Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maine at Orono in 1970, he became a teacher. His spare time was spent writing short stories and novels. King's first novel would never have been published if not for his wife. She removed the first few chapters from the garbage after King had thrown them away in frustration. Three months later, he received a $2,500 advance from Doubleday Publishing for the book that went on to sell a modest 13,000 hardcover copies. That book, Carrie, was about a girl with telekinetic powers who is tormented by bullies at school. She uses her power, in turn, to torment and eventually destroy her mean-spirited classmates. When United Artists released the film version in 1976, it was a critical and commercial success. The paperback version of the book, released after the movie, went on to sell more than two-and-a-half million copies. Many of King's other horror novels have been adapted into movies, including The Shining, Firestarter, Pet Semetary, Cujo, Misery, The Stand, and The Tommyknockers. Under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King has written the books The Running Man, The Regulators, Thinner, The Long Walk, Roadwork, and Rage. King is one of the world's most successful writers, with more than 100 million copies of his works in print. Many of his books have been translated into foreign languages, and he writes new books at a rate of about one per year. In 2003, he received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 2012 his title, The Wind Through the Keyhole made The New York Times Best Seller List. King's title's Mr. Mercedes and Revival made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2014.
Robert Jordan was born James Oliver Rigney Jr. on October 17, 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina. He received a B.S. in physics from The Citadel in 1974. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the U.S. Army and won The Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry. From 1974 to 1978, he worked for the U.S. Civil Service as a nuclear engineer. During the 1980's, he began writing several novels for the Conan the Barbarian series that was created in the 1930's by Robert E. Howard. He also wrote under many pseudonyms, which include the historical novels The Fallon Blood (1980), The Fallon Pride (1981) and The Fallon Legacy (1982) as Reagan O'Neal; and the western Cheyenne Riders (1982) as Jackson O'Reilly. He wrote articles for periodicals for the Library Journal, Fantasy Review and Science Fiction Review as Chang Lung. He was the author of the Wheel of Time series and The Towers of Midnight. He died on September 16, 2007 following a battle with cardiac amyloidosis. Jordan was cremated and his ashes buried in the churchyard of St. James Church in Goose Creek, outside Charleston.
Orson Scott Byron Walley Card, was born in 1951 and studied theater at Brigham Young University. He received his B.A. in 1975 and his M.A. in English in 1981. He wrote plays during that time, including Stone Tables (1973) and the musical, Father, Mother, Mother and Mom (1974). A Mormon, Scott served a two-year mission in Brazil before starting work as a journalist in Utah. He also designed games at Lucas Film Games, 1989-92. He is best known for his science fiction novels, including the popular Ender series. Well known titles include A Planet Called Treason (1979), Treasure Box (1996), and Heartfire (1998). He has also written the guide called How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy (1990). His novel Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead, both won Hugo and Nebula awards, making Card the only author to win both prizes in consecutive years. His titles Shadows in Flight, Ruins and Ender's Game made The New York Times Best Seller List. He is also the author of The First Formic War Series, which includes the titles Earth Unaware, Earth Afire, and Earth Awakens.
Writer Terry Goodkind was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1949. As a child, he had trouble reading and writing because he suffered from a form of dyslexia. It wasn't until high school that a composition teacher recognized his writing talent. Before becoming a writer, he worked as a carpenter, violin-maker, hypnotherapist, wildlife artist and restorer of rare artifacts. In 1983, he and his wife Jeri moved to Maine, bought land and began building their home, themselves. Goodkind's first novel, "Wizards First Rule" (1994), took a year for him to write and had a record-breaking debut. It became an international bestseller and won the praise of many writers in the fantasy genre. The sequels "Stone of Tears" (1995) and "Blood of the Fold" (1996) experienced equal success. His fourth book, "Temple of the Winds" was published in 1997.