Seven Stephen King facts for his 70th birthday

Seven Stephen King facts for his 70th birthday

Stephen King celebrates his 70th birthday on 21st September, a day his UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton is marking with a campaign called King for a Day.

King for a Day includes screenings of adaptations of King's books at the BFI and the very first author-based Twitter emoji - a typewriter dripping blood - that will appear automatically alongside the #KingforaDay hashtag 26th September.

Here are seven King facts - one for each decade of his life.

  1. 1

    Stephen King has sold 7.7 million books, worth £56.8m, through Nielsen BookScan's TCM in the UK since 1998; in his native US it's a whopping 31.5 million.

  2. 2

    In the US, 995 separate editions of his titles across fiction, non-fiction and "juvenile" have sold through the TCM.

  3. 3

    The film adaptation of It had the largest opening weekend for a horror film in the US, and is already the fifth-highest grossing R-rated horror film of all time. In the UK, the film is on track to become the biggest horror movie ever, earning £22.2m after 10 days in cinemas.

  4. 4

    King's son Joseph Hillstrom King writes under the pseudonym Joe Hill, and has sold nearly 700,000 books in the US. Owen King, his youngest son, has published several short stories and a novel, and has collaborated with his father on the soon-to-be-published Sleeping Beauties, about a women's prison. King's wife Tabitha is also a published author.

  5. 5

    King's 1977-published novel Rage, which he wrote while in high school about a student gunman who holds his algebra class hostage, was permanently removed from print by the author himself, after it appeared to inspire four real-life school shootings.

  6. 6

    Donald Trump blocked King on Twitter. King retaliated by "blocking" the US president from seeing "It" or "Mr Mercedes". "No clowns for you, Donald. Go float yourself," he tweeted.

  7. 7

    In the 1980s, King "pulled a Galbraith", writing several novels under the secret pen name Richard Bachman. After an intrepid bookseller figured out the connection, King announced Bachman’s "death" - from "cancer of pseudonym". Last year, he published children’s book Charlie the Choo-Choo under the pseudonym Beryl Evans, and contributed the title blurb under his own name: "If I was ever to write a children’s book, it would be just like this!"