Stephen King, the bestselling American horror writer, announced today that he will publish a sequel to one of his most popular novels, The Shining.
The long-awaited sequel, titled Doctor Sleep, follows the story of Danny Torrance, the young boy who survived the horrific events in the Overlook Hotel.
The 64 year-old multi-award winning author announced on his official website today that it will be published on September 24 next year, 36 years after the original was published.
Tonight fans took to the internet to express their delight at the prospect of the new novel, which follows Danny into adulthood.
It centre around him as a hospice worker who helps his patients die painlessly while also fighting a group of psychic vampires.
Now a middle-aged man and aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep” who meets a “very special 12-year-old girl” he must “save from a tribe of murderous paranormals”.
The Shining was King’s third novel and has sold more than a million copies since it was first published in 1977.
One of King’s most loved works, it was adapted into a Hollywood film three years later, which was produced and directed by the late Stanley Kubrick and starred Jack Nicholson.
The Shining told the story of the Torrance family, who moved to the Overlook Hotel in the Colorado mountains, where father Jack is to act as caretaker over a long winter.
Jack Torrance, a writer who was played by Nicholson in the film, then becomes possessed by the evil spirits in the hotel and attacks his family.
But the young Danny, whose psychic abilities strengthened the hotel’s ghosts, eventually manages to escape with his mother Wendy.
King disclosed the sequel will take up the story when Dan is middle-aged after “drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence”.
The book opens with him settling in a New Hampshire town and taking a job at a nursing home where his “shining” power helps him comfort the dying.
Known by the local people as “Doctor Sleep”, Dan comes into contact with Abra Stone, a 12-year-old who has “the brightest shining ever seen”.
He also “runs afoul of a gang of wandering psychic vampires who feed on people’s energy”.
A spokesman for King’s British UK publisher, Hodder and Stoughton, last night said Doctor Sleep would return to the “characters and territory” of the original novel.
“This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon,” he added.
Tonight fans posted on the official King website and Twitter to express their excitement at the news.
King, who lives in Maine with his author wife Tabitha, has written more than 50 novels, which have sold at least 350 million copies and is worth an estimated £250 million.
Many of the father-of three’s works have been adapted into films or television movies.