James Patterson Cancels Controversial Book About Killing Stephen King

To avoid discomfort for the legendary horror writer and his family, James Patterson has canceled The Murder of Stephen King . The fictional story about a King superfan who wants to murder and replace the bestselling novelist was scheduled for release on Nov. 1. Less than two weeks after it was first announced, however, The Murder of Stephen King has been called off, and will be replaced by Taking the Titanic, which Patterson co-wrote with Scott Slaven.

Although The Murder of Stephen King is fictional, the unhinged superfans are not. King's home in Bangor, Maine is a popular and accessible tourist destination for book nerds. Not everyone just wants to snap a few candid photos of their favorite writer*, however. Some "fans" have other things in mind.

In 1991, 26-year-old Erik Keene broke into King's house in Bangor, Maine and threatened his wife, author Tabitha King, with a fake bomb. Keene alleged that King had based the plot of Misery on the story of his aunt. He was sentenced to two years in prison, which were suspended, and law enforcement sent Keene back to his home in Texas, where he was wanted for violating parole.

Misery, by the way, deals with a murderous nurse who rescues her favorite writer from a car wreck, locks him away in her home, cuts off his foot, forces him to write a new book just for her, and plans to kill him once it is complete.

Another King novel, Lisey's Story, tells the story of a writer's widow who finds herself stalked by one of her late husband's fans.

And so, Patterson has canceled The Murder of Stephen King , probably to avoid inspiring actual events. Though this all begs the question: why couldn't Patterson have just written his book about a fictional author in the first place?

*This is a very creepy and possibly illegal thing to do. Please don't do it. None of us wants to be photographed when we check our mail, folks.