28 Things You Didn't Know About Stephen King

As anyone who has read a Stephen King book could tell you, the author is a fascinating guy. He's one of the most prolific and successful novelists in modern publishing, having penned bestsellers like Carrie, The Shining, It, The Dark Tower, and The Stand, among many, many others. His books have been adapted more than any other popular writer's. His name is a brand, his output is a whole industry.

But who is Stephen King? What does he enjoy when he's not writing? Who else in his family is an author? What was the deal with that horrible accident that nearly killed him? What literary work is he himself a fan of? This isn't exactly a Stephen King biography, but it is a collection of the coolest trivia facts about the man, the myth, the legend who has also been called Richard Bachman.

So take a break from reading one of his 50+ novels and learn a bit about the man himself. These are the some of the most fascinating facts you didn't know about the master of horror, Stephen King.

  • He Struggled with Substance Abuse

    He Struggled with Substance Abuse
    Video: YouTube

    Stephen King credits writing with saving his life. It's his addiction,  but unfortunately there was a time he had other addictions which almost took his life. Back in the '80s, he was addicted to cocaine and beer. Decades into his sobriety, being struck by a car led to a painkiller addiction, which he also overcame.

    Without writing, he said, ''Oh, I'd be dead. I would have drunk myself to death or drugged myself to death or committed suicide or some goddamn thing.''
  • He's Also Published Books Under a Pen Name

    He's Also Published Books Under a Pen Name
    Photo: Mr.Lujan / flickr / CC-BY-ND 2.0
    Chafing at the publishing industry's belief that an author should only release one book annually, King began writing additional novels under the pen name Richard Bachman, which he kept secret for years, until a bookstore cashier figured out the ruse. Naturally, King gave his imaginary self quite the backstory and then killed him off with "cancer of the pseudonym, a rare form of schizonomia"
  • King Plays Guitar in a Rock Band of Writers

    King Plays Guitar in a Rock Band of Writers
    Photo: Nancy Dowd / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    When you think of novelists, you don't typically thing of rock bands. But with Stephen King you really should: he's in the Rock Bottom Remainders, a band comprised almost entirely of authors. Other members of the rotating band have included Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Mitch Albom, Greg Lies, Matt Groening, and more.

    They even released an e-book together, Hard Listening: The Greatest Rock Band Ever (of Authors) Tells All.

  • His Retirement Was Short-Lived

    His Retirement Was Short-Lived
    Photo: Time Warner
    Didn't you hear? Stephen King quit writing. It was all over the news! In 2002, he publicly announced his retirement, saying he wanted to go out on a high note and explaining, "Then you have a choice. You can either continue to go on, or say 'I left when I was still on top of my game."