Stephen King used his $400,000 book advance from 'Carrie' to help his dying mom retire
Stephen Kingtold CBS that he used his advance from " Carrie" to help his mother retire.
- He said she was in "excruciating pain" from cancer "by that point."
- "Carrie" was King's first published novel and remains one of his most popular written works.
Stephen King said he used a
"The hardcover advance was small, but the paperback advance just bowled us over. It was, like, $400,000 in 1974. It was a huge amount of money," King told host Jane Pauley.
"My brother and I talked a little bit about it and we went to the Pineland facility where she worked," the author continued. "But she was stoned, totally stoned on over-the-counter medication. She was in excruciating pain by that point."
King added: "My brother and I said, 'Mom, you're done. There's enough to take care of you now because the book sold for a lot of money, and you can go home.' And she just put her hands over her face and cried."
According to King's website, he found out about the paperback advance from his new editor at Doubleday on Mother's Day in 1973.
"Carrie," published in 1974, remains one of King's most popular novels and was made into a movie directed by Brian de Palma two years later.
"Carrie" was remade for the big screen two more times and adapted into a musical that Playbill called "one of the most expensive flops in Broadway history." Collider also reported in December 2019 that FX was developing a "Carrie" limited series, though it's unclear whether that's still moving forward or has since been scrapped.
King's own mother, he said, was always encouraging his talents as a writer, even at a young age.
"My mother gave me room to be what I wanted to be," King told Pauley about Nellie. "She didn't laugh about the ambition to write stories."
Nellie died of cancer in late 1973 at the age of 59, according to King's website.
King is one of the most prolific authors in the horror genre
Clearly, Nellie's encouragement of King's literary talent worked. King has written over 200 short stories, novella, and novels since 1974 and at least a third of those have been adapted into movies and TV shows.
His latest adaptation, "Lisey's Story," executive produced by J.J. Abrams and starring Julianne Moore, is airing on Apple TV Plus.
Adapted from the 2006 King novel of the same name, the show tells the story of Lisey Landon (played by Moore), a widow sorting out the estate of her novelist late husband Scott (played by Clive Owen) while dealing with complicated memories of their marriage.
Abrams spoke warmly about working with King in May while promoting the series at a press junket.
"He's obviously such a brilliant and insanely prolific artist, but he's also just one of the loveliest, funniest, and sweetest people," Abrams told Insider about King.
"Obviously they say, 'Don't meet your heroes,' but, in the case of Stephen King, I suggest, you know, meet him if you can," he added.
New episodes of "Lisey's Story" premiere every Friday on Apple TV Plus.
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