PROTECTION, Kan. (KSNW) — A small Kansas town is enjoying a little taste of fame thanks to author Stephen King. The author who wrote classics like “Carrie,” “Misery,” The Green Mile,” and “The Shining” has a new book that mentions Protection, Kansas.
King’s latest thriller, “Billy Summers,” is already a New York Times bestseller. Summers is a killer for hire who wants out of the business. But there is one last hit that takes him through the tiny town of about 500 people.
“Halfway through the book or so, here popped up that this guy had stopped at Don’s Place in Protection,” said Don Dellinger, owner of the real Don’s Place in Protection. “They thought that was so cool.”
The mention is on page 333 in the book. Dellinger opened Don’s Place with his wife in 1973. He has a theory about how King happened to mention his business.
“He must have looked at the map the way he was making his route in his book, and he went from McCallister to here to Quinter, and he just happened to see Don’s Place or something.”
Dellinger says King probably did not actually travel to Protection.
“He couldn’t have. If he did, he’d have said more than hamburgers and corn dogs.”
Dellinger thinks King probably just Googled Protection.
“I popped up, and here I am,” he said.
Dellinger has never been an avid King reader, but he heard about this book, so he had to buy it.
“The ladies were there at this Barnes and Noble, and I said the reason I was buying this book is somewhere in this book is mentioned this stopping in Protection, Kansas at Don’s Place, and I said, ‘That’s me.'”
It has only been a few weeks since the novel has been available, and already Dellinger is seeing a spike in business.
“There were people in yesterday. There was people in here eating last night. I didn’t see who they were at first. They wanted to know what page it was on in the book. I said, ‘Well, it’s 333.’ And so they wanted to know about it. And there were some strangers came through, and they had seen it on Facebook.”
KSN reached out to King’s people, but we have not heard back yet.