From our Archives
November 1977

Young Stephen King

The Young King

From “King of the Occult” by Lois Lowry in our November 1977 issue.

Hendricks Head Light by Stephen Etnier
See more from this issue! Hendricks Head Light by Stephen Etnier

Sometimes Stephen King opens his eyes wide behind the horn-rimmed glasses and realizes Tabby is at home on the edge of the lake with the kids, listening to music, and he is on a plane to a town whose name he has temporarily forgotten, to sign his name for people he’s never met, and to be interviewed for a magazine that will make him sound glamorous and oracular and start the stream of phone calls and unwanted guests all over again.

So now the house on the Bridgton lake is for sale. Next year, in a different house, on a different Maine lake, Steve King will sit at his typewriter again. This winter, he, Tabby, and their children will live in England, where the filming of The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson, will be done. From England, he’ll be watching to see if his new book will climb, like the first three, to the prestigious bestseller list of the New York Times and pronounce him, once again, a success.

King sighs, lights another cigarette, promises himself yet again that he will quit smoking, and wonders about the whole thing. Wonders if, when he reached for the gold ring and grasped it firmly, he should have thought a little more about whether he wanted to ride a nonstop merry-go-round.

The carousel spun faster and faster for Stephen King. He’s published more than 50 novels (including several under the name Richard Bachman), a handful of nonfiction works, and nearly a dozen short-story collections — not to mention numerous stories for television and film. He’s just released his latest novel, Sleeping Beauties, written with his son Owen King. He and Tabitha still have a home on a lake in Maine.