NEW YORK — James Patterson has decided that an upcoming novel, “The Murder of Stephen King,” wasn’t a good idea after all and is having the scheduled Nov. 1 publication withdrawn.
In a statement released Thursday through Little, Brown and Company, Patterson said he didn’t want to cause King or his family “any discomfort.” The book was intended as a tribute to King, a King-like story of an obsessed fan out to get the writer. But Patterson, who co-authored the 150-page novel with Derek Nikitas, said he had learned that fans in real life had “disrupted” King’s home.
“My book is a positive portrayal of a fictional character, and, spoiler alert, the main character is not actually murdered,” he said. “Nevertheless, I do not want to cause Stephen King or his family any discomfort. Out of respect for them, I have decided not to publish ‘The Murder of Stephen King.'”
Despite the jarring title and Patterson’s best-seller status, the novel ranked just No. 30,491 on Amazon.com as of midday Thursday. King had no involvement with the book and declined to comment last week when asked about it by The Associated Press.
Patterson told the AP last week that he and King don’t know each other, although there is some public history between them. In a 2009 interview with USA Weekend, King said Patterson was “a terrible writer but he’s very successful.” Patterson, speaking to the AP, shrugged off the remarks as “hyperbole.”
The novel about King was a featured work in the prolific Patterson’s BookShots series of brief, inexpensive fiction. As a replacement, he will be releasing the novel “Taking the Titanic” in November.