Like father like son

stephen and owen king.jpg
Stephen and Owen King promoting Sleeping Beauties

It was announced a few days ago, (at the time of writing this) that a new Stephen King book, Sleeping Beauties, will be coming out in September (which is always good news for me). What makes this novel different is that he’ll be co-writing it with his son, Owen King.

This isn’t the first time Stephen King has teamed-up with one of his sons on a writing project; in 2012, he co-wrote an e-book only short story with his older son, Joe Hill. The story was titled, “In the Tall Grass” and was as morbidly grotesque as it was terrifying. But even before that, in 2009, they teamed up to write a novella called “Throttle” which later got turned into a comic published by IDW.

Throttle via Dread Central article about the book

Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m a HUGE, Stephen King fanboy. I’ve read most of his catalog and only have a few of his newer books left to read to be completely caught up on his work. I could probably go on for days about Stephen King and his work, but I’ll save that for another article.

Owen King on the other hand, I have yet to read any of his work. So, this collaboration really has me interested—not only to see Owen’s style as a writer, but also how his style compares with his fathers. I’ve heard Owen’s style is much different than Joe or Stephens, so this should be a lot of fun.

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King family picture via 2013 New York Times article on the family

Since I wasn’t familiar with Owen’s work, I decided to do some research on him to see what kind of writing he does. It turns out he’s had a fair amount more published work than I’d initially thought; mainly in the way of short stories published in various literary magazines.

Some of his other work includes:

  • (2005) We’re All in This Together: a novella that tells the story of George, a teenage son of a single mother and the only grandson of a family of union organizers in Maine. Henry the grandfather is obsessed with the outcome of the 2000 election.
  • (2008) Who Can Save Us Now: a short story collection featuring 22 writers giving their take on the superhero genre. Not only does Owen King have a short story in the collection, he’s also an editor as well.
  • (2013) Double Feature: filmmaker Sam Dolan is a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and the aftermath of making his first film debut.
  • (20150 Intro to Alien Invasion: a graphic novel co-written with Mark Jude Poirier and illustrated by Nancy Ahn. when an alien invasion hits Fenton College Campus during spring break, a group of students must try and save the college from the invading force.
  • While I haven’t read any of these yet, they seem like some pretty cool concepts and interesting stories. And I’ll be sure to check them out before this new book comes out. Speaking of, one good thing about Sleeping Beauties not coming out until September, is it gives me some time to go read Owen King’s past work.
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Owen King via NY Daily News article on his novel, “Double Feature”

I’m looking forward to reading Sleeping Beauties and am very interested in seeing how well it sells. I can imagine people being a little hesitant about reading some of Owen’s standalone work, but I think teaming up with his dad will really help propel his writing career.

While Joe Hill wanted to distant himself from his father’s shadow and be his own writer, Owen doesn’t seem to mind being measured against his father’s work. He just seems to enjoy writing. Which makes this collaboration all the more interesting. Owen isn’t known for writing horror, so he should be able to really add a unique element to this book. So, mark it in your calendars: Sleeping Beauties on sale, September 26th.

Click here for a story synopsis and to read an excerpt from the book




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