Joe Hill: King, in a way

National Post | Arts

It’s one thing to write in the shadow of one’s famous father, another if that shadow looms over an entire genre of fiction. So when Joe Hillstrom King set out to publish his horror stories, he adopted the pen name Joe Hill. For 10 years or so, it worked, but by 2007, when his debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box, came out, his secret identity had been exposed: His “uncanny” resemblance to Stephen King was, in fact, entirely plausible. And yet, he continued to evade any literary connection with his father — until now.

“At a certain point,” Hill recalls, on the phone from his New Hampshire home, “I started to think, ‘Hmm, it would be kind of fun to play with some of this stuff instead of ducking it — to confront it.’” His new book, NOS4A2 (HarperCollins), is a 700-page romp set mostly in King’s favourite haunt, New England…

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