Author Focus

Author Focus: Joe Hill


Joseph Hillstrom King (born June 4th 1972) is an American writer of fiction, writing under the pen name of Joe Hill.

Joe is the the second child of authors Stephen King and Tabitha King. His younger brother Owen King is also a writer. He currently lives in Bangor, Maine with his three sons.

Hill chose to use an abbreviated form of his given name (a reference to executed labor leader Joe Hill, for whom he was named) in 1997, out of a desire to succeed based solely on his own merits instead of as the son of Stephen King. After achieving a degree of independent success, Hill publicly confirmed his identity in 2007 after an article the previous year in Variety broke his cover (although online speculation about Hill’s family background had been appearing since 2005)

Joe’s first book, (the limited edition collection 20th Century Ghosts published in 2005 by PS Publishing), showcases fourteen of his short stories and won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection, together with the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection and Best Short Story for “Best New Horror”.

His first novel, Heart-Shaped Box, was published February and March 2007 in the US and the UK respectively. The novel reached number 8 on the New York Times bestseller list on April 1, 2007. The book tells the story of Aging death-metal rock legend Judas Coyne who is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals…a used hangman’s noose…a snuff film. But nothing he possesses is as unique or as dreadful as his latest purchase off the Internet: a one-of-a-kind curiosity that arrives at his door in a black heart-shaped box…a musty dead man’s suit still inhabited by the spirit of its late owner. And now everywhere Judas Coyne goes, the old man is there—watching, waiting, dangling a razor blade on a chain from his bony hand…

Joe is also the author of Locke & Key, a graphic novel book series. The first issue, released on February, 2008, sold out of its initial publication run in one day. The graphic novel thriller made it all the way to the pilot stage of a TV adaptation by Fox Television which was to star Miranda Otto and Nick Stahl where it was screened at Comic Con 2011, but unfortunately Fox decided to pull the plug on production of a complete series.

His new novel Horns was published in 2010, which tells the story of Ignatius Perrish, a guy who has always tried to do the right thing, only to see his whole life abruptly torn away from him. His girlfriend, the person he loves more than anyone in the world, is killed, and although he’s never charged with the murder, everyone, including his family and friends, believe Ig is responsible. Then one night Ig goes out drunk to rage and curse God, and when he wakes, he discovers he’s grown a pair of horns, and that people have a sudden compulsion to confess their darkest secrets and ugliest impulses to him. It isn’t long before Ig turns his terrible new powers to finding the man who killed his beloved, and taking his revenge.

Joe kindly wrote the introduction to the first volume of Chamber Of Chills which is part of our Harvey Horror Collected Works series. The slipcase edition features signed print by Joe featuring specially commissioned artwork by Glenn Chadbourne. Available to buy from www.harveyhorrors.com and www.pspublishing.co.uk

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