Born in New York, Richard Bachmanís early years are somewhat of a mystery.
As a young man, Bachman served a four-year stint in the Coast Guard, which he then followed with ten years in the merchant marine.
Bachman finally settled down in rural central New Hampshire, where he ran a medium-sized dairy farm. He did his writing at night (he suffered from chronic insomnia), after the cows came home.
Bachman and his wife, Claudia Inez Bachman, had one child, a boy, who died in an unfortunate, Stephen King-ish type accident at the age of six. He apparently fell through a well and drowned. In 1982, a brain tumor was discovered near the base of Bachmanís brain; tricky surgery removed it.
Bachman died suddenly in late 1985, of cancer of the pseudonym, a rare form of schizonomia.
At the time of his death, Bachman had published five novels:
Rage - 1977
The Long Walk - 1979
Roadwork - 1981
The Running Man - 1982
Thinner - 1984
The first four novels were published as paperbacks, but as Bachman had been gaining quite a constant readership, his last novel, Thinner, was published in hardcover and was well received by the critics.
At the time of his death, he was toying with an idea for a new novel, a rather gruesome suspense novel which would have been titled Misery, had he lived to write it. (Note: This title was later plagiarized by a well-known horror writer.)
Bachman fans received a bit of good news recently. In 1994, while preparing to move to a new house, the widow Bachman discovered a cardboard carton filled with manuscripts in the cellar. The carton contained a number of novels and stories, in varying degrees of completion. The most finished was a typescript of a novel entitled, The Regulators.
The widow took the manuscript to Bachmanís former editor, Charles Verrill, who found it compared well with Bachmanís earlier works. After only a few minor changes, and with the approval of the authorís widow (now Claudia Eschelman), The Regulators will be published posthumorously in September of 1996 by Dutton. As of this time, no other information has been forthcoming as to the possibility of the remaining unpublished cartonworks being published.
As a brief side note, Charles Verrill also happens to edit the works of Stephen King, a writer whose works have been compared to the late Richard Bachmanís. When asked his opinion of Bachman, King replied, "A nasty man....I'm glad that he's dead."