News From The Dead Zone #102

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

You can now watch the entire video from the C-SPAN 2 broadcast via their website and/or order the program on DVD.

The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta announced that production of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, with music by John Mellencamp and a book by horror master King, has been delayed because of “unanticipated scheduling problems which could not be resolved in time for the production.” Members of the creative team “realized the script would not be ready by spring 2009,” the statement said. The Alliance said it now hopes to produce the show during its 2009-2010 season.

News From The Dead Zone #101

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

If you missed last night’s airing on C-SPAN 2 of a Writing Discussion with Stephen, Tabitha, and Owen King, it will run again on Saturday, May 17, at 8:00 a.m. It’s worth catching, because he read from the first pages of the book he is currently working on, which sounds like a re-imagining of a failed novel from the 1980s called The Cannibals at one time and Under the Dome at another. The snippet he read had to do with a woman getting a flying lesson. A twenty-five year old quote from King about the novel: “I’ve gotten about four-hundred-and-fifty pages done and it is all about these people who are trapped in an apartment building.  Worst thing I could think of.  And I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if they all ended up eating each other?  It’s very, very bizarre because it’s all on one note.  And who knows whether it will be published or not.”

King was on the NPR program Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me yesterday playing a game called, “You’re the Warmest, Fluffiest, Most Unthreatening Friend Ever.” Three questions about nice things to ask the man who has scared us to our wits for decades.

Christian Slater and Wes Bentley have signed up to star in the adaptation of “Dolan’s Cadillac.” The thriller follows a young man (Bentley) who seeks to avenge his wife’s murder by the untouchable Las Vegas mobster Jimmy Dolan (Slater). Emmanuelle Vaugier rounds out the key cast on the project, which is scheduled to begin shooting in Saskatchewan and Quebec on May 14. Erik Canuel will direct from Richard Dooling’s adapted screenplay. (Dooling, as you may recall, was King’s collaborator on Kingdom Hospital)

News From The Dead Zone #100

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Stephen King, crime writer Tess Gerritsen and John Grisham will read at a fundraiser to support Maine Congressman Tom Allen’s campaign for the U.S. Senate on Saturday, June 7. There will be two events on that day, a Host Committee Cocktail Reception from 5:00-6:00 pm and the main event at 7:00 pm at the Bangor Auditorium. Tickets for one or both events are available here. There are some restrictions on who can buy tickets (non-resident aliens can’t, for example), so check out the full announcement here.

News From The Dead Zone #99

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

The debut entry Cemetery Dance’s MySpace blog is my report on The Three Kings event in Washington D.C. two weeks ago. There was also a nice write-up in The Washington Post.

Marvel announced Dark Tower: The End-World Almanac, which will be published on July 2. “Woe unto those who traverse beyond the cursed Borderlands into End-World! ‘Tis a twisted and desolate realm where it seems as if the world passed ages ago. From the blasted landscapes of Thunderclap to the frozen heights of Empathica, End-World shows no mercy to unwary young Gunslingers. In a world where information—and a bit of luck—is the key to survival, the End-World Almanac serves as your guide to the Badlands, Le Casse Roi Russe and beyond!”

Gunslinger Born and its artists received a total of four nominations in the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards: Best Limited Series, Best Penciller/Inker (Jae Lee), Best Cover Artist (Jae Lee) and Best Coloring (Richard Isanove). The results will be announced at an awards ceremony on Friday, July 25 at Comic-Con International.

“A Very Tight Place” will be in McSweeney’s #27, due out on May 1. Much of this 70+ page story takes place in a portable toilet at an abandoned construction site and is classic King. It is also the first King story I can recall that has a gay protagonist. You can get discounted issues at Amazon. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until Just After Midnight comes out this fall to read this great story. It’s not for the squeamish, though. Positively icky in places.

Mick Garris will direct Bag of Bones as a feature film, and executive-produce with Mark Sennett. The screenplay was written by Matt Venne. “What appeals to me about King in general and Bag of Bones in particular is how human it is,” Garris told Fangoria. “The recent King stuff is very adult and very passionate, which I really respond to. I just love the idea of doing a grown-up ghost story.”

Here are some reports about King’s appearance with Lauren Groff:

Recent Entertainment Weekly column: Videogame Lunacy.

News From The Dead Zone #98

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

The first published collaboration between Stephen King and Joe Hill, a novella entitled “Throttle” inspired by the classic Richard Matheson story Duel (and the equally classic adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg), will appear in the Gauntlet Press collection He Is Legend: Celebrating Richard Matheson, which was announced this morning and is now up for reservation pre-orders for a February 2009 limited edition release.

You can listen to King’s NPR interview from last week online here. The main news arising from the interview is that Marvel seems to be moving forward with plans to do a graphic novel adaptation of The Stand.

The Mist comes out on DVD tomorrow. Blockbuster has an online game where you fight off monsters as you escape from the supermarket. If you make it to the end you can see a snippet from an interview between King and Frank Darabont. Blockbuster is also giving out Mist globes at participating stores to people who purchase the DVD tomorrow. Here’s a neat little interview with Francis Sternhagen.

Note that the official title for King’s upcoming story collection from Scribner is Just After Sunset.

News From The Dead Zone #97

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

King will give a live interview to discuss the state of comics tied to the release of The Long Road Home on the NPR program Talk of The Nation this Wednesday, March 12th from 2:30-3:00 PM EST. “Marvel Publishing is grateful to Stephen for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk about The Dark Tower comic series and comic books as a whole,” says Ruwan Jayatilleke, Marvel Entertainment Vice President of Development. “We’re excited that this will offer a chance to introduce this phenomenal epic—and medium of entertainment—to NPR’s listeners as well as reward loyal Dark Tower fans with some highly entertaining radio!” To check local listings, visit http://www.npr.org.

News From The Dead Zone #96

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Today is the publication day for the first installment of The Long Road Home. Some comic shops opened at midnight, but most others should have the Marvel comic book on their shelves by this afternoon.

The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, King’s musical collaboration with John Mellencamp, will have its World Premiere at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta from April 15 – May 10, 2009 . “In 1957, in the tiny town of Lake Belle Reve, Mississippi, a terrible tragedy took the lives of two brothers and a beautiful young girl. During the next forty years, the events of that night became a local legend. But legend is often just another word for lie. Joe McCandless knows what really happened; he saw it all. The question is whether or not he can bring himself to tell the truth in order to save his own troubled sons, and whether the ghosts left behind by an act of violence will help him…or tear the McCandless family apart forever.” If the show does well in Atlanta, it will move on to Broadway.

Tickets for The Three Kings are showing up both at the Folger Theater web site and on eBay, so if you want to go and haven’t purchased a ticket yet, here’s another chance.

King will be introducing Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton, at a special event at 6:30 p.m. March 27 in Selby Auditorium at the University of South Florida, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets are $25, include a copy of Groff’s book, and are available at Sarasota News & Books, 1341 Main St. Whether King will be reading or interviewing the author has not yet been finalized.

All three parts of Lilja’s interview with King are now online at Lilja’s Library.

King’s most recent EW column is Your Movie and Concert Hall Hell. You may see a familiar name in it.

The first episode of a Bravo! Canada show called Books into Film will feature King’s works on March 6. “Series examining the adaptation of books into movies, using clips, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. This episode: Hollywood’s long-running fascination with this versatile writer, author of Carrie, The Shawshank Redemption, The Shining and Stand By Me. Bravo! Canada is also re-airing An Evening With Stephen King on March 27 and March 28.

News From The Dead Zone #95

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

The publication date for King’s upcoming short story collection Just Past Sunset (ISBN-10: 1-4165-8408-0) is November 11, 2008 in the US and UK. The book will have approximately 400 pages and has a cover price of $28.

Though the list hasn’t been finalized, here are the stories that are confirmed for the collection: The Gingerbread Girl, Harvey’s Dream, Rest Stop, Stationary Bike, The Things They Left Behind, Willa, Graduation Afternoon, N, The New York Times At Special Bargain Rates, Mute, Ayana, A Very Tight Place. One unnamed “bonus” story might be added to the list.  I’ve never heard of “N” before.

Look for a new three-part interview with King later this week at Lilja’s Library.

Bravo in Canada is airing the one-hour show An Evening With Stephen King on Thursday at 9 pm EST. “Recently honoured with the Canadian Booksellers Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, King is the first non-Canadian to receive the honour. BookTelevision’s cameras were there to record the historic evening. Authors Margaret Atwood and Clive Barker toast this literary legend, and pop culture writer and essayist Chuck Klosterman interviews King one-on-one. In his heartfelt acceptance speech, King pays tribute to many Canadian writers who have made an impact on his life.” The show does not appear on the US Bravo schedule.

News From The Dead Zone #94

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

The official title for King’s upcoming short story collection is Just Past Sunset. The publication date and story list are still being finalized but a fall 2008 date is a possibility.

King enlisted input from posters on his message board for one of his upcoming essays. He writes: “As you know, I do a column for Entertainment Weekly, and I had an idea for a column called My Worst Entertainment Experience. If you have stories about your absolute worst entertainment experience—anything from a guy who threw up in your lap at a movie to a concert where the lead singer passed out—let me know. Please limit your responses to 100 or so words. After all Ms. Mod and I have to wade our way through these things. In any case, thank you for your help! And if you never had a terrible entertainment experience…I hate you!” Though the thread is no longer accepting contributions, you can read the stories here.

McSweeney’s 27 will contain the new King short story “A Very Tight Place.” Visit the web site for ordering information (it should be out in May or June) and for a description of the issue’s unique presentation. “A Very Tight Place” was inspired by King’s vision of what would happen if someone was in a port-a-pottie when it fell over and blocked the door shut. “And immediately I’m thinking Poe, The Premature Burial, I’m thinking about all the buried alive stories that I’ve ever read, and I’m thinking, but I’ve never read a story about anyone trapped in a Porta-Pottie. And there are so many interesting things that you can do with people who are in tight places, people’s feelings of claustrophobia are easy to bring out.”

News From The Dead Zone #93

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

There’s a new interview in today’s USA Today: ‘Duma Key’ finds Stephen King stepping into his own life. The interactive graphic at the top is called Stephen King By the Numbers. “His next book will be a collection of short stories, but he and his publisher can’t agree on a title. He wants to call it Unnatural Acts of Human Intercourse, which ‘could be a tough sell in some markets.'”

The Mist will be released on DVD on March 25th. The two-disc version will contain the theatrical release along with the movie rendered into black and white, which was how Darabont originally envisioned filming the movie. Special features on the two-disc version include:

• Audio commentary by writer/director Frank Darabont
• Eight deleted scenes with optional commentary
• A Conversation With Stephen King and Frank Darabont featurette
• When Darkness Came: The Making of THE MIST featurette
• Taming the Beast: Shooting Scene 35 featurette
• Monsters Among Us: A Look at the Creature FX featurette
• The Horror of It All: The Visual FX of THE MIST featurette
• Drew Struzan: Appreciation of an Artist featurette

The single-disc presentation won’t have all the bonus features, nor will it have the B&W rendering.

Two more Duma Key reviews:

News From The Dead Zone #92

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Here is a new link directly to King’s appearance on Today. He is supposed to appear on the weekend edition of Today as well, probably on Saturday.

The Long Road Home #1, goes on-sale in stores at 12:01AM, March 5th, 2008 (at comic stores participating in the midnight launch). Otherwise the issue will hit shelves at your local comic and book stores during normal business hours. View the exclusive artwork preview at King’s official web site.

Burton Hatlen, a literary scholar whose subjects ranged from Shakespeare to King and whose teachings shaped the minds of four generations of students at the University of Maine, died Monday at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Hatlen wrote several scholarly essays on King’s work, and a handful of King’s characters bear the name Hatlen, including Brooks Hatlen, the prison librarian in “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.” Read more here.

More Duma Key reviews:

News From The Dead Zone #91

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Today is Duma Key day in North America. The book will be released on Thursday in the UK.

King was interviewed by the Bangor Daily News (Stephen King at 60) and appeared on the Today show (Click on the video link underneath The King of Scary in the upper right corner. Users contributed many more questions than King could handle on the live broadcast, so NBC has posted an online Q&A: Why writing is like sex. In the BDN interview, King elaborates that the long novel he is working on now is set in Western Maine.

Here are links to a batch of Duma Key reviews:

King’s most recent Entertainment Weekly column describes his experience using the new Kindle.

News From The Dead Zone #90

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Duma Key reviews are starting to emerge. Here is my review, which is fairly detailed and discusses a lot of the plot, so read at your own risk. Alan Cheuse reviewed the book on NPR (audio). There are also reviews in the Washington Post and the Rocky Mountain News. If you haven’t seen the film clip of King discussing the book on Amazon, it’s now available on his official web site, too. (Dialup | DSL/Cable). According to Publishers Weekly, the first printing is 1.5 million copies. Lilja is giving away copies in a contest on his web site.

There’s a mini-review/interview in Time magazine (King’s New Realm). The article also reveals the following news: King’s next book of short stories, Unnatural Acts of Intercourse, will come out this fall or next spring, and he’s working on a “novel that’s going to be very long. I’ll be killing a lot of trees if it gets done.”

King will appear on Today on NBC on Tuesday, January 22. If you want to submit a question that might be asked during the interview fill out this form.

Stephen, Tabitha, and Owen King will read from their works at an event called The Three Kings on April 4 in Washington, DC. A reception and book signing will follow. Tickets ($30 + handling) are available here.

News From The Dead Zone #89

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Happy New Year! Duma Key will be released a week from next Tuesday. Here’s an audio excerpt from the book, and here’s a neat video trailer (Dial Up | Cable /DSL / Fiber). There’s an essay by editor Chuck Verrill at Amazon entitled Duma Key: Where It All Began, and you can read the beginning of the novel in parallel with the short story Memory to see the differences between the two.

Lilja has new interviews with Frank Darabont and Greg Nicotero at his web site.

News From The Dead Zone #88

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Just one month to go until the release of Duma Key. Here’s the Publisher’s Weekly review (mild spoilers):

In bestseller King’s well-crafted tale of possession and redemption, Edgar Freemantle, a successful Minnesota contractor, barely survives after the Dodge Ram he’s driving collides with a 12-story crane on a job site. While Freemantle suffers the loss of an arm and a fractured skull, among other serious injuries, he makes impressive gains in rehabilitation. Personality changes that include uncontrollable rages, however, hasten the end of his 20-year-plus marriage. On his psychiatrist’s advice, Freemantle decides to start anew on a remote island in the Florida Keys. To his astonishment, he becomes consumed with making art–first pencil sketches, then paintings–that soon earns him a devoted following. Freemantle’s artwork has the power both to destroy life and to cure ailments, but soon the Lovecraftian menace that haunts Duma Key begins to assert itself and torment those dear to him. The transition from the initial psychological suspense to the supernatural may disappoint some, but even those few who haven’t read King (Lisey’s Story) should appreciate his ability to create fully realized characters and conjure horrors that are purely manmade.

The end of the year is list time. Here are King’s  top tunes of 2007 and best of TV and movies lists.

My buddy Dave from Overlook Connection sent me samples of slipcases for Blaze and Gunslinger Born. He’s selling both slipcased books and standalone slipcases. Check ’em out.

Issue 1 (of 5) of The Long Road Home, the second Dark Tower graphic novel serial, will be released on March 5, 2008. Here’s Marvel’s exclamation point-riddled description: “It’s the return of the best-selling comic book series, inspired by Stephen King’s epic The Dark Tower! Gunslinger Roland Deschain has seen the death of his lover Susan Delgado. And the Big Coffin Hunters who burned her at the stake are now in pursuit of Roland and his ka-tet Cuthbert and Alain. The friends are forced to flee into the desert with the deadly posse in hot pursuit….and Roland is in a coma! Don’t miss this opening chapter starring the Gunslinger whose quest for the Dark Tower will shake the foundation of reality itself!”

USA’s series The Dead Zone has been cancelled after a six-year run, leaving several continuing plotlines unresolved. “We wish we could keep all our great shows alive forever,” said Jeff Wachtel. “But we feel we need to give some of our new shows a platform to grow, and it’s with great sadness that we say goodbye to two shows that had a great run and helped create the resurgence of original programming on our network and on all of cable.” The premiere of The Dead Zone, created by the late Michael Piller and his son Shawn, set a record for a series debut on basic cable with 6.4 million viewers.

Two prisoners escaped from Union County jail in Elizabeth, New Jersey last week. Using improvised tools, the men removed cement blocks from two walls, squeezed through the holes, jumped to a rooftop below, scaled a 30-foot high wall and hopped a razor wire fence to escape from what was considered the most secure area of the prison. The escape was apparently inspired by The Shawshank Redemption—the inmates covered up their escape holes with photographs of women in bikinis. The escapees left a note saying “Happy Holidays,” and thanking a guard they claim helped them escape.

And, in closing, here is King’s year-end message, as posted on his web site:

I had a great year and, as always, it starts with the people who read the books and have been so kind to me over the last 30 or so years that I have been making up stories. It was especially nice to hear from you this year because I turned 60 and finally had to kill my teddy bear. Just joking about the teddy bear, but it’s a little traumatic and you guys helped to ease the pain. I hope you will all have a happy holiday season whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, or simply the imminent coming of Great Cthulhu. I hope that all of us will have a happy new year, that you will enjoy Duma Key, and that you vote for all the right candidates in November! Be well and be good to one another.

Steve King