Owen King Opens Up About New Novel

What if one day, the women of the world didn’t wake up?

That question was posed by author Owen King at his book signing hosted by Barner Books at the Roost Studios on Thursday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. 

Owen brought this question to his father, Stephen King, and they began writing a collaborative novel based on the concept. 

“I thought to myself, ‘what would happen if all the women in the world just never woke up?’ And I realized, ‘well, that’d be fucking horrible.’ So I called my dad and told him we had to write this book,” Owen said to the packed room. 

“Sleeping Beauties” is the joint novel that came out of this idea and hit shelves on Sept. 26. Since Owen is a New Paltz local, Barner Books reached out to him to ask if he’d do a reading in town.

“Owen King lives in New Paltz, and when we learned that he collaborated on this book with Stephen, we asked him if he’d be willing to do a reading,” said owner of Barner Books, David Friedman. 

In the spirit of collaboration, Barner Books teamed up with the Roost Studios, being that they had a great space for it, and they agreed to hold the book signing there. 

“One of the very nice things about New Paltz is that businesses get along with each other,” Friedman said. “We knew that Roost Studios had beautiful space and we simply worked with them, and Owen, on the date and time for the event, which worked well.” 

Owen’s novel is set in a small Appalachian town and revolves around the premise that when women go to sleep, they enter a cocoon and cannot be disturbed or else they become feral. It started as a TV miniseries, but after the King duo wrote a few episodes they realized their brainchild had a bigger world than they originally thought and decided to transform it into a novel.

“In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place,” said Owen-King.com

Roost Studios was teeming with people, refreshments and art. About 80 guests settled down in chairs, stood along the back wall and even sat on the floor as Owen began to read excerpts from the novel. Tables were stacked with copies of the novel, as well as cookies, cakes, cheeses and coffee. 

“I’m so glad I attended” said second-year Sophia Panagatos. “It was cool to find out about his writing process and hear his personal stories. He was also really funny and less serious than I thought he would be.”

After the reading, Owen took a few questions about the novel, what it’s like working with his father and what kind of bedtime stories he must’ve heard as a child. 

“I know you’re all hoping my dad read me H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe growing up, but that’s not true,” he said. “In fact, we all took turns reading, so some nights I read to them.”

The novel “Sleeping Beauties” is available for purchase at Barner Books for $30.