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Sample Autograph Signature: Stephen King

World's bestselling author and the most financially successful horror novelist in history. Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, ME in 1947. His father, a merchant seaman, deserted the family in 1950. He spent some of his childhood in Fort Wayne, IN and in Stratford, CT, but his mother returned to Durham, Maine in 1958 where members of her family provided a house and financial support so she could assume the care of her elderly parents. Upon their passing, his mother supported King and his adopted older brother working in the kitchen of a local residential facility for the mentally challenged. He began writing at age 9 after an aunt offered to pay him a quarter for each story he wrote. When he was 13, he discovered a box of books stored in an aunt's attic which had belong to his father, most of which were science fiction and horror. King devoured the books and the die was cast. His father had also briefly tried writing short stories for magazines, but was met with rejection. His son, however, met with better success even after his aunt ceased her patronage by selling stories to school friends. The stories were copied using the mimeograph with which his brother published Dave's Rag, a newspaper about local events, and to which King often contributed. By 16, he had completed a science-fiction novel titled The Aftermath which has never been published. After graduating from Lisbon Falls High School in 1966, he entered the University of Maine at Orono where he wrote a weekly column for the school's newspaper and served as a member of the Student Senate. His first published story, The Glass Floor, appeared in Startling Mystery Stories magazine in 1967. King continued to write short stories and to work on novels after graduating from the University of Maine in 1970 with a B.A. in English, but supported himself as a laborer and occasionally selling short stories to men's magazines. He married his wife, Tabitha, in January 1971 and secured a position teaching English at Hampden Academy, in the fall of 1971. Doubleday & Co gave him an advanced on his first novel, Carrie, which he submitted after his wife rescued it from the trash. In May 1973, he learned that Doubleday had sold the rights to reprint Carrie to New American Library for $400,000 of which he would receive half. Released in the spring of 1974, King was now able to pursue writing full-time. The same year he completed Salem's Lot (1975) which established his reputation as a major horror writer. The Kings moved to Colorado in the fall of 1974 where he wrote The Shining (1977), and then returned to Maine in the summer of 1975 to write The Stand (1978). King has written over 40 novels & novellas, 6 collections of short shorts, and several non-fiction works. Six of his novels were penned as Richard Bachman, and two were co-authored with Peter Straub. He has also written in the non-horror genre. Many of his novels have been adapted for films and TV. He received The National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2003.

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