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All stories relating to Stephen King

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How Emily Schultz’s Joyland became victim of mistaken literary identity

Joyland is the name of Emily Schultz’s 2006 debut novel and the online literary magazine of which she is co-publisher. It also happens to be the name of a Stephen King novel that was released this summer.

According to a post on Joyland Magazine’s Tumblr, there has been a recent spike in Schultz’s ebook sales on Amazon, most likely from King fans eager to get their hands on a digital version of the print-only book. However, the increase has also been accompanied by some negative reviews from readers confused by Schultz’s 1980s coming-of-age story.

Keeping a sense of humour about the situation, Joyland Magazine posted commentary about some of their favourite reviews, which are available here, but they’re also hoping to clear up the misunderstanding before Schultz’s latest novel, The Blondes, is released in the U.S. next fall.

While this is clearly a case of mistaken literary identity, the same can’t be said for the ingenious scam artist who was selling his review of King’s book on Kindle for $2.99, until it was removed from the online store.


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IFOA to release new block of Stephen King tickets

If you missed grabbing tickets to Stephen King’s sold-out appearance at the PEN Canada benefit on Oct. 24, you’re in luck.

IFOA announced today that a second block of tickets will go on sale Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.

King will be joined onstage by his son, debut novelist Owen King. Toronto author Andrew Pyper will moderate the discussion.

Tickets are $100 and can be purchased from the Harbourfront Centre Box Office (416–973–4000) or online at


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Stephen King and son to headline IFOA

This year’s International Festival of Authors will open with an appearance from one of the world’s most prolific and well-known authors.

Stephen King is scheduled to headline PEN Canada’s annual benefit on Oct. 24 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.

This is the only Canadian appearance for King, who will be in town promoting his new novel, Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. He will be joined onstage by his son, Owen King, in a discussion about the writing life. Owen’s debut novel, Double Feature, explores the relationship between a young filmmaker and his B-movie actor father. The event will be moderated by mystery writer Louise Penny.

Tickets are $100 with all proceeds going to PEN Canada. Advance tickets will be available to PEN and IFOA patrons at 1 p.m. today through the Harbourfront Centre Box Office. Tickets for the public will be available April 18 at 1 p.m.

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Book links roundup: Hard Case Crime acquires new Stephen King novel, Kensal Rise Library raided, and more

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Book links round-up: scathing reviews, foggy plot lines, and more

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Stephen King takes on the Kennedy assassination

For over 40 years, Stephen King has been chronicling America’s fears and collective nightmares. In his new book, he is set to take on one of the most nightmarish incidents in 20th-century American history. According to King’s website, his new novel, 11/22/63, is about Jake Epping, an English teacher in Maine who gets a chance to travel back in time and perhaps prevent the assassination of JFK.

From King’s site:

Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane – and insanely possible – mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life – a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

Alternative histories are nothing new: Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America imagines a world in which Charles Lindbergh is elected president and embarks on a campaign of appeasement toward Hitler’s Nazi government, and Robert Harris’s Fatherland is a thriller set in the years after the Nazis won the Second World War. Still, the Kennedy assassination remains an open wound in the American psyche; King is either very brave to choose this as the focus of his new novel, or else very foolish.

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Daily book biz round-up: say yes to NaNoWriMo; Tea Partiers write kids’ book; and more

Today’s book news:


“I’ll have a venti mochaccino and an award-winning book, please.”

In his memoir On Writing, Stephen King advises aspiring writers to avoid writing in coffee shops. Canadian novelist Corey Redekop, by contrast, admits that “the majority of [his] writing occurs in coffee shops.” There is undoubtedly a certain clichéd mystique surrounding writers who find inspiration along with a strong cup of Joe at their local java joint; now there’s even a prize for books written in coffee shops.

Yesterday, the Toronto Star published an article about the first annual Coffee Shop Author contest, which recently announced its inaugural winners. The contest winner is Mississauga resident Ranjini George Philip. Second and third place went to Theresa Wouters of Grande Prairie, Alberta, and Ron Stewart of Komoka, Ontario, respectively.

The brainchild of Calgary resident Susan Toy and Oolichan Books owner Randal Macnair, the contest asked writers to register with the Coffee Shop Author website, secure the endorsement of a local coffee establishment, “then pledge to write the bulk of a novel, short story collection, poetry collection or a work of creative non-fiction at the coffee shop between November 2009 and April 2010.” Entrants paid a fee of $30 and the first-place winner receives a spot at the Fernie Writers Conference in Fernie, British Columbia.

From the Star:

Forty-two Canadians entered the online contest, promising to write most of their submissions — poetry, novels, teen fiction — in coffee shops. A few bent the rules and created in local libraries, and in one case, in rural Saskatchewan, an ice cream parlour.

Writing is a lonely pursuit and has always driven writers out of their houses to find companionship — or distraction or inspiration — in public places.

“I’ve been a coffee shop writer for a long time,” says Philip, 46, who taught at Zayed University in Dubai before coming to Canada with her husband and two children three years ago.

“There’s a lot of solitude and I find I work better when there is a buzz of noise around me.”

According to the Star, the contest’s popularity has convinced Toy to expand next year’s contest beyond Canada. It would appear that there are a significant number of writers out there willing to ignore Stephen King’s advice.

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Daily book biz round-up: evil mobsters, filthy librarians, and more

Your assortment of book news tidbits:

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Event photos: Joe Hill grabs life by the horns

On March 22, Joe Hill launched his new supernatural thriller Horns, while (naturally) wearing light-up devil horns at an event hosted by Toronto sci-fi bookstore BAKKA-Phoenix and the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy. In 2007, to prove that he could make it on his own, the author sold his first novel, Heart-Shaped Box, without revealing to his publisher that he is the son of horror royalty Stephen King. The move certainly paid off, as that debut won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. (Photo by David McDonald)

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