James Patterson has cancelled the publication of his new book The Murder of Stephen King, after learning of real-life threats made against the horror writer.
The story focuses on a stalker, who distresses King by re-enacting terrifying moments from his novels, The Guardian reports.
The novel, which features “all of Stephen King’s greatest villains, rolled into one”, won’t be published as Patterson does not want to cause King and his family “any discomfort”.
The Murder of Stephen King was due to be published in November, but the release will no longer go ahead, after Patterson learned that “fans of Stephen King have disrupted the King household in the past”.
A description of the book read: “Stephen King is facing a nightmare. A stalker is re-enacting the horrors from his novels. And he won’t stop until he kills the master of suspense himself – unless King puts him out of his Misery first.”
Patterson released a statement explaining his decision, saying: “My book is a positive portrayal of a fictional character, and – spoiler alert – the main character is not actually murdered.”
“I do not want to cause Stephen King or his family any discomfort.”
“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 is best known for his Alex Cross series of novels, which focus on the work of a fictional psychologist.
The author doesn’t have the best relationship with King, after the Shawshank Redemption writer described him as “a terrible writer” in 2009.