Wednesday, March 24, 2010

King of the Hill (part two)

As promised, here is the second part of Rosemary's post on Joe Hill and the King family.

Many people, even Stephen King fans, do not know about Tabitha King. She has been married to Stephen since 1972. They met when they both worked in at Fogler Library in 1969 (you never know who you are going to meet at libraries do you?) She has published over 8 novels, most of which take place in Nodd’s Ridge. Her latest work is Candles Burning, which she took over the writing of when her friend Michael McDowell died. This Southern Gothic horror novel is told from the point of view of Cally from age 7 until adulthood. Her father is murdered and Cally’s supernatural “gift” helps her try to solve this and other mysteries.

Owen King’s book We’re All in This Together is a collection of three short stories and a novella written with 21 other authors. OK is the only one of the family that does not seem to follow in SK’s footsteps by writing horror. OK seems to be more interested in the choices that people make in their everyday life. His contribution to this book includes a novella in which the character, Henry, becomes obsessed with the outcome of the 2000 election and his daughter’s fiancee voting for Bush.

Kelly Braffet, while not blood kin to SK, has married into the family through Owen. Her novel, Josie and Jack, explores the “birth” of a psychopath and makes the audience realize that they really may be the neighbourhood kids. In this novel Braffet explores that psychopathy may be a genetic trait inherited through many generations. Josie and Jack are siblings who spend time away from their abusive father by boozing and searching for drugs. After a battle with their father they end up in New York where Jack becomes Josie’s tormentor, protector and lover. Any reader can tell that this is not going to end well for anyone.

I must admit that I picked up Joe Hill’s graphic novel for one reason, I thought it was about H.P. Lovecraft. I was wrong. Locke & Key : welcome to Lovecraft is a wonderfully written story that involves murder, loss of innocence and ghosts. The oldest boy, Ty, feels responsible for his father’s murder. Kinsey, the middle child and daughter is trying to keep the family together. The youngest boy, Bode, is literally the key to the whole story. The novel works really well because of the graphics, story line and the characters are very believable. The reader is in for one helluva ride, when you open one door you never know who or what can be hiding behind it. Joe has his own blog at for those who are interested.

The only other member of this talented family is Naomi. NK is the only one who has not published and has chosen a life outside of the literary world. Surprise of all surprises is that she is a minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church. SK has made the world a scary place where Naomi may calm our spirits. So who knows-- we might have a book of sermons published in the future.

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