James Patterson has decided his upcoming novel, The Murder Of Stephen King, wasn't a good idea after all and is having the scheduled publication withdrawn.
In a statement released through Little, Brown and Company, the author said he didn't want to cause Stephen or his family "any discomfort".
The book was intended as a tribute to Stephen, a King-like story of an obsessed fan out to get the writer.
But James, who co-authored the 150-page novel with Derek Nikitas, said he had learned that fans in real life had "disrupted" Stephen's home.
"My book is a positive portrayal of a fictional character, and, spoiler alert, the main character is not actually murdered," he said.
"Nevertheless, I do not want to cause Stephen King or his family any discomfort. Out of respect for them, I have decided not to publish 'The Murder Of Stephen King.'"
Despite the jarring title and James's best-seller status, the novel ranked at just number 30,491 on Amazon.com as of midday on Thursday. Stephen had no involvement with the book and declined to comment last week when asked about it.
Prepping for the Red Sox-Orioles game tonight! Photo courtesy of Rich Chizmar. You should subscribe to CEMETERY DANCE, his mag. pic.twitter.com/Ta9q2uWQek
-- Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 20, 2016
James said last week that he and Stephen don't know each other, although there is some public history between them. In a 2009 interview with USA Weekend, Stephen said James was "a terrible writer but he's very successful" - remarks James shrugged off as "hyperbole".
The novel about Stephen was a featured work in James's BookShots series of brief, inexpensive fiction. As a replacement, he will be releasing the novel Taking The Titanic in November.