After a decades-long reign as master of the spine-tingler, Stephen King discusses his decision to stop publishing -- an excerpt from Entertainment Weekly's Sept. 27, 2002, cover story

By Chris Nashawaty
Updated September 20, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

The van that slammed into Stephen King on a rural Maine road on June 19, 1999, not only shattered his right leg to powder but broke his hip and four ribs, chipped his spine in eight places, and collapsed one of his lungs. He should be dead. In fact, he and his wife have a nickname for his postaccident life: ”The Bonus Round.” All things considered, though, he says he feels fine. And frankly, he’s bored hearing himself talk about it. Just like he’s bored hearing himself talk about a lot of things, including his shocking decision to call it quits and stop publishing. ”I’ve killed enough of the world’s trees” is all he’ll say at first.