Stephen King and Joe Hill: What’s in a Name?
It’s clear that everyone in the horror field, and many outside it, know that Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. I’m not here to break that particular scoop, though I might just have another, albeit less interesting, one.
At work the other day, I began daydreaming, which is not uncommon. I can’t remember my exact line of thoughts, but it brought me back to Joe Hill’s popular debut novel, Heart Shaped Box. I was reliving the book in my head when I changed gears and considered Hill’s interest in names.
In the book, he names the dogs after different rock stars, which makes sense because the main character is a rock star.
That’s when I thought, “Gee, if he put so much thought into character names, there must be some significance to the name he chose for himself: Hill.”
Now, I’m pretty darn lazy. I wasn’t about to go research the poor guy’s life to try and figure out where “Hill” comes into play. But, I did make an obvious connection, that most people probably realize on some level. Hill and King both have four letters.
Okay, big whoop.
Ah, but I haven’t finished yet. I took it one step further.
Now, there’s a little game I sometimes play when I write stories. I like to put little numerical clues and allusions into the text. I figure, as I do this, that no one will ever notice it. But then, who knows.
So, with this in mind, I present the following:
K = 11 I = 9 N = 14 G = 7
(11 + 9 + 14 + 7) = 41
H = 8 I = 9 L = 12 L = 12
(8 + 9 + 12 + 12) = 41
That’s right! If you take the numerical designation for each letter in both names, they each add up to 41.
Did Joe Hill do this on purpose, as a way to honor his father and family name? Maybe…but only one person knows for sure.
I can’t imagine it’s a coincidence, but I guess there’s a chance it is. Either way, it’s a nice bit a trivia, and as far as I can tell, I was the first to figure it out. But again (as if I really need to say it) I’m pretty lazy and did absolutely no research…so I could be wrong.