Whether it is just another family business or a genetic disposition, another member of the royal family of the written word is ready to put his talent on display. Mother Tabitha has checked in with eight novels. Brother Joseph has written two novels with a third one due out later this year. The patriarch of the family has written 50 novels, several short story collections, and helped adapt many of his works into movies and television series. The royal family of writing is the King family: Stephen King, Tabitha King, and Joe Hill. Tomorrow, March 19, the youngest member of the family, Owen King, will join in the family business with the release of his first novel: “Double feature.”
Scribner has released the following synopsis for “Double feature:”
"Sam Dolan is a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and aftermath of making his first film. He has a difficult relationship with his father, B-movie actor Booth Dolan – a boisterous, opinionated, lying lothario whose screen legacy falls somewhere between cult hero and pathetic. Allie, Sam’s dearly departed mother, was a woman whose only fault in Sam’s eyes was her eternal affection for his father. . . . “Double Feature” is about letting go of everything – regret, resentment, dignity, moving pictures, the dead – and taking it again from the top. . . ."
OK, so your father is one of the best-selling writers ever and your first novel is about the relationship between a son that is following in the footsteps of his celebrity father. That just begs the question. . . .
And the answer is no. Owen King says he knows that people are going to try to read into his relationship with his father through the story and that there is no comparison. In fact, he states that he has nothing in common with Sam Dolan and that the same is true for his father and Booth Dolan.
The other question that will leap into the minds of readers is if this book signals the arrival of a new master of horror. While it may disappoint some fans, horror just is not Owen’s thing. In fact, Owen had no reservations about using his given name due to the fact that his writing is nothing like his father’s. Owen’s brother, Joseph Hillstrom King, published short stories under the name Joe Hill before acknowledging that he was Stephen King’s son. He still published under that pen name and writes in the horror genre like his father.
If the advance praise for “Double feature” is an indicator, it looks like there is a new King on the block. And to keep the family competition stokes, “Double feature” will be followed just over a month later by Joe Hill’s third novel, “NOS4A2,” on April 30 which will then be followed by Stephen King’s novel “Joyland” on June 4. The kings are making a family business of writing and business is good. That is good news for the readers, too.