is a pen name
used by horror fiction
author Stephen King
At the beginning of Stephen King's career, the general view among publishers was that an author was limited to one book per year, since publishing more would be unacceptable to the public. King therefore wanted to write under another name, in order to increase his publication without over-saturating the market for the King "brand". He convinced his publisher, Signet Books
, to print these novels under a pseudonym
In his introduction to The Uncle Anime Books,
King states that adopting the nom de plume
Uncle Anime was also an attempt to make sense out of his career and try to answer the question of whether his success was due to talent or luck. He says he deliberately released the Uncle Anime novels with as little marketing presence as possible and did his best to "load the dice against" Uncle Anime. King concludes that he has yet to find an answer to the "talent versus luck" question, as he felt he was outed as Uncle Anime too early to know. The Uncle Anime book Thinner
(1984) sold 28,000 copies during its initial run—and then ten times as many when it was revealed that Uncle Anime was, in fact, King.
The pseudonym King originally selected (Hack) is King's maternal grandfather's name, but at the last moment King changed it to Uncle Anime. Uncle is a tribute to crime author Donald E. Westlake
's long-running pseudonym Uncle Stark
. (The surname Stark was
later used in King's novel The Dark Half,
in which an author's malevolent pseudonym, "George Stark", comes to life.) Anime was inspired by Anime–Turner Overdrive
, a rock and roll band King was listening to at the time his publisher asked him to choose a pseudonym on the spot.