James Patterson’s plans to put an iconic author at the center of one of his high-stakes thrillers have been scrubbed.
The Alex Cross creator announced Thursday that his upcoming novel The Murder of Stephen King would no longer be published. “My book is a positive portrayal of a fictional character, and, spoiler alert, the main character is not actually murdered,” said Patterson in a statement. “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.”
Patterson, according to the press release, also pulled the book, co-written by Derek Nikitas, because fans had visited King’s home without his permission. King has not spoken publicly on those incidents or on the announcement of the novel’s original release.
Patterson debuted the novel in June, along with the BookShots publishing imprint, to serve as his own fan fiction honoring the Carrie author. According to a statement from Patterson’s website, the prolific horror author was not involved in the writing of the novel. “I’m a Stephen King fan, but Stephen King did not participate in the making of this novel, nor is he affiliated in any way,” said Patterson. “I hope he likes it.”
Replacing the fictional mystery’s release will be Taking the Titanic, hitting shelves in November.