Here's a really nice article about a famous writer's son who achieved literary success on his own, practicing his craft for years, suffering the rejections that come with the territory, even changing his name in order not to use it for advantage -- because he understood that it would hurt him as a writer to do so. I admire this young man, and I'm eager to read his book.The first linked article is about Joe Hill, who hid his identity as the son of Stephen King until after his book "Heart-Shaped Box" was published and received great reviews. Give credit to Joe and to Stephen too.
But who's to say what people do from force of character and what they do out of inherited personality traits?
Like his father, Hill married young, has three kids and lives in an isolated part of New England. Also like his father, he shows his manuscripts to his wife. “A lot of people marry their moms,” he said. “I kind of married my dad. I’ll go from the manuscript I gave her and the manuscript I gave him and go back and forth, and it’s the same comments.” (Hill’s wife, Leanora, and King are so in sync that she reads King’s drafts too.)
Hill is even more protective of his privacy than his father was for much of his career. (King didn’t have Google Maps and other online search devices to contend with.) Though Hill’s fallback demeanor is congenital niceness, he wouldn’t even consider an interview in his hometown and cut off any questions about his children. Hill is certainly no stranger to aggressive fans. When he was 12, he found a six-pack-toting ex-convict at the front door. “I just got out of Thomaston Prison,” Hill remembered the man saying, “and I just wanted to tell you that your dad’s books are the only things that kept me from killing someone in there.” Here, Hill made a sound effect to suggest that at that moment his head exploded, cartoon-style. “My memory is that my dad went outside and had a beer with the guy.” But, he added, “there have been people who have broken into the house. You get into a little bit of a defensive crouch.”
Hill did concede this much: He lives in a remote part of New Hampshire, not Maine, where he grew up. And he works at home. In his office, Hill keeps files full of letters that mark his long literary apprenticeship. Rejection. Rejection. Rejection. He could have had it another way.