National Writers Series Hosts Its First Horror Author

The National Writers Series, a pre-eminent year-round book festival, is proud to announce the October 10 appearance of Joe Hill, the oldest son of legendary author Stephen King (Tabitha, his mom, and his brother are also authors). But wanting his writing to be judged on its own merit, Hill decided in 1997 to publish under a new name he created for himself by abbreviating his real name, Joe Hillstrom King.

In 2007, the media revealed that the long-running rumors of the father-son connection were indeed true (and the physical similarity between the two men left no one in doubt!). But by that time, Hill had won a slew of awards and hit #8 on the New York Times bestseller list with his first novel, Heart-Shaped Box.

Hill’s books dwell within the murky, psychological swamp of good versus evil. In fact, nothing is as it seems in the stories collected in Strange Weather,Hill’s newest New York Times bestseller, which he’ll talk about at his event. Populated by the likes of a skydiver, a Silicon Valley teen, and a Florida mall cop, the settings seem normal enough, but “normal” morphs into the strange and launches readers into the throes of the supernatural.

Hill has earned a slew of awards including the Bram Stoker Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the Eisner Award for Best Writer for the comic series Locke & Key, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. Time Magazine alluded him as the “best horror writer of our generation. ”All of Hill’s novels have been optioned for the big screen, and reviewers predict the same is in store for Strange Weather.

Guest host Loren Estleman is a legend himself. He has written hundreds of articles and short stories and nearly 80 books, including the Valentino and Amos Walker P.I. series. An authority on both criminal history and the American West, Estleman has been called the most critically acclaimed author of his generation, receiving 22 national writing awards in all.

Doors open for the event at 6 pm with live music, Morsels and a cash bar. The event starts at 7 pm, with a book signing following after the talk. Tickets are on sale now. Call the City Opera House at 231-941-8082, ext. 201, go to, or buy at the Box Office.

Proceeds from the event help support our youth programs, including college scholarships, Battle of the Books, poetry workshops at Blair and Traverse Heights elementary schools, and Front Street Writers, a collaborative effort with TBA-ISD to offer a magnet creative writing program for high school students in the five-county area.

The Writers Series of Traverse City (NWS) is a nonprofit dedicated to holding great conversations with today’s best authors and building the writing and reading skills of youth. NWS believes in the power of storytelling to enrich and transform lives and whole communities.  NWS is made possible by our generous donors, as well as our major sponsors Cordia and West Shore Bank. Terry and Wayne Lobdell are our generous event sponsors. We are also supported by grantors Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Each NWS event is taped and broadcast to a wide and enthusiastic audience by Land Information Access Association’s Community Media Center and Interlochen Public Radio, which also produces the show for distribution to NPR affiliates WDET and WKAR.

For more information on the National Writers Series, please visit, contact NWS Executive Director Anne Stanton, or call the National Writers Series at (231) 486-6868.