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Why? Modern master of suspense. Sympathetic view of small town people.

Steven King has written over 65 novels and has been adapted for the big screen 83 times. He is one of the most important novelists in the last half of the 20th century and into the 2000s.

King is so much more than horror. Try Stand by Me or Shawshank Redemption, the Green Mile or Dolores Clayborn. Or if you want the scare of your life, read The Shining, The Stand, or It.

In his early adulthood, King struggled to make a living as a laborer and a small town teacher. He kept close ties to family and community. From this he developed an understanding of real people.

In 1973, King hadn’t yet published a novel. He started a story of a girl from a reclusive family who had telekinetic powers. He got to page twenty, wadded up the paper and threw it in the garbage. He hate it. When he got back from work, the papers were all smoothed out and set on the kitchen table. His wife sat there. She told him, “Steven, you’ve got to finish this.” Carrie became his first big hit.

King said that a writer usually writes for one person. For him, it is for his muse, his life-mate, his wife.

King has also written one of the best books on becoming a novelist, On Writing. His book on the history of the horror genre, Danse Macabe, is illuminating.

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