Monday, February 12, 2007

Son of the King of Horror

Holey moley... although after seeing the photo, all I can say is it's like the whole "How could everyone look at Clark Kent and not know he's Superman?" thing. How could anyone look at the photo of Joe Hill that accompanies this USA Today article and not see Stephen King's son? However, those who were previously operating under this information could have easily been fooled (see image at right).

Wow, guys. He did it. He made it on his own and now the secret is unfurled. Click on this link to read the full article. Thanks to Tracy at Haunted Maine for tipping me off on this one.

Unwritten publishing secret out of the 'Box'
Posted 2/11/2007 10:53 PM ET
King of the hill: Joe Hill is getting good reviews for Heart-Shaped Box.
By Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY

NEW YORK — On meeting Joe Hill, it's easy to see the resemblance — in the eyes and thick eyebrows — between him and his father, the master of literary horror, Stephen King. For the first time since he began writing short stories a decade ago using a pen name, Hill is revealing his identity and discussing his biggest literary influence: his dad.

The occasion is the publication of Hill's debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box (William Morrow, $24.95), out Tuesday. It's a supernatural thriller with an avenging ghost and a fiftysomething heavy-metal musician whose hits include "Happy Little Lynch Mob." The rock star collects macabre items, and when he hears of a ghost for sale online, he buys it — or at least the dead man's suit.

Most reviews are good. The New York Times calls it "a wild, mesmerizing, perversely witty tale of horror."

The author's real name is Joseph Hillstrom King. But at 34, he says he never wanted to be introduced to agents, publishers or readers as "the son of Stephen King."
Heart-Shaped Box (the title of a Nirvana song) began as a short story, prompted by what Hill calls a "vigorous trade in occult and macabre items online." His interest was "not who's selling this stuff, but who's buying."
It's a mistake, Hill says, "to conflate an author's characters with the author himself." He describes a dream childhood in Bangor, Maine: "Both of my parents stuck around and stayed emotionally and intellectually involved with their kids, and I received a top-notch education, in spite of my efforts to sink straight to the bottom. I can't complain. If I do, someone please chuck a brick at me."
Variety broke the news that Hill was King's son in April, when the movie rights to Heart-Shaped Box were sold to Warner Bros. The article noted that when the deal was made, studio executives didn't know Hill had a famous father. Hill's agent and editor say they worked with him and admired his work before he told them who he was.

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