James Patterson—author of/co-author of/brand name placed on the cover of 10 trillion books—wrote an entire novel called The Murder of Stephen King and didn't realize that it was a bad idea until now, five weeks before the Nov. 1 release. And he's canceled it.
The 150-page book, co-written with Derek Nikitas, features a King-novel-ish stalker trying to kill the Maine writer, while a protective detective named Jamie Peterson (no, seriously) works to stop the murder. On his official site, Patterson initially wrote, "I hope he likes it." Now he says in a statement:
“My book is a positive portrayal of a fictional character, and—spoiler alert—the main character is not actually murdered. 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.”
Nikitas said on Twitter, “I’m disappointed, yes, but what’s much more important to me is we do right by Stephen King."
Adding a layer of awkwardness to this, King publicly said in 2009, "James Patterson is a terrible writer but he's very very successful." To the AP this month, Patterson replied, "I know I'm not a terrible writer. That's a little over the top."
Make a spot-evaluation of your own, thanks to the AP's quote from an early copy of The Murder of Stephen King:
"But Steve King's pushing seventy these days, clean-shaven with backswept gray hair. He sits at the kitchen table, so engrossed in a book that his nose is practically touching the pages. His long upper lip gives him a harmless, almost rabbitlike appearance."
James Patterson has never met King but hears he's a "neat guy."
Next, watch actor/filmmaker Rider Strong (Cabin Fever, Boy and Girl Meets World) break down his five favorite horror movies for Fuse: