Early in his writing career, horror master Stephen King decided to publish a few novels under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. But after the fifth Bachman book was released, the jig was up. The author of "Thinner" was actually Stephen King, the literary world discovered, and the revelation catapulted the book up the best-seller list [source: Neihart]. When King's younger son, Joseph, began peddling his first horror novel, "Heart-Shaped Box," to publishers, he took a cue from his dad and went with a pen name as well. But like history repeating itself, it didn't take long for folks to deduce the real identity of Joe Hill.
Interviews with Joe Hill trace and retrace his desire to establish a writing reputation outside of his father's vast shadow, but it's a familial burden he doesn't seem to begrudge. In 2012, King and Hill announced a collaboration on a graphic novel series, "Road Rage," which will follow the adventures of an outlaw motorcycle gang [source: Truitt and Memmott]. It doesn't look like Joe Hill has any plans to abandon his pseudonym and go back to Joseph Hill King, though. After all, that's the name that's grappled up the best seller list. Like father, like son.