Stephen King’s first published novel, Carrie, hit bookshelves in 1974, and was a huge hit with horror readers. Here are 9 pieces of trivia about the book…
1) Not King’s first book
Although Carrie is famously the first Stephen King book to get published, it’s actually not the first novel he wrote. He’d already completed Rage, The Long Walk and Blaze. All three of these titles were later published under King’s pseudonym, Richard Bachman.
2) King’s wife fished Carrie out of the bin
Stephen wrote the first few pages of Carrie, but felt that he couldn’t get into the mindset of a teenage girl, so he threw them in the bin. His wife, Tabitha, picked them out, read them, and encouraged Stephen to keep on writing. She said she could help him with any information he needed about teenage girls.
3) King originally intended Carrie to be a short story
In the late 60s and early 70s, King had a lot of short stories published in gents magazines. He’d get a few hundred dollars for each story. When he started working on Carrie, he intended it to be a short work, which he’d submit to Cavalier magazine for a couple of hundred bucks.
4) Banned across the states
Throughout the 1990s, a lot of school libraries banned Carrie from its shelves on account of its dim view of religion (with Carrie’s mother being a cruel religious nut), its violence, and its underage physical relationships.
5) King got some inspiration from a LIFE article about telekinesis
The startling power Carrie White displays throughout the novel is telekinesis. King got interested in this topic after reading an article in LIFE magazine, about how poltergeist activity might actually be telekinesis.
6) King found out the book was getting published by telegram
In the 70s, King was working as a teacher at the local school, and his wife, Tabitha, did shifts at Dunkin Donuts. Raising young children in their trailer, they were strapped for cash. So much so, that they got rid of their phone to save on the bill. When Double Day decided to publish Carrie.
7) The Cinderella connection
The character of Carrie is actually fairly similar to Cinderella – the way the evil mother keeps her locked away. King realised this connection, too, and had actually intended to have Carrie leave one of her shoes behind at the prom.
8) Stephen King got a huge paycheck
Double Day gave King $2,500 as an advance on the book. But when they sold the paperback rights to New American Library for $400,000, they split the money with King – landing the author with a whopping $200,000 cheque – allowing him to move out of the trailer and into an apartment.
9) The movie rights
After hits like Rosemary’s Baby, the world was hungry for another horror movie, and filmmakers set their eyes on Carrie. King was given just $2,500 for the movie rights. The film had a budget of $1.8 million, and took over $30 million at the box office.
There you have it – 9 pieces of trivia about Carrie by Stephen King!
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