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StephenKing.com Message Board FAQ

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When is Stephen's birthday?

September 21st, 1947.

Is it true that Stephen is going blind?

No, I'm not. I have a predisposition -- and it's a genetic thing -- to macular degeneration and that's a disease you can read about on the internet. It eventually results in blind spots and a loss of vision but I don't have any of the symptoms yet - just that predisposition and I think it's something that I may have to face in the future, but, no, I'm not going blind.

Stephen King

What is Stephen's email address?

Stephen has no public email address and we do not give out his personal email address.

How do I join Stephen's fan club?

There is no official Stephen King fan club--he is very uncomfortable with that kind of attention. If you would like to keep abreast of official Stephen King news, we recommend you sign up for the Stephen King Newsletter.

How can I tell if I have a first edition?

Bev Vincent, (with the assistance of materials made available by Rich DeMars, John Mastrocco, Steve Oelrich and Shaun Nauman) has compiled a table of criteria you can use to determine if you have a first edition of one of Stephen's books.

Identifying First Editions (PDF)

Does Stephen have an annual campfire ghost story event?

No, I really don't. I did a campfire ghost story once as a favor to the local PBS station in central Maine. They were raising money and one of the things they did was for people who pledged a certain amount, they got to come to this campfire event and that was kind of fun, but it was a once-only event.

Stephen King

Does Stephen have a hounted house on Halloween?

Absolutely not - don't come to my house on Halloween.

We've done trick-or-treat a few times and we had 600 or 800 - one time we had 1,400 people show up for candy and treats and it's fun, it's great to see everyone, but it wears everybody out and it plays hell with the law so we're not doing that anymore.

Stephen King

What is Stephen's political affilliation?

Stephen is a Democrat.

What is Stephen's religion?

Stephen was raised as a Methodist and attended church regularly in his youth. He no longer attends church, but he does believe in God and reads the Bible. Tabitha, his wife, was raised as a Catholic.

Is it true that Stephen has retired?

Not yet. I'm writing but I'm writing at a much slower pace than previously and I think that if I come up with something really, really good, I would be perfectly willing to publish it because that still feels like the final act of the creative process, publishing it so people can read it and you can get feedback and people can talk about it with each other and with you, the writer, but the force of my invention has slowed down a lot over the years and that's as it should be. I'm not a kid of 25 anymore and I'm not a young middle-aged man of 35 anymore-I'm 55 years old and I have grandchildren, two new puppies to house-train and I have a lot of things to do besides writing and that in and of itself is a wonderful thing but writing is still a big, important part of my life and of everyday.

Stephen King

Why did Stephen write books as Richard Bachman?

I did that because back in the early days of my career there was a feeling in the publishing business that one book a year was all the public would accept but I think that a number of writers have disproved that by now. I'm one of them and the guy who writes the Along Came the Spider books is another one who's written two or three books a year. Danielle Steel usually publishes two books a year. So the public will accept more than one book from a writer in the course of a year. The thing is, one book is all most writers want to produce or can produce in the course of a year and some of them only publish a book every two years. Ed McBain was another novelist who published multiple books in some years and his original name was Evan Hunter. That's the name he's always published under and he adopted the pen name of Ed McBain for the same reason I adopted Richard Bachman and that was that it made it possible for me to do two books in one year. I just did them under different names and eventually the public got wise to this because you can change your name but you can't really disguise your style. The name Richard Bachman actually came from when they called me and said we're ready to go to press with this novel, what name shall we put on it? And I hadn't really thought about that. Well, I had, but the original name - Gus Pillsbury - had gotten out on the grapevine and I really didn't like it that much anyway, so they said they needed it right away and there was a novel by Richard Stark on my desk so I used the name Richard and that's kind of funny because Richard Stark is in itself a pen name for Donald Westlake and what was playing on the record player was "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" by Bachman Turner Overdrive, so I put the two of them together and came up with Richard Bachman.

Stephen King

Can I send a book to Stephen to get it signed?

As part of his plan to reduce his workload, Stephen will only be autographing books at book signings.

Can I get a signed photo of Stephen?

He does not sign photos - he is very uncomfortable with that concept and feels it is for movie stars, not writers.

How can I find out about book signings and appearances?

We do not, as a rule, post book signings or appearances on Stephen's web site. In the past when we have done that, it has caused enormous problems for the staff of the book store where the signing was to be held because they were inundated with phone calls asking for information. We give the local venue the option of listing the signing on the web site but they always ask that it not be announced and prefer to do their own local advertising. We have not yet found a way to let fans know about book signings in another way. We are considering revising our mailing list to include a category for notification of book signings. Stephen does not have any book signings or appearances scheduled at this time.

Does Stephen accept story ideas?

No, I don't. I really have enough story ideas of my own. Every now and then somebody will advance a concept the way that my foreign rights agent, Ralph Vicinanza suggested wouldn't it be fun to do a modern-day serial story. The result of that was The Green Mile which was published in installments-these little paperback books--but he never suggested what sort of story I might have written in installments and I wouldn't have accepted it if he had done that. I believe in thinking up my own ideas. I really have enough. I really think if I have two or three ideas ahead I'm in totally great shape.

Stephen King

Why did Stephen become a writer?

The answer to that is fairly simple-there was nothing else I was made to do. I was made to write stories and I love to write stories. That's why I do it. I really can't imagine doing anything else and I can't imagine not doing what I do.

Stephen King

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