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June 3, 2013

King novel based on Canobie Lake Park

Salem attraction likes attention, even if geography's off


Dorr took photographs of the inside of the Mine of Lost Souls attraction because King wanted to write about the experience of taking a traditional, haunted “dark ride,” Nicoli said.

Since “Joyland” takes place at a fictional amusement park in North Carolina, even local avid King fans wouldn’t realize his book is based on Canobie unless they heard the radio interview.

But Nicoli said King researched Canobie’s website and used its park map for his novel, part of Titan Publishing Group’s Hard Case Crime series.

“I look forward to reading his book,” Nicoli said.

Novelist Charles Ardai, a co-founder and editor of the Hard Case Crime series, said he hadn’t even heard of the Canobie connection until he listened to the interview.

“Joyland” is the second book King has written for the 9-year-old series. It was preceded by King’s 2005 thriller, “The Colorado Kid,” which became a national bestseller and inspired the television series “Haven,” Ardai said.

King volunteered to write for the series after being asked to put together a short publicity promo, he said.

“It was by far our best seller,” Ardai said. “It put us on the map. No one tops Stephen King.”

The King book and radio interview isn’t the first time Canobie has been under the national spotlight.

Over the years, the park has also been used a model for video games, Nicoli said.

And last year, Canobie was used for the filming of the movie “Labor Day” starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.

About 200 members of a Hollywood film crew took over the park for a six-hour period in August, filming scenes before the park opened for the day.

“We are very proud of the park and that it’s inspiring others’ creativity,” Nicoli said.

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