After some hard thinking, bestselling author James Patterson has come to the conclusion that publishing a thriller about the attempted killing of one of your authorial contemporaries maybe isn’t the best idea in the world. It presumably seems like a fantastic idea on first, second, and third thought. But eventually, it hits you that this is an actual living human who might not welcome the real-world horrors that could easily accompany such a “brilliant” concept. So, it is with a heavy heart that Patterson announced that his planned novel, The Murder Of Stephen King, will no longer be coming out, The Guardian reports.
The novel—which Patterson co-wrote with Derek Nikitas—concerns a Stephen King-like horror author named Stephen King, whose many fictional villains and atrocities are manifested in the real world by a psychopathic stalker with a taste for Stephen King’s blood. “My book is a positive portrayal of a fictional character, and—spoiler alert—the main character is not actually murdered,” Patterson explained 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.”
Also, it turns out the concept isn’t actually all that original. Believe it or not, Stephen King has in fact been pestered by not-totally-sane readers in the past. Why would a bestselling author who wrote a book about a crazy fan who torments a bestselling author attract any crazy fans?
The Murder Of Stephen King will be replaced by Taking The Titanic—the story of thieves aboard the legendary doomed ship—on the Bookshots publishing schedule. But don’t worry too much about Patterson. Considering the fact that he’s written more than 130 novels over the course of his career, this setback likely won’t break him. In fact, he’s probably written a new one since you started reading this article.