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Happy Birthday, Stephen King

On September 21, 1947, Stephen King was born, going on to create books that became symbols within the world of horror and Halloween costumes.

Now known as one of the godfather’s of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy, King’s books have sold more than 350 million copies. In total, King has published 50 novels, with seven penned under the name Richard Bachman, and five non-fiction books.

In addition, he has written about two hundred short stories, many gathered in nine collections of short fiction. One would be hard-pressed to find someone who has never heard of Stephen King.

Still, even with so many stories already published, King shows no sign of slowing down. The man lives, breathes, and loves writing horror novels, and now is as good as any time to look at what one can expect from King’s future.

Stephen King’s sequel to his horror novel The Shining is to be released on 24 September 2013, 36 years after the original was published, states BBC. The new novel, titled Doctor Sleep, follows Danny Torrance, the young boy in The Shining, who has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence.

After settling into a New Hampshire town, where he uses his shining power to comfort the dying, Torrance meets Abra Stone, a 12-year-old who has the brightest shining ever seen. One can assume that things spiral out of control from there, as often is the case with King’s novels.

But that’s not all for 2013: King is also releasing a second novel, one that follows his love for paperback crime novels read during his childhood. The novel is titled Joyland, and it hits markets three months earlier, in June, than Doctor Sleep.

As stated on Shelf Life, Joyland takes place in a small-town North Carolina amusement park, where college student Devin Jones arrives at the park to work as a carny for the summer, but he ends up experiencing much more than he bargained for when he confronts the legacy of a vicious murder and the fate of a dying child.

I love crime, I love mysteries and I love ghosts, said Stephen King, in a press release. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.

If any other author denied e-publishing, their sales would tank. But this is Stephen King, the master of modern literary horror, and this kind of move only adds to his appeal.

Happy birthday, Stephen King.

Stephen King Donates Aide for Maine’s Winter Heating Costs

International horror author and part-time Maine resident Stephen King has created a donation opportunity which would benefit Maine’s elderly and underprivileged residents. In collaboration with the three Bangor, Maine, radio stations, King announced over the airwaves that his goal was to raise $140,000 over the next few weeks.

Rather than ask for Maine residents to scratch up the $140,000 all by themselves, King is actually matching all of the profits donated to the cause. If Maine’s residents were to raise half of the total amount – $70,000 King would donate the rest.

The donation opportunity arose after federal funding cuts affected heating programs serving residents who are poor, disabled, or elderly. Rather than receiving the usual $55.6 million from the federal government, Maine only received $23 million.

This economy is terrible and Tabitha and I both worry so much about Bangor because it truly is a working-class town, King told Bangor Daily News. We are always looking for ways to help, and right now this is a great need.

As long as Maine’s residents open their wallets to their neighbors, even if it is only $1, Stephen and Tabitha King will help bring the donation home, literally.

Since Stephen King has helped inspire so many Halloween props and decorations, we wish him the best of luck with his charitable endeavor. (He may even see an anonymous donation from a certain Halloween superstore.)