Hill, Joe 1972- (Joseph Hillstrom King)

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Hill, Joe 1972- (Joseph Hillstrom King)

PERSONAL:

Born 1972; son of Stephen (an author) and Tabitha King; married.

ADDRESSES:

Home—New England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Bram Stoker Award, British Fantasy Award, and International Horror Guild Award, all for 20th Century Ghosts; World Fantasy Award, 2006, for "Voluntary Committal."

WRITINGS:

20th Century Ghosts, PS Publishing (Hornsea, England), 2007.

Heart-Shaped Box, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Joe Hill wrote and published short fiction for nearly ten years under relative anonymity, earning two Bram Stoker Awards for his work. It was not until his first book (a collection of short stories under the title 20th Century Ghosts) was published that Hill's connection to literary celebrity was publicized: His father is horror novelist Stephen King. In promotional interviews for Hill's debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box, he was hesitant to discuss his relationship with King, preferring that his works stand on their own. In an interview with Bethanne Patrick in Publishers Weekly, however, Hill commented: "No question, my Dad, and my Dad's work, and my Dad's mentoring have been the biggest influence on me, by far."

The central character in Heart-Shaped Box is an aging rock star named Judas who has amassed an extensive collection of the macabre. His most recent purchase—a ghost sold on an online auction site—turns out to be more than just a curiosity when it becomes intent on seeking deadly revenge for a mistake from Judas's past. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked that the novel has a "a fast-paced plot that crackles with expertly planted surprises and revelations," further describing it as a "truly memorable debut." Library Journal contributor Karl G. Siewert commented: "Predictable at times, the book has genuinely touching emotional moments as well as action-packed confrontations with the dead." Matthew L. Moffett wrote in a review for School Library Journal that "depth of character … lifts what could otherwise be a formula supernatural thriller to an impressive debut."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Library Journal, December 1, 2006, Karl G. Siewert, review of Heart-Shaped Box, p. 111.

Publishers Weekly, December 4, 2006, Bethanne Patrick, "Family Resemblance: What Happens When You're a First-Time Novelist Determined to Make It on Your Own—But Your Father Is a Superstar?," p. 24; December 11, 2006, review of Heart-Shaped Box, p. 50.

School Library Journal, March, 2007, Matthew L. Moffett, review of Heart-Shaped Box, p. 243.

ONLINE

Joe Hill Home Page,http://www.joehillfiction.com (September 7, 2007).