Best-selling author ("Misery," "Carrie," "The Dark Tower," "The Green Mile")
Fame & Fortune Q&A:
Bankrate: How did you make ends meet before you were successful?
Stephen King: I can remember coming home one day -- I was working two jobs, teaching school and working in the summer in the New Franklin laundry to make ends meet -- and having my wife say, "Give me your wallet." And I gave her my wallet. And at this time -- this was the early 1970s -- everybody was giving out credit cards, you didn't need to apply or anything, they just sent their plastic everywhere, and she took the gasoline credit cards and she had these shears and she cut them all up. And I said, but we're paying our bills, and she said, "No, we're paying the interest. We can't afford to anymore. We've got to pay as we go." She understood.
We also had the phone taken out. When I got the news that "Carrie" had sold, I was teaching school and I had a message to come to the office and call the next-door neighbor, your wife has a message for you. And I knew I had either sold the book or one of the kids had fallen down and broken an arm. We just couldn't afford to pay the bill at the same time because we had to try to stay on top of those damn interest charges. We were right on the edge.
Understand how much of the credit card bill is interest charges.