Author James Patterson has scrapped the publication of a new novel titled The Murder of Stephen King because he does not want to cause “discomfort” to King.
The book is about a fictional obsessed fan hunting down King, the author of Misery, The Shining and Carrie.
But Patterson said he had learned in the run-up to the planned November publication that fans had “disrupted” King’s home in real life.
King has had nothing to do with the novel, Patterson has stressed.
Before deciding to scrap the book, he wrote on his website: “I’m a Stephen King fan, but Stephen King did not participate in the making of this novel, nor is he affiliated with it in any way. I hope he likes it.”
‘Out of respect’
However, in a statement released by his publisher on Thursday, Patterson – who co-wrote the book with Derek Nikitas – said: “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.”
King declined to comment on the book when asked about it last week by the Associated Press.
Patterson, ranked as the world’s highest-earning author for the last three years, told the news agency the pair do not know each other.
In 2009, King called Patterson a successful yet “terrible” writer. Crime writer Patterson described that remark as “hyperbole” when speaking to AP.
Patterson is releasing the novel Taking the Titanic instead of the planned King book.