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The Murder of Stephen King: James Patterson scraps book 'out of respect' for the esteemed author

King once called Patterson 'a terrible writer'

Jack Shepherd
Sunday 25 September 2016 09:33 BST
Authors Stephen King and James Patterson
Authors Stephen King and James Patterson (Getty)

During a now infamous interview in 2009, Stephen King referred to fellow author James Patterson as "a terrible writer,” later admitting “he's very successful”.

Despite this, the Alex Cross writer responded by praising, telling Wall Street Journal: “He's taken shots at me for years. It's fine, but my approach is to do the opposite with him—to heap praise."

However, the rift didn’t end there; four years later and Patterson co-authored a novel called The Murder of Stephen King, the story of a psychotic fan re-enacting the murders from King’s book with the goal of eventually killing King himself.

With just weeks until the book’s release, Patterson has suddenly realised the book may not be such a good idea after all.

Having learnt that fans had “disrupted” King’s home in real life, Patterson issued a statement on the novels withdrawal, reading: "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."

Before the release, Patterson 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.”

King has yet to comment on the book’s withdrawal while Patterson announced that his next book, Taking the Titanic, will take The Murder of Stephen King’s release spot on 1 November.

Meanwhile, King’s novella Hearts of the Sea has been announced to be receiving an on-screen adaptation.

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