Best-selling horror author Stephen King was mistaken for a book vandal in Australia after signing copies of his own novel.

The writer was autographing his latest book, Lisey's Story, in an Alice Springs bookshop when customers thought he was randomly scribbling over some of the texts.

However, after shop workers realised it was the esteemed literary giant, they followed him to a supermarket and thanked him for signing the copies.

Bev Ellis, the bookshop manager, was quoted by ABC as saying: "As the owner of a bookshop, when you see someone writing in one of your books you get a bit toey

"So we immediately ran to the books and lo-and-behold here was the signature in several books.

"So I went over and introduced myself ... He was lovely, very nice, charming."

Ms Ellis added that had she had known the author was in town she would have "baked a cake".

A customer bought one of the signed copies, but the bookshop plans to donate the remaining books to a charity.

King is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including The Shining, Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Carrie, Misery, It and Thinner.

16/08/2007 13:00:24