News From The Dead Zone #53

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Dimension announced that 1408 has been pushed back to July 13th. Here’s an article about The Mist, which starts filming in Shreveport, LA in just over a month from now.

This week in Entertainment Weekly, King spends an hour flipping around the TV dial. Television Impaired.

SKFakes is running another competition this year. To register, send your name and email address to comp2007@skfakes.co.uk. The entry fee is £10 ($17). Over half a dozen books, all signed by King, are among the list of confirmed prizes to date. More details about the nature of the competition will be announced closer to the starting date, April 1st.

News From The Dead Zone #48

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

If you subscribe to the newsletter from Stephen King’s official web site, you received a notice late last week concerning a chance to buy a signed copy of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon or John Irving’s Until I Found You from a special store set up at The Haven Foundation website. Though the King books aren’t first editions, $40 for a signed hardcover with unequivocal provenance is a great deal in today’s market. The approximately 200 copies sold out very fast, but subscribe to the newsletter or check the Haven web site for future offers throughout the winter. Haven is the replacement for the Wavedancer Foundation, an organization designed to support people in the book and publishing industry who have little or no financial cushion in the event of a sudden catastrophic accident. All proceeds from the sale of these books goes to Haven.

Both Stephen King and Robin Furth will be attending New York Comic Con at the end of February. King will be a Guest of Honor and will appear with Furth on a special panel hosted by Joe Quesada, Editor In Chief of Marvel Entertainment, Inc. on Saturday, February 24. Marvel is beginning a full-court press to support the Dark Tower comic series. One of the series associate editors has established a Dark Tower Blog at the Marvel web site. There’s also an article in today’s USA Today (Dark Tower looms in graphic form) and the newspaper’s website has the e-mail Q&A that gave rise to the article. Both links have sample artwork from the first issue.

CaféFX Plus (Pan’s Labyrinth, Eragon, Ghost Rider) will be doing special effects for Frank Darabont’s The Mist, starring Thomas Jane, who describes the script as “12 Angry Men with monsters.” The movie will be shooting in Shreveport, LA at the end of February for a couple of months.See the interview with Jane here. (Windows Media).

Here are King’s three top-ten lists for 2006: Books, Music, Movies.

News From The Dead Zone #47

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Check at your local comic shop today for the free Dark Tower sketchbook to promote The Gunslinger Born. This 16-page booklet has pencil art and character design by Jae Lee and some sample color art demonstrating how Richard Isanove developed the sketches. Here is the description of Issue 2 of The Gunslinger Born: “Roland has incurred the wrath of the evil sorcerer Marten, and must flee his home in Gilead with two of his young friends. But arriving in the supposedly friendly town of Hambry may be no safer, for the dreaded agents of Marten are abroad—The Coffin Hunters! Though it’s not all completely bleak as Roland meets the woman who will become the love of his young life—the beautiful Susan Delgado. Plus: Learn more about the land of the Dark Tower with exclusive bonus material!”

The current Entertainment Weekly contains King’s top ten books of 2006, but there’s one author he didn’t include in that list. However, he rectifies that situation on his web site, lavishing extravagant praise on crime novelist Meg Gardiner.

Here are a couple of reviews of the new off-Broadway rendition of Carrie: They Could Have Danced All Night, if They Hadn’t Died and Happy Horror Days.

Thomas Jane has confirmed that he will be playing the part of David Drake in The Mist, directed by Frank Darabont. Filming is expected to start early in 2007.

News From The Dead Zone #46

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

TNT will team with executive producers Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy and DreamWorks Television for a six-hour miniseries adaptation of The Talisman, scheduled to air on the cable network during summer 2008. “We are so happy and proud to be working with DreamWorks Television and Steven Spielberg after such a tremendous experience making Into the West,” said Michael Wright, senior vice president of original programming for TNT and TBS. “We’ve also had excellent results working with Stephen King’s material on Salem’s Lot and Nightmares & Dreamscapes, so the opportunity to bring these talents together on our network is just about as good as it gets. Like those previous projects, The Talisman is a truly epic production, but one that will present all new challenges and opportunities. We look forward to working with this top-notch team of filmmakers as we create what is certain to be a television event to remember.” Ehren Kruger (Skeleton Key, The Ring) will write the script. No director has been announced yet.

Here is the complete text of the Entertainment Weekly article about King’s meeting with the producers of LOST, and his most current column, the first of his year’s best.

I have an essay about upcoming King projects in the Overlook Connection catalog, which should be out in January. Other contributors to the magazine include Ellen Datlow, Jack Ketchum, Mick Garris, Jonathan Reitan and Rob Zombie. The catalog features over 1,300 related King items, from signed limiteds and first editions to rare magazine appearances and special signed videos by Frank Darabont and Mick Garris. If you use the coupon code BevSentMe, you’ll get $5 off the list price of the catalog, as well as an additional $10 off your purchase total if you buy something else. The Overlook Connection will launch their new web site later this month, but you can have a sneak peak right now.

News From The Dead Zone #40

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

There’s just one week left to take advantage of the promotion to get your name in the back of the new limited edition of The Green Mile from Subterranean Press. Don’t forget to check out the calendar below for details about King’s upcoming book tour on the West Coast and in the UK. Always check with the venue before committing yourself to a trip, because some events have changed and many may be sold out.

If you missed King’s appearance on Good Morning America last week, the streaming video is available at ABC. Also, check out John Connolly’s blog about interviewing King last week. It’s the October 26th entry. During the interview, King described an idea he had for another novel. Read how SKEMER Noah described the plotline here.

In the current Entertainment Weekly, King discusses his favorite audiobooks. Hail to the Spoken Word.

Here’s another batch of Lisey’s Story reviews:

News From The Dead Zone #37

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

No Quills awards for King this year, but the MWA (Mystery Writers of America) endowed upon him the highest award bestowed on an individual by the organization: the coveted Grand Master Award.

I hear from Brian Freeman that the final production hardcovers of Lisey’s Story are a delight to behold. The shovel depicted on the dust jacket is a die cut, revealing a portion of the full-cover wraparound art that is physically on the book’s boards themselves. I’ve seen a few books recently that are using similar effects—one by Jonathan Kellerman springs to mind. This design makes for attractive books with or without the dust jacket in place. According to the artist’s web site: “Readers will soon discover the significance of the shovel and later understand the image revealed through the di-cut. King fans should find this amongst his best work.”

Here’s a short interview with King at Book Page. Here’s his most recent Entertainment Weekly column.

More details about King’s UK visit have been released.  He will appear at Battersea park Events Arena on November 7th at 7.00pm in an event sponsored by The Times, Hodder & Stoughton and Waterstone’s. Ticket information available at King’s web site. Information is also available concerning his November 10th appearance.

News From The Dead Zone #36

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

This is Lisey’s Story month. You can hear an excerpt of Mare Winningham performing the audio version here.

Wouldn’t Christine look great parked in your garage? One of the sixteen cars used during filming of the John Carpenter adaptation is up for auction on eBay. The buy-it-now price is a mere $175,000. As one news report said: “Even though on film they rebuilt themselves, only three actually survived, including the one now being offered. She’s been smashed, crashed, and burned but keeps coming back. Hell hath no fury like Christine.”

King had an essay in The Washington Post yesterday entitled The Writer’s Life. You can read it online. He has columns in two consecutive issues of Entertainment Weekly. One is a special two-page piece about the series LOST, while the more recent one tackles Nancy Grace, drawing comparisons to the Richard Bachman novel The Running Man, though I haven’t found either online yet.

Here’s an article about the campaign fundraiser King and John Grisham attended recently. And here’s a review of the Collector’s Edition DVD of David Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone.

News From The Dead Zone #31

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

More Lisey’s Story reviews are starting to appear. Publishers Weekly gives the book a starred review, and the print issue that contains the review has a short interview with King that you can also read online here. You can read reviews from Kirkus, PW, Booklist and Nora Roberts at the Lisey’s Story page at Amazon.

Stephen King and John Irving plan to appear at a Sept. 24 fundraiser for fellow writer Jim Webb’s Democratic U.S. Senate campaign at the 1,000-seat Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, VA. “It will be a lot of fun,” Grisham said of the event at which Webb will speak and also read from some of his works. Grisham said he will talk for a few minutes about the campaign and politics before reading from his new nonfiction book, An Innocent Man, due out in October. Tickets for the Webb fundraiser will be tiered at $100, $500 and $2,100, Grisham said. Webb is challenging U.S. Sen. George Allen, R-Va., in the November election. Allen’s campaign manager disparaged the Webb event, saying, “Since his whole campaign is based on fiction, having two fellow fiction novelists campaign for him is not a surprise.”

Bett’s Bookstore has just taken delivery of a huge Stephen King collection to sell on behalf of a collector. Proprietor Stu Tinker has listed the lot on eBay to generate some interest in it. Check out the Betts web page next week for an inventory listing of the 1600+ items, some of which are extremely rare.

Here is King’s newest Entertainment Weekly essay: Setting off a Wire Alarm.

For those of you who attended Harry, Carrie and Garp, I’ve heard that the signed books associated with the deluxe package are starting to arrive.

News From The Dead Zone #29

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Those who could not attend the star-studded literary event at Radio City Music Hall last week, “AN EVENING WITH HARRY, CARRIE & GARP” will now be available to watch free of charge in its entirety for two days only. On Thursday, August 10 and Friday, August 11 MSN will stream the event at http://video.msn.com/, and beginning on Saturday, August 12 until the end of the month, highlights will be available on demand. MSN will enable viewers to make contributions to The Haven Foundation and Doctors Without Borders. From the description of presenters, it sounds like this is the Wednesday night show. Check out my message board for links to some recent reports from youngsters and Rowling fans.

Netflix is hosting a special screening of The Shining at the screening area outside the Stanley Hotel on August 16th. Admission is free.

A new Special Edition 2-disc DVD of The Green Mile is scheduled for release on November 14. Extensive new bonus materials include Miracles and Mystery: Creating The Green Mile, an interview with Tom Hanks, additional scenes, makeup and screen tests, and commentary by writer/director Frank Darabont. See full details here.

Check out this Entertainment Weekly page for a report and picture of King’s visit to the EW office.

Bloody Disgusting reports that a remake of Children of the Corn is in the works. I know you’re all on the edges of your seats at this news!

Rocky Wood spoke on King at two panels (and read from ‘Before the Play’ at a midnight reading) at the Speculative Fiction con, Continuum 4 in Melbourne (Australia) last weekend. Here is a Live Journal report of the event and another review of Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished.

News From The Dead Zone #18

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

It’s been a while since my last update , primarily because there hasn’t been much news to report. With May fast approaching, and bringing with it the sweeps season, some reviews and previews of Desperation are starting to emerge. The first review I’ve seen comes from the San Antonio Express News. Their bottom line: “The movie has a little of everything: heart, spirituality, incredibly crafted flashback sequences, wonderful acting and shiver-under-the-covers shocks, a combo that should get ABC big audience numbers.”

Ron Perlman (Collie Entragian/Tak) told SCI FI Wire that his character is particularly unpleasant. “He commits some very, very gruesome acts that are very cold-blooded, very sudden and very unpredictable, and they’re without compunction, which is really the scariest part of it all. There’s no censoring.There’s no value judgment to this guy’s bloodlust. And he’s smart. Because he’s a Stephen King character, his turn of a phrase and his theatrical point of view is really, really smart. So there’s an added perverseness to all of it that make it incredibly compelling to watch, … I hope. I’m just giving you the sense I had of him from reading the script and playing the role.”

The Tucson Film Office and Fox Tucson Theatre are presenting an exclusive prescreening of Desperation on Saturday, May 6. Desperation was filmed in and around Tucson and Bisbee in the fall of 2004. Several cast and production members are scheduled to appear and get a red-carpet welcome, including director Mick Garris, producer Mark Sennet and actors Steven Weber, Annabeth Gish and Ron Perlman. The red-carpet opening event starts at 6:30 p.m., followed by opening comments by the director and producer at 7:15, and the film screens at 7:30. Tickets are available for $25 at the Fox Tucson Theatre box office at 17 W. Congress St.

“The Things They Left Behind” from Transgressions was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. Winners will be announced at the HWA Annual Conference and Stoker Banquet in in Newark, NJ, June 16-18 at the Hilton Newark Airport. As with Legends, the paperback of this anthology (to be released in late August) is split into multiple volumes. King’s story is in Volume 2 along with “The Ransome Women” by John Farris.

The Seattle Arts & Lectures announced that King will appear as part of its Literary Lecture Series on November 1st. Information: www.lectures.org or call 206-621-2230. Other authors appearing include New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Rich and author Frank McCourt. King’s appearance is only a week or so after the publication of Lisey’s Story. The moderator of his message board quotes the book jacket copy: “Lisey’s Story is about the wellsprings of creativity, the temptations of madness, and the secret language of love,” and continues, “Translated, that means a woman is regaining memories of the dark side of her husband triggered when she is going through his belongings after his death.”

Read Kev Quigley’s report of his encounter with Stephen King in a bookstore and King’s newest EW column, My Morning People.

As tracked by Nielsen BookScan, Stephen King’s Cell has sold more than 377,000 copies.

News From The Dead Zone #11

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Cell is holding on to its #1 position on the main bestseller lists. This is the best performance by a King book that I can recall for a while.

According to this news report, King read another new short story at FSU last weekend. It’s called “Memory,” a “first-person narrative about a wealthy building contractor who is almost crushed to death when he’s run over by a construction crane on a job site. The builder grapples regaining speech, thoughts of suicide, a deep hatred for a song by Reba McEntire and exactly what he may have done to his wife while recovering from his coma.”

His new Entertainment Weekly column, Mistakes Were Made, is now online.

News From The Dead Zone #6

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Stephen King’s official web site has a page dedicated to Cell. Among the news: Entertainment Weekly will be running the first two chapters of Cell in their issue on stands January 20, 2006, as a first serial excerpt. This is the first time in the history of the magazine that they have run a fiction excerpt. Here’s Scribner’s press release about their campaign. Scribner publisher Susan Moldow says, ““For Annie Proulx or Don DeLillo, this might not be a good fit,” citing two of her authors with a more purely literary and less tech-oriented following than Mr. King. “For an author that has the kind of fan base Steve has, there’s a lot of potential.”

Lilja has an ongoing contest at his website where the daily prizes involve audio and hardcover copies of Cell.

King will be one of the first participants in a new webcast program Amazon is launching this summer, to be hosted by Bill Maher, featuring performers and authors touting new releases. The company plans to record the first show of Amazon Fishbowl at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend, with guests including authors Stephen King and Armistead Maupin, musician Rob Thomas and actress Toni Collette. It will then preview tidbits of that show beginning Tuesday and leading up to the June 1 launch. Read the press release here.

Here’s his latest Entertainment Weekly column.

News From The Dead Zone #2

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Happy New Year, readers. Those of you who ordered the limited edition of The Road to the Dark Tower should be seeing your copies soon if you haven’t received them already. Cemetery Dance is shipping copies as fast as they can pack ’em, and I’ve heard from people who’ve been notified by Amazon that their orders are being filled, too. I’m delighted at how the book turned out. The design is wonderful and I’m especially fond of the Tarot card endpapers.

I’m not much one to look back at the end of the year, or make resolutions or anything like that. However, since he started doing his column for Entertainment Weekly, King has done best-of lists for films, books and music from the previous year. Here are the columns that feature his lists:

If you haven’t heard about The Secretary of Dreams yet, then you’ve missed out on the chance to get a lettered or numbered edition, unless stray copies turn up between now and publication, which is anticipated sometime in the first half of the year. The graphic short story collection, illustrated by my buddy Glenn Chadbourne (who worked with us on The Illustrated Stephen King Trivia Book and illustrated The Road to the Dark Tower) adapts “The Road Virus Heads North,” “Uncle Otto’s Truck,” “The Rainy Season,” “The Reach,” “Jerusalem’s Lot,” and “Home Delivery.” What’s unique about these adaptations is that every word of the original stories is conserved. Check out the sample illustrations starting here and working your way through the six stories. Even better news: this is Volume I, which means Glenn will be working on a follow-up this year. This is going to be a gorgeous production that I’m looking forward to seeing.

I haven’t had a chance to work my completely through Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished yet, but I’m very impressed by what I’ve seen and read so far. I was surprised to rediscover how many of King’s stories had been substantially revised on repeat publications. Rocky Wood does a yeoman’s job of chronicling all these updates and revisions and makes me want to go back and reread stories in their original forms.

I’ve updated the Guide to Identifying First Editions, which appears on King’s official web page. It’s now current through The Colorado Kid and corrects a few errors and omissions in the original version.

King wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times in response to a review of a D. H. Lawrence biography. He chastises the reviewer for thinking that a person may be “better able to understand a great writer by reading about him than by reading him.” It’s a riff on the line from Different Seasons: “It is the tale, not he who tells it,” which King updates by saying, “The writer’s rainbow is always found in his work.”

I’m putting the finishing touches on my column for Cemetery Dance magazine issue #55, with in depth coverage of Cell, which I read last week. I’ll have more to say about the book here as publication date approaches. If Richard Bachman hadn’t died before cell phones became part of our culture, this might have had his name on the cover. It’s a dark, gritty, pessimistic novel in many ways and stands in stark contrast to the fundamental optimism of The Stand. I’ll not say more on that subject until more of you have had a chance to read the book. Keep an eye out for the names of the headmaster of Gaiten Academy and a gentleman in a Miami Dolphins hat who appears late in the story. The Publishers Weekly review is online at Amazon. It’s relatively spoiler-free and concludes, “King’s imagining of what is more or less post-Armageddon Boston is rich, and the sociological asides made by his characters along the way…are jaunty and witty. The novel’s three long set pieces are all pretty gory, but not gratuitously so, and the book holds together in signature King style.”

Here is an interesting article about King’s appearance at the New Yorker festival last fall from the Sydney Morning Herald. Note the following snippet, which is surely the genesis of Cell.

King told a story about leaving a New York hotel to get a coffee one morning about six years ago. “A lady under the canopy was on her cell phone and the doorman was getting someone a cab. I thought, what if she got this message on her cell phone that she could not deny and she had to attack everyone she saw – and she started with the doorman, she ripped his throat out.”

The Scribner edition of Cell contains a sneak peak at Lisey’s Story. The first twelve pages of the book are presented in King’s own handwriting. The excerpt is not the same as what we’ve previously seen in “Lisey and the Madman.” The opening chapter is called “Lisey and Amanda (Everything the Same)” and deals with Lisey Landon two years after the death of her famous writer husband Scott. She’s finally going through his writing office, trying to decide what to do about his unpublished works. Amanda is her older sister, and there seems to be tension between the two. My feeling is that this book will be in the Bag of Bones vein.

Each time I update this online column, I’m going to tackle a FAQ, which comes either from questions I see on King’s message board or ones directed to me via e-mail.

Q: Does King have any plans to complete “The Plant”?

A: The short answer is: “It’s not on his to-do list at the moment.” When King stopped work after finishing Book One: Zenith Rising, he said that he felt like he was pushing the story instead of having it pull him along. That’s never a good feeling. My guess is that until the day comes when the story recaptures his imagination and sweeps him up again, “The Plant” will stay in its current state. Who knows? Someday a few years from now he may find new wind to breath life into the story. Those of us who bore with the Dark Tower series for two decades have learned patience toward the storyteller.

Have news, information, corrections? E-mail me!