Breakthrough Hit: Stephen King had only published two books by that point, but the film's runaway success brought him millions of new readers.
Creator Backlash: Before he finished writing, Stephen King threw the entire manuscript in the trash, disappointed with how it was turning out. His wife Tabitha read it, loved it, and pushed for him to continue writing. The rest is history. He still regards the book as one of his weaker efforts, without the polish of his later novels, comparing it to "a cookie baked by a first grader — tasty enough, but kind of lumpy and burned on the bottom." According to his own account, he had originally been challenged to write something with which women could identify. He wrote the shower scene, didn't like it and threw it out; his wife, who had trouble with her periods, rescued it. The shower scene was what amazed every woman at Doubleday. Harlan Ellison said:
" that opening sequence in which the telekinetic, Carrie White, gets her first menstrual experience before the eyes of a covey of teenage shrikes, and more than the light bulb in the locker room exploded. Xeroxes of the manuscript were run off; they were disseminated widely in-house; women editors passed them on to female secretaries, who took them home and gave them to their friends. That first scene bit hard It was Jungian archetype goosed with ten million volts of emotional power. It was the commonly-shared horrible memory of half the population, reinterpreted."
Write Who You Know: In the introduction he wrote for more recent editions of the novel, Stephen King stated that he based the title character on two girls he knew growing up, both of whom died before the age of thirty. One, who he refers to as "Tina" to protect her identity, was the inspiration for Carrie's relentless teasing and bullying, while the other, "Sandra", inspired her religious fanatic mother and isolation from the rest of society.
Keep Circulating the Tapes: The original musical adaptation had an extremely short run and for the longest time was never heard from again. Miraculously, a small handful of bootleg recordings of the production were made and managed to survive long enough to be put onto the internet. It wasn't until the recent revival in 2012 that an official soundtrack recording was made available.