Writer whose book shares title with Stephen King novel rakes in royalties

At first, she got terrible reviews on Amazon. But Emily Schultz felt better when she got more money, too

Published June 18, 2014 7:38PM (EDT)

Stephen King           (AP/Mark Lennihan)
Stephen King (AP/Mark Lennihan)

Eight years ago, when Canadian writer Emily Schultz published her first novel, "Joyland," she could not have anticipated that it would garner attention not for its literary merit, but for its future ties to bestselling author Stephen King. Several Amazon customers, looking for King's 2013 novel, found Schultz's e-book instead (King's "Joyland" was only recently released via e-book). Without ever realizing the work they were reading wasn't by King, they left some nasty reviews about how un-King-like the book was. Schultz's book was doomed to be eclipsed by the thriller writer, possibly forever.

But this week, Schultz discovered a silver lining: royalties! As she writes in her new Tumblr, "Spending The Stephen King Money," the delayed benefits from those sales are piling in:

"Apparently there were a lot of confused readers as this week I got a—for me—big royalty check for those mistaken books. I'm not so upset anymore. Sure, it's more a pleasant surprise than a fortune, and I'm stuck with those reviews, but I thought a blog detailing how we're spending the Stephen King money would be a nice way to end this funny and strange story."

Her blog chronicles the purchases she's made with her new play money, courtesy of the famous writer. Some of Schultz's purchases include the self-titled St. Vincent album ($9.99), a haircut for her boyfriend ($42), a deductible on bumper repair ($200), Patricia Lockwood's "Motherland, Fatherland, Homelandsexuals" and William Friedkin's "The Friedkin Connection" ($32.95) and dinner at a fancy Indian restaurant ($146.94).

"Would Stephen King like it?" she wonders about each purchase. "King probably still remembers how long writers can push it between haircuts," she writes. And perhaps he's been to Junoon -- it's "in a publishing neighborhood so it’s quite possible he’s been there. Also, what sane person wouldn’t like deep fried paneer?"

King's next book, "Revival," will be out in 2014 -- but before any authors of similarly titled books get excited, this edition is due out in Kindle on the same date.

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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