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Joe Hill On His New Book ‘NOS4A2

Author Talks About Horror, Comics And What Scares Him

Above: Author Joe Hill.

Aired 5/20/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Beth Accomando, KPBS Arts Reporter
Joe Hill, Author of "NOS4A2"


Horror writer Joe Hill's new novel, "NOS4A2," came out April 30. He came to San Diego last Tuesday for a book signing at Mysterious Galaxy that went late into the evening as nearly 100 fans waited to meet the author.

In a sense, Joe Hill was born into horror. His dad is famed horror novelist Stephen King, and at age 9, Hill appeared in the 1982 film "Creepshow," which was written by his father and directed by horror icon George A. Romero. When Hill decided to pursue a writing career, he changed his name to distance himself from his famous father and to see if he could succeed on his own. His break came writing a Spider-Man story for Marvel Comics.

Credit: William Morrow

Joe Hill's new novel, "NOS4A2."

Hill is the author of two novels, "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Horns," a collection of short stories called "20th Century Ghosts" and the comic book series, "Locke & Key" for the San Diego-based company IDW Publishing. His new novel is "NOS4A2" or "Nosferatu."

It's a story about Charles Manx, a man who has a way with children. He picks them up and takes them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate of NOS4A2. Hill describes it as being about "a wicked man whose car runs on human souls instead of gasoline." Once Manx has sucked the life force of his victims, he leaves them at a bizarre amusement park called Christmasland. Exclusive to the print editions of "NOS4A2" are illustrations by award-winning "Locke & Key" artist Gabriel Rodríguez.

The feedback and reviews have been favorable.

“Quite simply the best horror writer of our generation, Joe Hill’s masterful storytelling is on full display in 'NOS4A2.' It is by turns terrifying and hilarious, horrifying and full of heart, and relentlessly compelling," from Michael Koryta, "New York Times" bestselling author.

“'NOS4A2' is a brilliant exploration of classic and modern monsters and dark fantasies, all cut up, restitched and retooled ... With this novel, riveting from beginning to end, Joe Hill has become a master of his craft," from "Publishers Weekly."

Hill's second novel, "Horns," is currently being adapted to the screen by Alexander Aja, and stars Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple.

Here's a cover from an issue of Hill's "Locke & Key."

Credit: IDW Publishing

"Locke & Key"

And a description of the "Head Key."

Credit: IDW Publishing

The Head Key from "Locke & Key."

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Avatar for user 'olsentm'

olsentm | May 20, 2013 at 12:52 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Ok, really, he didn't need to do that reading during the lunch hour. That was disgusting.

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Avatar for user 'jimiangst'

jimiangst | May 21, 2013 at 7:23 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Just listened to your Joe Hill NOS$A2 piece.

Brilliant interview Beth, and nice production too. KPBS is lucky to have you on staff.

In as far as not liking the content of a passage during one's lunch hour: I suppose it is asking too much to just reach over and change the station. I do it all the time because as a listener - I am in control of what I listen to...

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | May 21, 2013 at 8:56 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the feedback.

olsentm- sorry the interview disturbed your lunch but I think Hill is an important writer who speaks articulately about horror and why we need it.

jimiangst- glad you enjoyed the interview and appreciate the kind of coverage I like to do.

Comments -- both positive and negative-- are always appreciated!

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | May 21, 2013 at 12:39 p.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

Disgusting?? No way, it whet my appetite! Now I can eat my dry unappealing sandwich I made last night.

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Avatar for user 'Beth Accomando'

Beth Accomando, KPBS Staff | May 22, 2013 at 10:22 a.m. ― 3 years, 10 months ago

:) Thanks JeanMarc.

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