Horror author Joe Hill introduces his new novel, NOS4R2
The writer also touches on working with Daniel Radcliffe and being Stephen King's son
The latest novel from author Joe Hill is a full throttle horror story. In NOS4R2, a serial killer prowls both real and imaginary worlds in his Silver Wraith Rolls Royce, abducting children for a hundred year reign of terror. The killer takes his captives to Christmasland, a dark subversion of everything that is festive. ‘A lot of successful horror works on the juxtaposition of the innocent and harmless with the utterly terrifying,’ says Hill. ‘If you are walking by an old abandoned house and you can hear “Jingles Bells” coming from inside and it’s the middle of summer – that’s not right. There’s something very wrong about that.’
This is Hill’s third novel, alongside his continued work in the comics world, creating Locke & Key and The Cape. His 2010 novel Horns is currently being adapted for the big screen, directed by Alexandre Aja (Switchblade Romance/The Hills Have Eyes) with Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role. ‘I had the chance to be on set and watch him work for a couple of days and I was blown away. I think he’s wonderful for the part. There’s something fascinating about watching Harry Potter struggle not to give in to temptation.’
Of course we can’t ignore the elephant in the room, especially considering his chosen genre, and we have to mention that Hill is Stephen King’s son. ‘My dad is an influence on my work every time I sit down at the computer.’ Hill wanted to prove himself as a writer, and never wanted to cash in on his father’s fame. It wasn’t until 2007, after he’d already had a collection of short stories and his first novel Heart-Shaped Box published, that Variety confirmed Hill’s lineage. ‘I was afraid if I wrote as Joseph King someone might be tempted to publish a mediocre piece of work because they saw a chance to make a quick buck from that last name. Then the internet got me almost as soon as my first book came out. I did a couple of appearances to promote it and people were like “hey don’t you think he looks like … ?”’
Joe Hill appears at Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 31 May. NOS4R2 is available now from Gollancz.