Stephen King: News from the Dead Zone #186

What We Can Learn from Ur 2.0

In On Writing, Stephen King presents his theories and philosophies about the art and craft of writing. The book is especially popular among writers, including those who don’t, in general, read his novels.

In one section, he demonstrates his revision process. As a case study, he chose the opening pages of “The Hotel Story,” later retitled “1408.” The book reproduces manuscript pages, complete with editorial marks and his annotations, explaining why he chose to make certain changes to the original text.

UrWe don’t often get the chance to see inside the creative mind at that level. I was pleased to be able to include some first draft manuscript pages of King’s work in the Stephen King Illustrated Companion because they demonstrate more of this phenomenon: pages from The Shining, for example, that show how King originally conceived the scene in which Danny has a strange encounter with a fire hose.Continue Reading

News from the Dead Zone #127

News from the Dead Zone

Greetings and a belated Happy 2010! There hasn’t been a whole lot brewing lately, but there are some current and upcoming publications you might be interested in knowing about. There’s been no official word yet on what novels King will release in 2010, but word is that he has completed two since finishing Under the Dome so there will definitely be something this year.

The second part of King’s essay for Fangoria is in issue #290, which is reportedly on news stands now. This piece will be included in a reissue of Danse Macabre, which is also being released in audio for the first time.

The March/April issue of Playboy should be out soon. It contains the new King poem “Tommy.”

The TimesTalks event that King did in New York on November 10th is now available for viewing in the Multimedia section of King’s website.

Amazon now has a free PC version of the Kindle program so you can read Kindle-only content like “Ur” your computer. Here’s a preview of the audio version and a website dedicated to the story.

In this interview with See magazine, Elvis Costello discusses his character in Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.

Here’s an article about King’s participation in Shooter Jennings’ forthcoming album. King is the voice of Will O’ The Wisp, a radio talk-show host being phased out due to government censorship. He spends his last hour on the air delivering a diatribe about the decline of America, and playing the music of an important band — which happens to be Jennings’ new band, Hierophant. You can hear a clip from the album, including King’s narration at Jennings’ web site.

Entertainment Weekly: Best of TV 2009, Top 10 Films of 2009, Decoding Movie Blurbs

Two works about King were nominated for an Edgar award this year. Lisa Rogak’s Haunted Heart and my own The Stephen King Illustrated Companion. Here’s an interview I did recently that covers both this book and The Road to the Dark Tower.

News From The Dead Zone #117

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

Still haven’t had a chance to read “Ur”? Well, you’ll have to wait a while longer. However, the story will be available as an audiobook on February 16, 2010. The reader has not yet been selected. The suggested retail price is $14.99 in CD format or $11.99 for the download edition which will be available July 2010.

“Morality” is now online at Esquire if you didn’t manage to pick up a copy of the magazine. The classic (and rare) short story Weeds is also online at the Cavalier web site.

Barnes & Noble will be publishing The Stephen King Illustrated Companion by yours truly later on this year.

A limited, black-and-white convention edition of Issue 0 of The Talisman graphic novel will be available for free exclusively at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, taking place July 22-26. The special issue will be distributed by Del Rey at Booth #1129. The non-limited version will be available in comic book stores everywhere on October 21, 2009.

A sidebar about actress Emmanuelle Vaugier says that Dolan’s Cadillac is due out in December. Not quite sure in what form or what venues. It’s already been released on DVD in Sweden.

According to Camelot Books, these are the features of the Collectors Edition of Under the Dome:

  • Belly band
  • Jacket (will be the same jacket as on the trade state)
  • Housed in a stamped case
  • 4 color printed endpapers
  • Ribbon marker
  • Deck of cards (apparently this relates to the book)
  • Shrinkwrapped
  • 25,000 copies

A new message from King from his message board: “I’m delighted to tell you that I won not one but TWO Stoker Awards at this year’s ceremony, one for Duma Key (Best Novel) and one for Just After Sunset (Best Collection). My motto is, You can never be too thin, too rich, or win too many Stoker Awards. (If you’ve never seen one, the awards are most excellently cool.) My thanks to everyone who voted, and my congratulations to all the other nominees. Most of all, though, thanks to everyone who bought those books and enjoyed them. (And if you bought them and didn’t enjoy them, I still thank you.)”

News From The Dead Zone #113

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

This weekend’s issue of USA Weekend magazine features a King cover story, 35 Scary Years with Stephen King. The article is also online at the USA Weekend website. To find out what newspapers carry the insert in your area, go here.

Here’s an article where King’s agent, Ralph Vicinanza, discusses “Ur.” The story is now available for iPhone users, too, but not for general audiences yet.

Director Mick Garris and producer Mark Sennet met with Maine Governor John Baldacci last week to discuss the possibility of filming Bag of Bones in Maine and to explore financial incentives for the film. Bag of Bones has a $20 million budget, and Sennet expects to spend $10 million wherever the film is made. Filming could begin as early as this summer.

Here’s a new website for the film adaptation of Dolan’s Cadillac.

Here are interviews with Robin Furth and Tony Shasteen from New York Comic Con, discussing the Del Ray graphic adaptation of The Talisman. There have been reports of an Issue 0 installment featuring an episode that does not appear in the book itself, but serves as a prequel to the whole story.

In Entertainment Weekly: Torture and “24” and I love Breaking Bad

News From The Dead Zone #112

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

February 10, 2009: A brief update about yesterday’s announcement concerning King’s new novella, “Ur,” which features the Amazon Kindle. An Amazon official estimates that “Ur” would run about 100 traditional print pages. There’s a video of King reading from “Ur” on YouTube and an interview here.

News From The Dead Zone #111

Breaking News from the Dead Zone

King’s next novella, “Ur,” was inspired by the Amazon Kindle book reader. At today’s launch of the Kindle2, Amazon announced that “Ur” would be available on the newest version of the device. Early indications were that it was to be an exclusive release, but there may be a non-Kindle version available for purchase as well. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Here’s a description of the story: “Following a nasty break-up, lovelorn college English instructor Wesley Smith can’t seem to get his ex-girlfriend’s parting shot out of his head: ‘Why can’t you just read off the computer like the rest of us?’ Egged on by her question and piqued by a student’s suggestion, Wesley places an order for’s Kindle eReader. The [pink?] device that arrives in a box stamped with the smile logo – via one-day delivery that he hadn’t requested – unlocks a literary world that even the most avid of book lovers could never imagine. But once the door is open, there are those things that one hopes we’ll never read or live through.”

King appeared at the Kindle2 launch and read from “Ur.” There are pictures of him reading from his Kindle here (images 4 & 5 of the slideshow) and a Q&A with King at USA Today.