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The Nicest Things Stephen King Has Said About His Wife, Tabitha

Updated April 25, 2019 7.4k votes 1.5k voters 75.3k views10 items

List RulesVote up the sweetest things Stephen King has said about his wife.

From F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald to Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, from Allen Ginsburg and Peter Orlovsky to Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin, there is no shortage of great literary couples. But one of the most heartwarming and enduring of our time has got to be horror maestro Stephen King and novelist Tabitha King. The two have been married since 1971, and they have three children - Owen and Joe are also writers, while Naomi is a minister - and four grandchildren. Tabitha was an early supporter of her husband's work, toiling away at Dunkin' Donuts so he could have the time and space to write. And while Stephen may be the more famous King, Tabitha is an accomplished writer in her own right. She's penned eight novels, two works of nonfiction, several volumes of poetry and short stories, and a screenplay. 

Over the years, the two have never shied away from expressing their abiding respect and admiration for one another. Let's take a closer look at some of the nicest things Stephen King has said about Tabitha.

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    He Appreciates How Much She Has Always Believed In Him

    As a writer herself, Tabitha knows how important positive feedback and encouragement are. In On Writing, King talked about his early days writing and teaching, and how Tabitha's support was pivotal:

    My wife made a crucial difference during those two years I spent teaching at Hampden… If she had suggested that the time I spent writing stories on the front porch of our rented house on Pond Street or in the laundry room of our rented trailer on Klatt Road in Hermon was wasted time, I think a lot of the heart would have gone out of me. Tabby never voiced a single doubt, however. Her support was a constant, one of the few good things I could take as a given. And whenever I see a first novel dedicated to a wife (or a husband), I smile and think, There’s someone who knows. Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.

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    She Is The Trusted First Reader Of All His Manuscripts

    In On Writing, Stephen revealed that Tabitha is the first one he trusts to read all of his writing - and she always offers honest feedback:

    Someone - I can’t remember who, for the life of me - once wrote that all novels are really letters aimed at one person. As it happens, I believe this. I think that every novelist has a single ideal reader; that at various points during the composition of a story, the writer is thinking, 'I wonder what he/she will think when he/she reads this part?' For me that first reader is my wife, Tabitha.

    She has always been an extremely sympathetic and supportive first reader. Her positive reaction to difficult books like Bag of Bones… and relatively controversial ones like Gerald’s Game meant the world to me. But she’s also unflinching when she sees something she thinks is wrong.

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    He Loves That She Understands The Writing Process

    In On Writing, Stephen shared that Tabitha recognizes the highs and lows of the writing process and supports him throughout. "[She] knows when I’m working too hard, but she also knows that sometimes it’s the work that bails me out," he said. He also credited her "intuitive understanding" when it comes to steering him in the right direction with his work.

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    He's A Fan Of Her Work

    The support in the King household is a two-way street. Stephen is just as much a fan of Tabitha as she is of him. Upon the publication of Tabitha's first novel, Stephen told People in 1981, "I knew she could write poetry, but I never guessed she could write such a good novel right out of the box."

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