Horror writer and son of Stephen King talks about inheriting the family business (I wonder if he’s going to fire the old staff and start clean?)
At first, he avoided the genre his father made his own. Last year, Hill landed a publishing deal. This spring, as his debut novel, the horror story Heart-Shaped Box, received rave reviews and climbed the bestseller lists, Variety blew his cover.
“The thing is, I didn’t want to have special consideration,” says Hill, between mouthfuls of chicken wings and beer.
He talks about his last unpublished book: a “huge, slobbering, 900-page” tome called “The Fear Tree”, a “domestic fantasy”, part Tolkien, part John Irving. When it was rejected by publishers in North America and Britain, he felt that his instincts to conceal his identity were correct.
“I didn’t want someone to publish my book because of who my dad was or what my last name was. And in that sense I feel like getting turned down was actually a case of my pen name doing its job.
‘Cause a lot of people said they kinda liked ‘The Fear Tree’ but it wasn’t quite good enough. And I think it was important to have something that was better than just ‘pretty good’. To write a story that people wanted to publish because they just thought it was a great story.”