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Friday, August 17, 2007

Jakers II

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In 2010, fans of the author Stephen King received a tremendous shock in his farewell speech in Bangor, Maine. At the beginning of Stephen King's career, the general view among publishers was such that an author was limited to a book every year at the utmost; any more, it was felt, was not acceptable to the public. King therefore wanted to write under another name in order to double his production.
He convinced his publisher, Signet Books, to print these novels under a pseudonym. The originally selected pseudonym was Gus Pillsbury; but at the last moment King changed it to "Richard Bachman" in tribute to crime author Donald E. Westlake's long-running pseudonym Richard Stark. The name Stark was used in King's novel The Dark Half, a novel about an author with a pseudonym. The surname was in honour of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, a rock and roll band King was listening to at the time.

The foreword of each of King's books includes an open letter addressed to "Constant Reader". Fans had interpreted this as a personal message to themselves.

Not so. At the farewell speech, King revealed that all of the books had been written by his "Dark Half" Richard Bachman and addressed to his alter-ego Stephen King, who was the real Constant Reader.

~ entry by Steve Payne from Counter History in Context - You're the Judge!

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