.” The voluntary interruption of pregnancy is for another issue that the writer militates in social networks.
Another favorite politician in his attacks is Russian President Vladimir Putin, especially after the invasion of Ukraine, whom he said “is Putin’s Vietnam.” In parallel, he proposed a boycott of the world’s most famous soft drink: “Coca Cola continues to sell its products in Russia. #BoycottCoke.”
Despite the fact that this June 17 he wrote: “So much to watch. / So much to read. / So little time”. (Much to see. / So much to read. / So little time), the writer is a machine for recommending books, movies and series, and for making critical reading returns. He writes about the newly published novel in English, “The Ink Black Heart,” by an author King retweets regularly, JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter saga, who this time wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith: “Long , relaxed, very entertaining. Critics say there is too much Twitter in it, but, sure, Twitter is more or less what it is about, “ponders the writer.
“Ken Follett can’t write a bad book, and it’s NEVER the best. It’s terrifying. I dare anyone to put it down once they hit the last 150 pages,” King proposes. And he recommends Don Winslow’s “City on Fire”: “This is a must-read crime fiction. If you’ve read it, you already know. If you haven’t, maybe you’ll go buy it and get it.” , He says.
King says: “Twitter is my Wikipedia” and through his militancy in this network in 2019 he managed to get the Maine “Portland Press Herald” to reinstate the book reviews it had stopped publishing on local books.
His musical tastes and his next venture
These days while listening loud to the American heavy metal band Quiet Riot. he writes, “Also, if I can promote myself: ‘Fairy Tale’ is out now (and at your local bookstore, if it’s not banned).” The novel that will be published these days in Spanish by the Plaza & Janés label is the story of Charlie Reade, a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war. His dog accompanies him. The book is not yet in circulation and it has already been announced that it will be made into a film under the direction of Paul Greengrass, of whom King is a fan and therefore gave him the rights for only one dollar. Of course: a high participation at the box office was assured.
The seal that publishes this and many other books by the writer belongs to the Penguin Random House conglomerate, which King himself did not hesitate to accuse at the beginning of last month when he took the bench in a Washington court within the framework of the legal actions that the US government is carrying out to stop the merger of this firm with the publishing house Simon & Schuster. “I’m here because I think consolidation is bad for competition,” said the novelist in the courtroom, asserting the weight of his career to dismiss any retaliation for having testified against the interests of his publisher.
King recounted in his court filing that his first check in 1974 was for $2,500 for “Carrie,” whose sales soared after its film adaptation. Then came other hits like “The Shining” and at that time he offered his publisher to reserve his next three books in exchange for 2 million dollars, but the publisher refused “with a laugh.” What did the horror master do? He went into competition and continued to alternate publishing his books with well-known publishers, while continuing to edit some of his books for more independent labels.
All this exciting world of the writer who turns 75 at the beginning of his fall can be experienced on the official Twitter account. And of course, in his inexhaustible imagination that continues to feed that editorial network that from time to time is in charge of fighting.
By Carlos Daniel Aletto – Télam