Tuesday, July 22, 2014

T.R.U.E investigates the Stanley Hotel

I'm creeped.  They should have gotten these people to film The Shining miniseries.  The photography on the approach to the hotel really is unnerving.  Sometimes professionals make things feel a bit sterile.  But this really does make the hotel feel secluded.

This episode will give you the true "prequel" to The Overlook.

THE SHINING PREQUEL is moving forward

If you're like me -- and no one is -- then you sighed a bit when you first heard the news that Stephen King's The Shining was being looked at for a prequel.  Really?  Do we need to have a prequel?  Really?  King already gave us a pretty well written sequel.  I  liked it a lot.  But a prequel?

Then something happened to change my mind; I'll tell you what in a moment.

This past week the hollywoodreporter.com confirmed that music video director Mark Romanek is in negotiations to direct the prequel, titled, Overlook.

The article notes:
The film will tell the origin story of the haunted hotel through the eyes of its first owner, Bob T. Watson, a robber baron at the turn of the 20th century.
Former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara wrote the script. James Vanderbilt, Brad Fischer and Laeta Kalogridis are producing.
Did you catch that Mazzara "wrote" the script.  Of course, as Richard Matheson and Stephen King both attest, a lot of scripts get written that  never happen.  But actually having something on paper makes it all feel a little more real.

But what's their source material?  How about Stephen King.  No, not the Stephen King who gave us Mr. Mercedes, IT and The Stand.  How about a Stephen King who had only published two books, Carrie and Salems' Lot.  For good or for bad, that was a different Stephen King.  The young man was more likely to go for the punch, to try and creep you out, scare you and if all else failed, just be as gross as possible.  The older Stephen King is more focused on the art of storytelling.  (I like both.)

So what's exciting about Overlook is that the source is Stephen King's own prologue to The Shining, which was cut from the book prior to publication in 1977.  What's more, I've read that prologue, and it's great.  That's why I'm excited.  I mean, it's creepy and gross and all out scary!

By the way, I like the miniseries quite a lot.  It's almost pointless to compare it to the Kubrick film because they really are two different stories.  The miniseries is slow; just like the book.  It aptly brings the novel to life.

Perhaps you remember when ABC ran The Shining miniseries, TV guide ran the prequel.  But here's the thing -- it's an abridged prequel.  King actually gave much, much more.  A friend, I'm not saying who, but they do happen to run a very popular Stephen King blog that I think is great -- shared the full manuscript with me a while back.  It blew me away.  And the thought of those dusty pages being turned into a film makes me very excited.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Huffington Post Blog Accuses Stephen King Of Not Being Able To Write

Michael Conniff posted a blog post at Huffington Post titled, "Why Stephen King Can't Write." (huffingtonpost.com)

Conniff declares that he likes everything Stephen King stands for, and cites a list that really has nothing to do with things King actually "stands" for.  Like -- He has a library next to his house.  Well, if that's the case, put me on the list, I also stand for having libraries next to your house!  I stand with you both!

Wait, you might be wondering who it is that Huff Post has decided is worthy of the platform of smashing Stephen King.  Michael Conniff is a well known author.  In fact, he's sold 11 books.  Not 11 million.  Not 11,000.  11.  ELEVEN.

So exactly how does the esteemed author think Stephen King has failed the writing world?  (Never mind that Stephen King actually wrote the book On Writing!)
Of course, after pointing out that Stephen King has sold a few more books than he has, Conniff resorts to telling ust hat sales don't matter, only the words on the paper matter.  And that might be true, but in the world of writing, readers  are the judge of those words.  And it appears the American public judges King worthy of continued sales.  And, 11 people have bought Mr. Conniff's books.  11.

Conniff builds his case on King's latest novel, Mr. Mercedes.  This is frustrating because King used a different style for Mercedes than his usual third person past tense.  Everything is told in present tense in Mercedes, a style King has never used for an entire novel.  So to judge the whole of his work, his ability to write, on this one novel seems like nothing more than a sulky uneducated jealous writer wanting to get some punches in on the big guy.  (Thanks Huffington Post for giving Conniff the platform to do this.)

Conniff accuses King of, "bad writing." After giving us an example paragraph, he then calls King out on "strike two" and asks, "what in the name of all that's scary is a "rank of doors"? Is it some kind of hierarchy or grading system or a band from the Sixties?  I have no idea, and if you're honest, neither do you. It's a stinkeroo."

Here's King's sentence: "When Augie reached the top of the wide, steep drive leading to the big auditorium, he saw a cluster of at least two dozen people already waiting outside the rank of doors, some standing, most sitting."

Made sense to me.  Need it broken down?  Is something unclear?  Wold Conniff think it owuld be better stated, "he saw a cluster of at least two dozen people already waiting outside a bunch-o doors."
Wait, Conniff then gives King a big "strike three."  Which is easy when you make up the game, and you're the Umpire.  The bottom line of his third complaint is that Conniff doesn't like complicated sentences.  He would probably prefer my the books piles up in my children's rooms.  In fact, Conniff declares that King's sentence is "completely incoherent."  And it is -- for him.

Conniff rants, "Wide? Steep? Big? Doors mysteriously ranked? Mazelike non-maze? They prickle me not."  Genius.

Then he makes the charge that because King is focused on  the story, he doesn't care about the words he uses.  He's just barfing up words to push the story forward.  Which is, of course, the opposite of what he argues in On Writing.  A whole portion of On Writing deals with the tools of the craft -- words.

Wait, Conniff isn't done.  He then suggests that it's the movies that save Stephen King's stories.  (REALLY!)  Conniff writes:
it takes movies like "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile" to bring his ideas to life. 
Finally, Conniff confesses, "I've never loved his writing."  Of course, he's cited how many books he actually read? Mr. Mercedes and On Writing.  That's it.  I don't know if he's read more, because he doesn't say, and without using WORDS, I have no way of knowing what Conniff has read.

Finally, the Huff Post blogger decides to smack all of us who like King -- because, of course, we're buying Stephen King books and not Michael Conniff books.  (Well, 11 of you might have switched teams here.  11.)    Connif says, "In a way, you can't blame Stephen King for his shortcomings as a writer. Like his audience, he just wants to find out what happens next."  In other words, King so intense into his story, he doesn't care how he gets there.

So Conniff never addresses Kings ability to build characters, advance plot, create suspense and draw the reader right into the mind of some pretty terrible people.  He doesn't look at King's real gift, characters.  Why?  Because simply put, Conniff can't handle the way Stephen King writes and sentence.  His arrogance and pride blinds him to the fact that he's tossing stones at an American Master.  

Obviously, Mr. Conniff needs to read my book, "Stephen King, A Face Among The Masters."  Then he will be better equipped to understand why Stephen King's work is important.

All That's Left to Know About the King of Horror on Film

Check out the www.horrortalk.com review of Scott Von Doviak's book, ""Stephen King Films FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the King of Horror on Film.

There  are over 100 titles based  on Stephen King's work.  Does that surprise the fan base?  Nope.  (The article refers to  the book as a "novel."  Of course, it's not a novel.)

Steve Pattee gives us the lay of the land, explaining that the first  part of the book reviews  the movies by decades, then it offers  individual sections forshorts; miniseries, TV series, and TV movies; sequels and remakes; and a final chapter for "oddities and ephemera", which is just what it sounds like: things that just couldn't fit in the other chapters.

Pattee writes:
I've read numerous books on film in the past, and there are two different types of writers. The first gives a brief synopsis of the film – maybe adding the actors and directors involved – before moving onto the next making it nothing more than a glorified list. The second type takes his or her time with each title, perhaps giving a background or personal thoughts in addition to the synopsis. I prefer this latter type, and in Stephen King Films FAQ, Von Doviak exceeds my expectations.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Swanson Reflects On King's Impact

How has Stephen King impacted the world of writing?  Like an earthquake. Often when reading King I've thought, "I didn't know you could do that!"  I mean, I always  wanted to -- I just didn't know it was allowed.  And maybe it wasn't, until King did it.

Here is Jeremiah Swanson's article about King's influence on his own writing.  Swanson is author of, And Death Will Seize The Doctor.

I first became aware of King in the mid 80’s, watching his movies when they came on cable back when having cable was a big deal. I remember watching his movies while hunched over greasy pizza boxes and grape sodas, munching away as his newest (to me, anyway) monster or cult or dog or car or kid with psychic powers caused mayhem behind the safety of my television screen.

I always loved King. Even before I knew what a genre was, I knew I loved the kind of stories he told, horror stories. I understood, long before I could articulate, the truth behind all good horror stories, the truth that is so present in all of King’s works. That truth is simplicity itself: people want to live. No matter how dark or scary it gets, people have a drive for life. That truth is what all good horror is about; awakening and sharpening the instinct, drive and desire for life. In our daily grinds we can sometimes get to where we forget we are alive at all; that we are unique beings here but for a short time and when we’re gone, will be gone forever. But in King’s work-as in life when we have a near miss on the highway or are sitting in the doctor’s office waiting nervously for her to come back with the results- we are shocked into being reminded that we are alive, now, but there is also this thing called death that always seemed somehow far and mythical but now is suddenly very close and very real. We are reminded how we so very much want to keep on living. We are reminded of just how much death will be taking from us, and we are spurred on to fight it.

Even in a world overflowing with the horrible beasties and circumstances his amazing imagination can fill them with, there is something incredibly life affirming about his characters who do not give up, who keep on fighting, who keep on wanting to live even after it seems they’ve lost everything worth living for, and indeed, any chance of living at all.

The story that encapsulated that drive the most was Cujo, the tale (pun?) that did for me with neighborhood dogs what Jaws did for generations of beach goers. I always thought Cujo was scarier than Jaws, actually. With Cujo, you couldn’t just get out of the water. In fact, with Cujo, you couldn’t even get out of your car. Not even if you were broken down in sweltering heat with your son dying beside you, he wouldn’t let you out. You had to hold on and find a way, or succumb and die.

The movie was much kinder than the book. (SPOILER ALERT) In the movie the lead character escapes with her son. In the book, the boy dies. I must say, I always found the book’s ending more…I don’t want to say satisfying, but perhaps edifying than the movie’s. I was always more interested in the consequences of violence and the costs to survivor’s who opt not to be overwhelmed, who try to live with their guilt, than with the violence itself. King always does this better than most other writers, and I credit his portrayal of these circumstances as having a huge influence on my writings, particularly in my book, And Death Will Seize the Doctor, Too.

In my story, Christian Thompson has the power to heal with a touch of his hand, but for every person he cures, he must first kill someone else.

His talents grant him entry into a secret organization with other paranormally gifted people who help him try to use his gift for the greater good. His handlers create a situation for him where he can extract the life from death row inmates after staged executions. He hates the idea of killing, but if taking the life of someone who was going to be executed anyway meant the lives of others can be saved, he’ll do it. While killing never gets easy, over time, it does get easier. Tolerable. Until he discovers one of the men he killed was actually innocent of the crime for which he was convicted. He is so overcome with guilt he quits, vowing to never take another life. For years he sticks by that promise, but when a person he loves becomes deathly ill, he has to come back for one last job. And when he does, he is forced by circumstances to commit a murder so horrible, so ghastly that he knows he can never wash himself clean again. But he also knows he can never stop trying. He doesn’t have that right.

That type of impossible situation and relentless drive in the face of hopelessness is one of the hallmarks of Stephen King’s writing. And while I do not pretend at all to have his talent for portraying it, I am eternally grateful for his being able to do it so well that it made me even want to try.

AND DEATH WILL SEIZE THE DOCTOR, TOO is available now at: 

Jim Carrey Flees Room 217

photo: Olivia Lewis | UCD Advocate

$15 will buy you a tour of the Stanley Hotel, the inspiration behind Stephen King's novel The Shining.  Kubrick didn't use the hotel as his filming location, but mini-series director Mick Garris did.  The creepy spooks aren't just the stuff of novels and movies, seems some people actually believe the old place is haunted.

Advocate "In Focus" editor, Lindsay Maynard, took the tour and wrote a very nice article.  It seems this time of year there are always a pile of stories about the Stanley Hotel.  Maynard's is a lot more fun than most!  She wholeheartedly embraces the spooky elements.  In fact, she says the hotel is deemed one of the "most haunted."  Not most haunted in America. . . just "most haunted."  I assume she means in the world!  Yikes.

HERE is the article, titled "Tour Estes Park's most haunted hotel."

Maynard has an interesting story about Jim Carrey, who stayed in room 217 -- but not for an entire night!  Seems a few hours after checking in, he left the room and "never returned."  Why?  Seems he's never said a word about it.  Could it be that the woman in the tub bothered him?  She was so very pretty!  Or perhaps the two dead girls made it hard to settle down.  I dunno. 

About King's visit, Maynard writes, "While stuck in the mountains, King and his wife begged the innkeeper to let them stay for the night. They were the only guests to occupy the hotel and they stayed in Room 217, where they experienced uneasy tension throughout their visit. Seven days later, the outline for The Shining was created."

I'd never heard that they "begged the innkeeper to let them stay for the night."  Sounds familiar, though.

Some interesting facts gleaned from the article:
  • Ghost Hunters has visited the hotel nine times!
  • Travel Chanel's "Ghost Adventures" has also paid their respects.
  • In June 1911, during a power outage, a chambermaid named Mrs. Wilson entered room 217 to light a candle.  A gas leak caused the room to explode!  What's amazing is that she lived, and was given a job at the hotel for life.  Maynard says that she is known to appear from time to time and even put away clothes for guests.  Nice ghosty.
  • On the fourth floor, there is sometimes the sound of unseen children playing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stephen King's Bad Guys Are Terribly Real

Have  you noticed how unnerving some of King's killers are?  It's because they seem all too real.  That's because, I think, King often bases them on real people.  There was a real Annie Wilkes and a real Mr. Mercedes.

salon.com posted an interesting article  titled, "“Mr. Mercedes”: How Stephen King’s killers mirror real-life murderers."

Mike Berry notes that the timing for Mr. Mercedes could not be less propitious, and reminds us in a side note that Black House arrived in stores September 11, 2001.  I didn't know that.
The novel’s publication date comes a little more than a week after Elliot Rodger stabbed three people to death in his apartment near UC Santa Barbara, killed three others in drive-by shootings, ran down pedestrians in his BMW and then fatally shot himself with his own gun. In the wake of the Isla Vista tragedy, this straight-ahead thriller now makes for uncomfortable reading, in a way Mr. King undoubtedly did not intend.
Of course, King gives  us two types of  bad guys.   There's  the Randall Flagg naughty boy;  he's the devil  and he'll do as he likes.  And then there is the more creepy real life murders

The scary thing about Mr. Mercedes is that he could be -- anyone.  Thus Mike Berry notes Hartfield starts off as one of King's "least interesting villains."  He reminds me of Norman Bates; only, Psycho was scarier.  Norman was scarier.  It might be the difference in media (print verses movie, Hitch verses  King.)  But what both characters emphasize is that we never really know what's going on inside someone elses head.  And that's scary.

What Berry keenly  notes is that Hartfield didn't "snap." And most killers really don't.  They plan, plot  and  think over their crimes.  They relish messing with the police and reliving their crimes.

Here are some easily overlooked villains in the Stephen King canon: 

1. Jo St. George.  A child molester, wife beater and thief, it seems ole Joe doesn't get his due in the Stephen King universe.  His wife, Dolores finished  him off in what can only be described as a brilliant execution.  I loved it!  In fact, I think Dolores Claiborne might be one of those overlooked gems that Stephen King has churned out.  And though the focus of the novel is on Dolores, Jo is one mean  dude and the reader sympathizes with Dolores' vigilante style  of justice.

Let me tell you, as creepy as Mr. Mercede's is -- and as sick as his relationship with his mommy is -- he doesn't molest little kids.  Driving cars into crowds is very, very bad.  But there is something that so deeply crosses the line with child  molestation that it stands on its own in terms of wickedness.  Allow me to go a bit preacher on this one.  Jesus said it would be better to have a millstone hung around your neck and thrown into the ocean  than to have to stand before him on Judgment day and have to answer to harming a child.  In other words, God has a special  place in hell -- literally -- for that kind of wickedness.

2. In 11.22.63, King gave us a real life killer, Lee Harvey Oswald.  By mixing fictional characters with historical, King offered a strange blend of realism. Oswald wasn't a passing character in the book, but someone we followed at some length, getting to know and to some degree understand. Yeah, he was creepy.

3. Charlie Decker, a high school student in the Bachman novel, Rage, holds his classroom hostage  and has a long talk-session with them.  The novel is tense as the reader is left wondering if these students are going to make it out alive.  And, the book  is scarier now than when it was written, since it's actually been connected directly to several  schools shootings.

That ever helpful source, Wikipedia,  gives these examples of real life school  shootings that were in some way connected to or supposedly inspired by rage:
  • Jeffrey Lyne Cox, a senior at San Gabriel High School in San Gabriel, California, took a semi-automatic rifle to school on April 26, 1988 and held a humanities class of about 60 students hostage for over 30 minutes. Cox held the gun to one student when the teacher doubted he would cause harm and stated that he would prove it to her. At that time three students escaped out a rear door and were fired upon. Cox was later tackled and disarmed by another student. A friend of Cox told the press that Cox had been inspired by the Kuwait Airways Flight 422 hijacking and by the novel Rage, which Cox had read over and over again and with which he strongly identified.
  • Dustin L. Pierce, a senior at Jackson County High School in McKee, Kentucky, armed himself with a shotgun and two handguns and took a history classroom hostage in a nine-hour standoff with police on September 18, 1989 that ended without injury. Police found a copy of Rage among the possessions in Pierce's bedroom, leading to speculation that he had been inspired to carry out the plot of the novel.
  • Barry Loukaitis, a student at Frontier Middle School in Moses Lake, Washington, walked from his house to the school on February 2, 1996, and entered his algebra classroom during fifth period. He opened fire at students, killing two and wounding another. He then fatally shot his algebra teacher, Leona Caires, in the chest. As his classmates began to panic, Loukaitis reportedly said, "This sure beats algebra, doesn't it?" — a line erroneously believed to be taken from Rage. (No such line appears in King’s story. The closest is when Charlie Decker quips, "This sure beats panty raids.") Hearing the gunshots, gym coach Jon Lane entered the classroom. Loukaitis was holding his classmates hostage and planned to use one hostage so he could safely exit the school. Lane volunteered as the hostage, and Loukaitis was keeping Lane at gunpoint with his rifle. Lane then grabbed the weapon from Loukaitis and wrestled him to the ground, then assisted the evacuation of students.
  • In December 1997 Michael Carneal shot eight fellow students at a prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. He had a copy of the book within the Richard Bachman omnibus in his locker. This was the incident that moved King to allow the book to go out of print.
SOURCE: wikipedia.org/wiki/Rage
Berry raises the concern  that Rage  can be misunderstood as celebrating the violence it actually condemns.  Comparing Rage to Mercedes, Berry writes,
[Rage] was written by a young author not fully in control of the tools of his craft. “Mr. Mercedes” is the product of an old hand, an accomplished writer of popular fiction who generally knows what he’s doing. There’s really no need to fret that the book might inspire further mayhem.
4. The Needful Thing's cast.  Leeland Gaunt is supposed to be the devil himself.  He's one bad  dude.  But he's not the scary part of Needful Things.  The town-folk are!  Willing to cut each other up in the street, slay dogs and burn their town right  to the ground, the last novel of Castle Rock was a dozy!  It is long, but it's also under-appreciated.  King really shows how the devil  works, getting us to take one small step into sin and finding that soon we are willing to do things we never thought was in our own character.

Berry misses his opportunity to really dig deeper into Hartfield's psychology.  It does seem to be what the article promised.  Instead, Berry gives us as much a review of the book itself as a deeper look at Brady Hartfield.  He declares that the novel ranks in the "middle" of King's work in terms of quality.  And where  would that be?
nowhere near the pinnacle of “The Shining” but well away from the abyss of, say, “Dreamcatcher.” 
Humm.  I liked The Shining a lot.  But I'm not sure it was the "pinnacle."  It's brilliant, absolutely brilliant, and yes -- Mr. Mercede's isn't The Shining.  But it's not King's absolute  best.  Disagree with me?  It might be a while since you've actually read the book.  The  novel is very closed  in, which is both creepy and at point tedious.  I like sprawling novels like The Stand, and, believe it or not, Doctor Sleep.

And as for  Dreamcatcher, which Berry put at the bottom of the pile; I enjoyed it!  Well, for a while.  It's both crazy and engaging.  Stick with the book, not the movie on this one.  Is it a masterpiece?  No.  But it's fun.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Night Flier: Tone

Fan Poster by fan Juan Hugo Martinez
source: FlyTheDeadlySkies

I like this movie. A lot. Since it's not a flick you're likely to just jump right into, let me sell this one a little bit!

Night Flyer is based on a Stephen King short story. The movie is straight horror. That doesn't mean there isn't character development, or some good drama -- but this baby is really about a very nasty vamp. Not the kind you'll meet in Twilight, I mean the real kind of vampire. The breed you should be scared of -- not the type you'd ever want to smooch with.

What I really like is the tone. That's really hard to explain isn't it? But I just like the feeling this movie gives me. A reporter chasing a murderer who owns a plane. Lots of rainy scenes. Smoke filled bars. Low life reporters.

There is one particularly wonderful scene that stands out above -- well, most anything I've seen! When Stephen King wrote Dreamcatcher, he noted that we make some pretty terrible discoveries in the bathroom. Well, it's in the potty that we get to see an invisible vampire taking a potty break. So how do we SEE that? He's peeing blood. And that's all you see! I thought that was worth the entire movie!

A rare shot of KNB EFX adding the special effects make-up to Dwight Renfield!
SOURCE: facebook.com/FlyTheDeadlySkies 
Check out their facebook page at: www.facebook.com, which has this interesting "Fright Fact":
NIGHT FLIER FRIGHT FACT: In the scene where Katherine is looking at Richard's bylines, the framed copies of "Inside View" contain many references to other stories by Stephen King: "Springhill Jack Strikes Again!" - Strawberry Spring. "Headless Lamaze Leads To Successful Birth!" - The Breathing Method. "Kiddie Cultists in Kansas Worship Creepy Voodoo God!" - Children of the Corn "Satanic Shopkeeper Sells Gory Goodies!" - Needful Things. "Naked Demons Levelled My Lawn!" - The Lawnmower Man "The Ultimate Killer Diet! Gypsy Curse Flays Fat Lawyer's Flesh" - Thinner.
Behind the scenes footage:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

How To Charm A Constant Reader

How to charm a constant reader -- A Stephen  King charm bracelet.
How to drive them crazy -- tell them it's already sold, and it was one of a kind.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Shining Twin Makes It Out Alive

Stephen King: Tots and Terror

Here is an interesting ebay item, a 1981 TV guide with an article by Stephen King on tots and terror.  To tell you the truth, this is the stuff that really makes collecting fun.  Yeah, it's nice to get a first edition of the latest book -- but old weird stuff is even better.

As a collector, I'm not excited about things made for collecting.  Yes, the new covers for Carrie, The Shining and other early books look great.  And their limited editions.  But limited edition just says to me, "We know you're a sucker."  I'd rather goon the hunt than write a big check.

A magazine is fun because it holds the era in its pages.  So not only is there the article by King, but it is surrounded by the culture it was crafted in.

I love the art in this. King says Bambie is the scariest movie.

You can still buy it at ebay.com for $5 plus $5 shipping.  So that ten bucks.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What You Didn't Know About Shawshank

ifc.com has an interesting article titled, "15 Things You May Not Have Known About The Shawshank Redemption."

Actually, I did know  most of it.  But here's a fact that was new to me: The title was changed to avoid confusion.  (Yes, I knew the title was changed.)  But apparently it held the original title for quite a while in pre-production, creating some interesting situations.  Check it out:
Darabont wrote the script in eight weeks before pitching it to Castle Rock Entertainment. He decided to drop the “Rita Hayworth” part of the novella because actresses sent their resumes in for consideration thinking it was a Rita Hayworth biopic. During the casting process, Darabont even received a call from an agent who represented a supermodel; he swore the script was the best she had ever read and that she’d be perfect for the (non-existent) part of Hayworth.
Also, it turns  out that voice overs are not that easy!  Seems like they should be, doesn't it?  But we're not in the movie making business.  
Originally, all of Morgan Freeman’s voiceover was recorded before any of the film was shot. The fact that much of it syncs up to the onscreen action (see: the scene on the roof where the inmates drink beer) isn’t simple editing. Darabont would playback the recorded voiceover on-set during each take for the actors to specifically play off of the audio. But the audio quality of his voiceover was too poor to include in the movie due to tape hiss, so Freeman had to re-record the entire voiceover in post-production.
Read all 15 at ifc.com

Mr. Mercedes Final Thoughts

Mr. Mercedes Journal #5

There's spoilers here, so if you read on, it's your choice.

If finished reading Mr. Mercedes the other day.  I liked it a lot.  And, I'm ready for the ghosts, vampires, monsters and evil clowns to come back to the Stephen King universe.  That is to say, the book is better than most detective stories; but it's not the same as an old car that is possessed by the spirit of her former owner.  Mr. Mercedes is a good read, but it's not delicious.

The book held me in suspense all the way to the end.  It did not leave me asking for more.

The Clunky Parts:

Sometimes it seems like clues come a little too easily for our main characters.  It's a lot of, "oh, how lucky we are -- another clue, right in time to keep both trains ticking along at the right pace to  have a big blow out at just the right spot."  It feels plotted.  Also, the ending, frankly, feels  contrived.  Hodges walks away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist, after endangering the entire city?

King has said you always  have to deal with the problem, "Why not just call the police?"  Well, Hodges at one point decides to call the police, but they are all so amazingly excited about another turn of events, he chooses not to tell them what he knows because they won't be focused.  This comes across as pretty thin, plot wise.  Makes police seem cartoonish and single minded.  Goodness, they couldn't possibly think of two cases at once, could they?

I also think that King misses just how much respect us common people will give a police badge.  Twice in the novel King portrays people arguing with Hodges after he shows them his badge.  First it's the nosy neighbor.  He forces the group to explain who each of them are and questions them about why they are driving what they are driving and so on.  But when you meet a police officer and company, you really don't go about questioning everyone there.  You usually play it kind of safe around people who carry a badge.

Further, King has Hodges run in to a custodian at the final countdown.  There is an argument  that is simply unbelievable; and this isn't the moment things need to get unbelievable!  So a custodian is arguing with a man with a police badge?  Really?

What Makes The  Novel Work:

Characters.  I love the characters in Mr. Mercedes.  And for them, I'll be back!  The trio is a blast.  Awkward, feisty -- they have the chemistry of the original Star Wars cast as they banter.  Hodges is the most cardboard of the three; a burned out cop who comes back to deal with one last, open case.

King gives his main characters room, space and permission to grow and change as the novel progresses.  Once mousy, quiet and timid Holly becomes more engaging as she gets familiar  and comfortable with the other characters.  By the novel's end, she's changed/progressed dramatically.

Jerome, an intelligent young black man who likes to play with stereotypes falls for Holly.  Is this totally believable?  Nope.  But I like it, and sometimes the  nice thing about a novel is the writer gives us what we want, not what would really happen.

But what really works is  the killer  himself.  There is an  interesting relationship between Brady and his mommy.  Brady could  have stepped right out of Psycho.  The scary parts of Mr. Mercedes is when King takes us inside Mr. Mercedes head.  Not a fun place to be because the reader is able to identify with someone they don't want to identify with!

The letter Mr. Mercedes wrote to detective Hodges was great!  I mean, it was totally believable that a crazy guy wrote this.  And it gets under your skin.

King has never quite taken us inside the mind of a killer the way he does with Brady Hartsfield’s; but he came close with Annie Wilkes.  Annie acted on impulse, while Brady plots and plans his next  move.  Annie wasn't as self aware as Brady.

My final word: I liked it.  Now give us a haunted cruise ship or something.

In general this is not a genre I would read much; so it was a joy to have King introduce me to something new.  But I'm ready now for some creepy cats and hungry clowns.

Of course, right after finishing Mr. Mercedes, I read "In The Tall Grass."  That fit the bill for something creepy!

Chronicling All Of The Music From The DARK TOWER Series

Ria Misra has posted a great article that lists every song in the Dark Tower book series.  Check it out at io9.com

Here's a sample -- from book 2, The Drawing Of The Three:
  • "Just A Gigolo/Ain't Got Nobody" - David Lee Roth (p. 93)
  • "Bridge Over Troubled Water" - Simon and Garfunkel (p. 112)
  • [Unknown Billie Holiday Song] - Billie Holiday (p. 123)
  • "Boy Named Sue" & "Folsom Prison Blues" - Johnny Cash (p. 124)
  • "People" - Barbara Streisand (p. 170)
  • "Pink Shoe Laces" - Dodie Stevens (p. 196)
  • "Take the 'A' Train" - Duke Ellington (p. 215)
  • "Oxford Town" - Bob Dylan (p. 236-8)
  • "Twilight Time" - The Platters (p. 295)

Thompson's Review Of BEYOND FEAR

Check out Zac Thompson's review of Joseph Maddrey's book, "Beyond Fear: Reflections on Stephen King, Wes Craven, and George Romero’s Living Dead" at Bloody Disgusting.

Thompson explains the thesis of the book, "What was it about Craven’s sense of spirituality that inspired the resurrection of child-killer Fred Krueger?  Why are King’s ordinary characters revered so much by many readers?  Maddrey asks these questions and finds his answers through his cinematic breakdown."

More exciting is the books focus on Stephen King's novels:
Maddrey dissects King’s growing line of successful books. Each novel gets a spotlight, even the more recent ones. Our author hits on the right spots, discussing the political overtones of “Under The Dome.”  I never knew there was connection between Paul Edgecomb of the “Green Mile,” to Johnny Marinville in “The Regulators.” The short story, “Rage,” which is about a school shooting, is even more relevant because of Maddrey’s introspection.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Spending The Stephen King Money

You've read  Joyland, right?  You know, the 2006 Emily Schultz novel.  -- OH, wrong Joyland, right?  Turns out, a lot of people are accidentally buying the Schultz novel instead of King's book.

Schultz writes at her website:
I'm Emily Schultz. My first novel came out eight years ago. It was called Joyland. Last year Stephen King released a print-only novel with the same title. That was cool, until a few King readers bought the e-book version of my novel by mistake and started leaving negative and confused Amazon reviews. I asked Amazon to change their search results to keep people from buying the wrong book but never heard back. 
Apparently there were a lot of confused readers as this week I got a—for me—big royalty check for those mistaken books. I'm not so upset anymore. Sure, it's more a pleasant surprise than a fortune, and I'm stuck with those reviews, but I thought a blog detailing how we're spending the Stephen King money would be a nice way to end this funny and strange story. 
So what do you do when Stephen King's money starts to roll in?  Well, obviously, if you're a writer, you write about it!

Schultz has started a delightful blog titled, "Spending The Stephen King Money"  With each purchase she records, she also asks the question, "Would Stephen King like it?"  This includes:
  • furniture from Ikea, a haircut for Brian, 
  • the deductible for bumper repair, 
  • books, 
  • Dinner for two at a place called "Junoon" . . . and more.
She notes that she bought a new Apple computer, and asks if Stephen King would approve.  "WOULD STEPHEN KING ENJOY IT: According to his book On Writing, King writes 10 pages a day. I think he knows the importance of a good machine."

I think this is brilliant and quite a bit of fun.  Naturally, we wonder, what does Stephen King think of this, though.  After all, it is his book that's losing the sales, right?  King told Entertainment Weekly that he is “I’m delighted for her."  And, what's more, "I’m going to order her book.”  So there's a real sale!  And, from none other than Stephen King.  Schultz said in turn that she would be buying King's book. Of course, she'll be buying King's book with King's money.  A nice way to go!

Want To Be Buried In Pet Sematary?

www.examiner.com posted  a news article about a Pet Sematary that now allows humans to be buried with their pets.  Of course -- the connection is obvious!

The article says, "It sounds almost like Stephen King's 'Pet Sematary.'"  Well yeah!

The article then moves on to discuss pet-ghosts.  Such as  the Ghost Cat in the tower of London.
The Ghost Cat-Tower of London 
In All Hallows Church, there is a story about an organist that died, and before he died, his one wish was that he wanted his cat to be buried with him, once the beloved pet died also. Well the Vicar didn't agree with that, so he didn't bury the Persian cat with its deceased owner. Now as the story goes, the cat haunts the All Hallows Church wandering around looking for its owner.

King takes on Amazon

Stephen King, along with hundreds of authors like Nora Roberts and Donna Tartt signed an online letter criticizing Amazon.com.  Amazon has been restricting access tow orks  publishedby Hachette Books Group over  e-book prices.

Hillel Italie at The Telegraph explains, "Amazon has slowed delivery on books by Preston and other Hachette authors, limited discounts and removed pre-order tags for upcoming releases."

Italie's article focuses on author Douglas Preston, author of "The Codex."
In a telephone interview Thursday, Preston said he was receiving so many emails of support that he felt like "a data entry clerk." Known for such thrillers as "Blasphemy" and "The Codex," Preston said he admired Amazon and appreciated how many of his books have sold through the online retailer. But he objected to Amazon's "scorched earth tactics." 
"A lot of pain is being inflicted on innocent third parties," he said, referring to authors whose books have been affected. 
Preston's next book, "The Lost Island," is a collaboration with Lincoln Child that comes out in August. Only the audio edition can be pre-ordered.
Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2014/07/03/3180930/king-caro-among-those-backing.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, July 4, 2014

AMERICAN LANDSCAPE -- Stephen King Style

For years Stephen King has served us up stories about ourselves. Probably what makes him so popular is that he doesn't write about Count Dracula in a far off land, he brings it all to America. I'm pressed to think of stories that even involve other countries!

The America in Stephen King's fiction is a unique place. Here's a glance at the America of Stephen King's creation:
  • Christine is a kind of American Grafitti -- cars, girls and Rock and Roll.

  • IT is a trip back to the 1950's. (For, uh, those who were alive in the 50's.) Seems like The Body falls into the same category.

  • The Dead Zone shows the nasty side of American politics.

  • The Tommyknockers is a 1940's style Scifi.

  • In the Stand King boldly destroyed America, and then made his characters our new founding fathers as they established the Free Zone.

  • Both Rita Hayworth and The Green Mile explore something of the American prison system.
  • Under The Dome shows us America  in miniature.  
  • If you haven't seen it -- there is something strangely All American about Silver Bullet, based on Cycle of the Werewolf.
No wonder George Beahm could write a biography called: "Stephen King, America's Best Loved Boogey Man." Americans love King because he writes about places we feel we know. We don't have to go to a haunted castle, the house next door might be something terrible. He brings the horror home to America. There might be monsters headed to the grocery store. What if your cell phone rang and zombies took over? It's what we know, given a slight twist, that makes things scary!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Awesome Cover For THE SHINING

I found this on my favorite Stephen King website, www.liljas-library.com

Lilja posted:
The 44th language that a King book is translated into has been found. Today I found out that The Shining has been translated into Breton. Breton is a celtic language that's spoken in western France, the Brittany region and what’s extra interesting is that only 200,000 people have Breton as their native language. Very impressive that they now got their own translation of a King book if you ask me.
While you're at Lilja's Library,  you can send him a photo of yourself  and Mr.  Mercedes and be sure to take the "Author Photo Quiz."  --no,  it's not that easy!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Under The Dome Telephone

How did the crew over at The Wire miss the entire first season of Under The Dome?  What's worse, realizing they'd missed something that might  be important, they decided to catch up on it -- by playing telephone.

They explain:
Last summer's silly sensation Under the Dome returns for a second season on Monday. The show, a Stephen King adaptation that is, upon closer inspection, about a town that finds itself placed under a mysterious dome, was at turns junk and addictive and infuriating, and somehow all of us here at The Wire missed out on it.
Now how do you miss Under The Dome?  That  question aside, the group decided to take turns watching the episode, then passing it on to the next person.  They chose not to watch episodes they weren't writing about.

What follows is. . . hilarious, and a mess.

Here's a taste:
David: Americans don't mind domes as long as they have their propane and sunlight. After that, they start getting antsy. If someone refers to a monarch in a vision, they're probably talking about butterflies. There is no visual symbolism outside of this show that isn't to do with pink stars or black clouds, and one is obviously the most beautiful thing in the world whereas the other is the most terrifying. Also, imagine if CBS hadn't picked up this show for a second season. People would have been so mad at that incredibly open-ended, vague cliffhanger
and. . .
Ben: If Under the Dome has taught me one thing, it’s that drifters can do EVERYTHING. Seriously, Barbie (aka the almost-Monarch) has delivered a baby, operated on a gunshot victim, convinced the widow of the guy he killed to become his lover, and managed to still kickass in an episode he spent the entirety of with his hands cuffed behind his back. Sure, he finished season one about to be publicly hanged (another thing I learned: quaint townspeople will turn out in droves if you tell them there’s a hanging), but I’d vote Barbie for Councilman at this point, and we all know how big of a deal that is, considering Big Jim wields absolute power over his constituency. Also: propane = power.

Okay, catch up on their summaries at: thewire.com

The August issue of Esquire goes on sale July 18

The August issue of Esquire goes on sale July 18.  It will contain a new Stephen King short story, "That Bus Is Another world."

Stephen King Movies In Production

image credit: fanpop.com/clubs/stephen-kings-it

Den Of Geekhas posted all of the King movies and TV shows in development!  The information below are from Den Of Geek -- but the full article is at their website.

These include:

J.J. Abram's Bad Robot production company has acquired the rights to adapt this novel into a TV show. Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) was working on the script, but he dropped out over disagreements on the direction the show should take. Bummer.

NBC wants to turn this into a TV show. Chris Sparling (Buried) is writing the pilot. Ben Haber (Across the Universe) is set to produce, while Jordan Kerner (Less Than Zero) will executive produce. No director or cast have been announced at this time.

Big Driver
Lifetime recently announced it would adapt King's novella of the same name, starring Mario Bello (Prime Suspect), rock legend Joan Jett, and Olympia Dukakis (Sinatra). Richard Christian Matheson (Masters of Horror) is penning the adaptation and Mikael Salomon (Drew Peterson: Untouchable) is directing.

The Breathing Method
For now, Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity) is producing a feature film, but has yet to set it up at Universal. Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange) is set to direct.  Of course, now that Derrickson has been chosen to direct Doctor Strange, this film will most likely go on the back burner...

Eli Roth (Hostel) talked about adapting this novel into a feature film a few years back, but that didn't happen. Instead, it's currently in production eyeing a 2015 release. It stars John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman, and Owen Teague. The film will be directed by Todd "Kip" Williams (Paranormal Activity 2), with King and Adam Alleca (Last House on the Left remake) writing the screenplay.

Children of the Corn
Although there have been nine films already, Warner Bros. wants to make another. Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw 2) will reportedly direct with Jon Bokenkamp (The Blacklist) writing the script.

Creepshow 4
The rumor is Warner Bros. is interested in making another sequel or a possible remake. It would be interesting to see them tap someone like Ti West (V/H/S) to direct.

The Dark Tower
Now it looks like Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind) might play the role of Roland along with Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) in an unspecified role. Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) has also met with Howard about a part. Writer Akiva Goldsman and producer Brian Grazen, both of A Beautiful Mind fame, are also attached to move this adaptation along.  . . . Now it's rumored that Media Rights Capital will produce the film. Who knows anymore.

Universal and the Dino De Laurentiis Co. will produce a new adaptation of Firestarter. Mark L. Smith (Vacancy) will write the screenplay. The idea is to give the film more edge than the original in an attempt to create a potential franchise. We wouldn't mind a Stephen King movie franchise about a secret organization that investigates the paranormal and does evil shit with it.

Gerald's Game
Mike Flanagan (Oculus) is at the helm of this adaptation, co-writing the script with Jeff Howard (Oculus). Intrepid Pictures will produce. The film will release sometime in 2015.

A Good Marriage
Peter Askin (Trumbo) will direct a screenplay written by King himself. Joan Allen (The Contender), Kristen Connolly (House of Cards), and Stephen Lang (Avatar) star. The film is planned for an October release.

Grand Central
The TV show comes from the former Dead Zone writing team Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn, and is in development at ABC for a potential summer straight-to-series order. 

Being split into two parts (I'm guessing so that the film makers can tell both the children and adult stories as accurately as possible), Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) will direct. Fukunaga will also co-write with Chase Palmer (Neo-Noir) and David Kajganich (The Invasion). The film will be produced by New Line Cinema.

Tate Taylor (Winter's Bone) is directing and adapting the screenplay. Wyolah Films is producing. Aiming for a 2015 release, the film is still in pre-production.

Lisey's Story
Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) is attached to write and direct the feature film, which is slated for a 2015 release.

The Long Walk
Frank Darabont, super frequent King collaborator, has secured the rights and is planning a low-budget film. This has the potential to be a home run. Fun fact: this was the first novel King ever wrote, but he failed to publish until many years later.

Frances O'Connor (Mr Selfridge), Mark Duplass (The Mindy Project), Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story), Joel Courtney (Super 8), and Chandler Riggs (The Walking Dead) are set to star. Peter Cornwell (The Haunting in Connecticut) will direct from a screenplay by King. The film is slated for later this year.

The Overlook Hotel
Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead) is making this prequel for Warner Bros. and Mythology Entertainment. 

Pet Sematary
David Kajganich (The Invasion) wrote the first draft of a screenplay before Paramount turned writing duties to Matthew Greenberg (1408). Producers Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (Transformers) and Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity) are on board to guide the project.

Rose Madder
Naomi Sheridan (In America) is working on the screenplay. 

The Shop
Charlie McGee will be back, once again running from an even more powerful Shop. Luckily, she'll have a guy named Henry Talbot, a former Shop employee, to guide her through her life as a fugitive. The project is written by Robbie Thompson (Supernatural) and produced by James Middleton (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Jaime Paglia (Eureka) and Thompson.

The Stand
Josh Boone is directing and writing this one, too. Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars), who has already worked with Boone, is rumored to be in the cast. The film would be a 3-hour movie adaptation -- plenty of room, but it probably won't be as expansive as the 1994 TV series. 

The Talisman
This adaptation has been in development hell for quite some time. Steven Spielberg was attached to produce a TV series at some point, but that fell through back in 2006. Frank Marshall (Raiders of the Lost Ark) is now trying to turn this novel into a feature film. 

The Ten O'Clock People
The film adaptation should be interesting. Tom Holland (Fright Night) is directing and writing the screenplay. Jay Baruchel (This Is The End) and Julie Browen star. Kathy Bates (Misery) and King himself are also rumored to appear. This film is slated for a 2015 release.

The full article is at: denofgeek

Monday, June 30, 2014

The DOME Is Back -- What Did You Think?

What did you think of tonight's episode of Under The Dome?

My favorite line: “Shut up and be dead, I’m busy.”

IGN's Matt Fowler posted a review of "Heads Will Roll."  (ign.com)  Fowler writes, that it is "painfully obvious that the first few minutes of this episode were an attempt to very quickly un-do a lot of the thick-headedness that dragged Season 1 down so drastically."

In his verdict, Fowler declares,
"Under the Dome" is definitely going for a new "no one is safe" vibe. Though it would help of any of the characters who were no longer safe were characters I actually care about. Plus, the dome can make anyone pop back up as a ghost-type thing so no one really leaves. And since everyone's so flat, it doesn't actually matter if we're seeing them "alive" or "dead."
By the way -- the image isn't mine.  Anyone notice a grammar problem?

THE DOME is all things King

Tonight's episode of Under The Dome is all King.  The script was written by King.  The show is based on his book.  And Stephen King has a small cameo in  this episode.  I guess he's been writing from Under The Dome.  Actually, it's not possible that Stephen King is Under The Dome -- because he's everywhere right now!

Mike Vogel told Zap2it, "There's always that thing in the back of our minds that it's a Stephen King show and anyone at any time can go anywhere" 

"There's a lot of secrets coming up this season, which is exciting for us, because that's the rich stuff we get to play with."

And then there's this from Stephen King, "After the first season, I went to Neal Baer and Brian Vaughn, the producers of the show, because I was fascinated with what they had done, especially with Mike Vogel as Barbie.  So I asked, 'Would you like me to write the first episode of Season 2?' and they said yes, and I said, 'OK, well, tell me what's going to happen. How does the arc go?' And they said, 'We have no idea.' To me that was like a blank check. So we sat down and started to figure it out."

They have no idea?  

Anyway, King says that they actually talked  about hanging Barbie after season one, but CBS wouldn't have it.  (Is that a spoiler?  I don't know, I haven't seen the episode,  just quoting Mr. King.)  If they really wanted to push things away from the book, they would do away with Barbie.  In fact, I vote for it!  Because it would say, "anything really is possible."  But the truth is, anything's not possible.  Apparently with CBS, only popular things are possible.

Also, I liked this line, "King says he's more than happy to consider other projects for television, although he finds trying to anticipate network constraints to be 'like working for the Kremlin.'"  I wish one of those projects would be The Dark Tower.

Pictures From Tonight's UTD

does it seem like Margaret White  should be pinned here?

What Is The Dome?

Are you looking forward to tonight's episode?

Synopsis for tonight's episode: Stephen King’s “Under the Dome” (CBS at 10) returns for Season 2 with Barbie in danger and Julie coming to the aid of a girl who may have clues about the origin of the dome.  (washingtonpost.com)

What is the dome?

Could be. . .
1. An alien force-field placed by leather headed creatures who consider  humans insignificant.
2. The dome is a living entity caused by the earth itself.
3. It's powered by the Dark Tower.
4. The result of an alien spaceship.


Here seems to be the guidelines (they're different than the book)

  • Weather, rain, so on can pass through.
  • The Dome itself gives some people visions of pink stars falling.
  • The Dome goes deep into the earth.  You can't dig your way out (sorry Maggie Simpson.)
  • The Dome gives an electric charge and can jolt people with pacemakers, hearing aids and other electrical devices.
  • The Dome appears to have a will of its own and can direct peoples behavior at times.
  • The Dome that appears to in some way control the Dome itself. 


Cody Collier posted an interesting story at guardianlv.com that announces that the Dark Tower is set to be a live-action production.

Wait . . . WHAT?  Collier writes:
On the subject of The Dark Tower, much of the information about the production is still surrounded by speculation and mystery, but a few statements have been made clear. Academy award-winning director, Ron Howard has been attached to direct the adaptation of The Dark Tower series, but the form of adaptation the title is to take is still uncertain. The initial plan for the project was to create a trilogy of feature films deriving from multiple excerpts from the eight books included in the saga, but also, similar to Under the Dome, create two seasons of a television series that would seal up any gaps left in between each of the movies.
Stephen King may have this new series in the works, but the Under the Dome creator still suffers many difficulties in getting The Dark Tower on its feet. The two production companies, Warner Brothers and Universal have pulled their support for the project, most likely due to the complexity of its production. King states that he is still putting his faith in director, Ron Howard to see the project through at some point in the near future. Ties to the network HBO have been rumored and whispers of Russell Crowe playing the titular role of Roland Deschain have surfaced, but still nothing has been confirmed. The only official evidence that the project is still even happening can be seen on The Dark Tower IMDb, Internet Movie Database page confirming Howard as the director, Akiva Goldsman as the screenplay writer and Imagine Entertainment as the production company.
Since he's not citing a lot of sources, and most of the information here is a look BACK -- I'm not sure what Collier basing this on.  However, I'm always hopeful for a Dark Tower series.  HBO would be AWESOME.

At the heart of Collier's discussion seems to be that since Under The Dome series is doing well, maybe King might yet pull off a Dark Tower series.  I hope the fate of the Tower does not rest on the ratings of Under The Dome.

Esquire Offers New KING Story UPDATED

This was first posted at Lilja's Library -- which is a well written King site with LOTS of  news, information and interviews.  Check  it out at liljas-library.com/

Apparently the August edition of Esquire  will be running a new story from Stephen King.  Of course,  none of my local stores have Esquire -- and so I must wait patiently.  Waiting is only made easier by the fact that I still have a few pages of Mr. Mercedes to finish up.

UPDATED: (from Lilja's Library)

King's upcoming story in Esquire Magazine is called That Bus Is Another World.

PHOTO: liljas-library.com

PHOTO: liljas-library

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jeremy Wheeler Gives Us A Unique Stephen King Movie Guide

I like this 2013 "Everything You Need to Know About Stephen King Movies and Shows, A-Z" by Jeremy Wheeler at esquire.com 

(yes, I did find it as I was trying to find out more about the new Stephen King story in the August edition of Esquire)

King Talks Dome

Right now the web is pretty flooded with Under The Dome Season Two stories.  This seattletimes.com discussion with Stephen King is pretty good.

“I knew that George R.R. Martin had written a few episodes of ‘Game of Thrones,’ and I was very jealous,” King told the Seattle Times.

Why is King writing the first episode?  He explains (apparently as they eat pizza), “It gave me a chance to set the arc in motion for the season, and it gave me a little more input into what was going to happen.”

The article cites Neal Baer saying, “We thought this would be a great way to solidify the support of the fans...”  Does the fan base need solidifying?  Maybe.

What's my reaction to another season of Under The Dome?  Fearful.  Things took off with a bang  first season, then fell apart.

Is King Writing About Hodges? . . .
After discussing his "ritual" for writing, the article notes:
That’s not to say that King lives free of the self-doubt that afflicts most, if not all, writers. In fact, he’s currently a “mess” over the troublesome third act of an upcoming book.
“I don’t usually plot in advance, the book usually tells me what to do, but I’m getting to the point where there’s a lot of mist ahead and I just sort of hope things work out,” he said. “They usually do.”
 Makes me wonder if he is hard at work on the next installment with Detective Ret. Hodges.

Norris talks Dome

Some of my favorite lines from Dean Norris' comments on Under The Dome:

  • "Big Jim is a guy who loves  power.  He thinks he's doing it for the sake of the town."
  • "[Big Jim] is just a delicious character to play!"
  • "He's like a lizard that's  cooking along, when he sees the fly,  he eats  it. He doesn't think about it."
  • "He's manipulative, he uses salesman tactics when he needs to.  He's playing different characters for different people in the show."
  • "There's some new characters this season that Big Jim has to determine if he trusts  them, if they trust him.  It's always an interesting question of do you trust Big Jim."
  • "The Dome, even though it was a big character in season one, it's an even bigger character in season two.  The question is, is the Dome calling Big Jim to lead the town?"


Friday, June 27, 2014

Concept Art from Ron Howard's Cancelled Adaptation of Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower'

photo source: www.comicbookmovie.com

comicbookmovie.com has posted concept art from Ron Howard's stab at The Dark Tower.  It includes this note, "Conceptual illustrator, Gregory Hill ("The Amazing Spider-Man 2"), has updated his website with concept art that he created for Universal's cancelled film adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower, which Ron Howard ("Rush") was set to direct."

Movies.com Peter Hall remarks, "As much as we love to root for movies around here, we actually kind of hope that Howard and Goldsman's plans for a Dark Tower movie trilogy never do get off the ground. There's just too much material in the books to condense into even three movies. It really does deserve the Game of Thrones HBO treatment, but that will never happen so long as the movies are still in the works."

The current work on THE STAND movie should take note, as they are trying to squeeze  what could be an entire series into a feature movie.  (Yes, still sulking)

Hall explains the release of the concept art this way:
This week some concept art (and video; see above) created for the movie has been put online by illustrator Gregory Hill, and while it's not exciting material (it's basically just a tour through a few key locations from the books), it being published may be a sign that the movie has completely stalled. Universal was the last studio working with them on it, and this may be from the version that it nixed. Most movies don't let concept art out into the wild until after the movie has come out, so this could mean that whatever work Hill did would have never seen the light of day otherwise.

photo source: www.comicbookmovie.com

photo source: www.comicbookmovie.com

Stephen King A Face Among The Msaters AMAZON COUNTDOWN

Kindle is running a countdown special for Stephen King, A Face Among The Masters.

Get it at www.amazon.com

Today you can get  the kindle version of my book, for 1.99.
Later, it will be 3.99.
Saturday it will be 4.99

The Kindle edition is usually runs for 7.50.  Unless you buy the print edition, in which case it is always .99cents.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lego Stephen King

I've been obsessed with Lego's lately.  Might have something to do with the awesome Lego movie!  It was total mash-up at its best.

Here's  some Lego Stephen King:


Here's Carrie:

yeah, I like that one a lot.

Here's The Dark Tower

How cool is that, Roland?  Show up at the Dark Tower  and find that the beams all lead to LEGO LAND!