Link: Willa behind the scenes

Here is a cool behind the scenes look at Willa.

alpha productions writes, "A little peek for you all out there at what we did in our first round of shooting 'Willa' - we are getting closer to starting the second half so do stay tuned for updates and fresh photos and videos from that once we start."

Quint: How The Dark Tower Ought To Be!

I really enjoyed Aintitcool's legendary Eric Vespe's (aka, Quint) editorial on how the Dark Tower ought to be done.  First, Quint always has good stuff to share, and second, I agree with the dude.

So what wonderful ideas does Quint have for the Dark Tower?  I'll bullet point Quint's bright ideas and then you can go read it all in his own piffy words at the link below.
  • Frank Darabont should be the showrunner for an HBO Dark Tower series
Wait. . . that's only one bullet.  The rest of the article is really spent explaining why this is a good idea.  Bottom line, HBO can do big stuff and Frank Darabont has proven he is one of the few people who can do good stuff with Stephen King material.  I added the "few" -- but it's true.  Only a handful of directors have made the magic connection between a King novel and a King movie.

Anyway, Quint, I think you're right on!  Now convince HBO, Frank Darabont, Ron Howard and Stephen King.

A&E Bag Of Bones Press Release

Here is the press release A&E has posted for Bag Of Bones!  I'm really excited about this book being brought to the screen, and am glad to see the mini-series format being utilized again.  Also glad to see Mick Garris at the helm once again.

A&E Network will begin production next month on "Stephen King's Bag of Bones," a four-hour epic mini-series thrill-ride based on the New York Times number one bestselling novel, featuring Pierce Brosnan's return to television. The two-night event from Sony Pictures Television is scheduled to premiere in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"Bag of Bones" will also star Anabeth Gish, with additional cast to be announced shortly. Mick Garris is set to direct the Matt Venne penned script, based on The New York Times #1 bestseller by Stephen King. Filming will take place in Nova Scotia, Canada.

"Bag of Bones" is the story of grief and lost love's enduring bonds, an innocent child caught in a terrible crossfire and a new love haunted by past secrets. Bestselling novelist Mike Noonan, played by Pierce Brosnan, is unable to stop grieving after the sudden death of his wife Jo. A dream inspires him to return to the couple's lakeside retreat in western Maine where he becomes involved in a custody battle between the daughter of an attractive young widow and the child's enormously wealthy grandfather, the mysterious ghostly visitations, the ever-escalating nightmares and the realization that his late wife still has something to tell him.

"Bag of Bones" is produced by Sony Pictures Television for A&E. Executive producers are Mark Sennett for Mark Sennet Entertainment, Inc., Mick Garris for Nice Guy Productions, Inc., Stewart Mackinnon for Headline Pictures Limited and Craig Sheftell. Brian Gary and David Davoli are the co-executive producers.

Bag Of Bones News

Here's some exciting news about Bag Of Bones, posted with the title "Home & Away favourite in King chiller." reports that George will play Mattie Devore, a young mother caught in a custody battle with her daughter's grandfather.

Brosnan will play Mike Noonan, a widowed novelist who helps Mattie in her fight to keep her child.

The series will be shot in Nova Scotia, Canada, with Mick Garris (Riding the Bullet, The Shining (TV miniseries) and The Stand) directing.

Bag of Bones will premiere on the A&E network in the US later this year.
Of course, Nova Scotia is home to Haven and is absolutely beautiful.  Can't wait to see more of it.

Duma Key Journal 2: Palm Desert

Spotted Palm Desert, California, in Duma Key.  Not in a positive note, though.  Seems the books protagonist, Edgar, isn't too fond of the place.  That interested me, since we often go to Palm Desert -- and never caught the image King paints.
Pam's father was a retired Marine.  He and his wife had relocated to Palm Desert, California, in the last year of the twentieth century, settling in one of those gated communities where there's one token African-American couple and four token Jewish couples.  Children and vegetarians are not allowed.  Residents must vote Republican and own small dogs with rhinestone collars, stupid eyes, and names that end in i.
That's funny!  I have no idea if it is true, since I have never been in a gated community in Palm Desert.  There are an awful lot of golf courses though -- never been to any of those, either.  We just go to the mall. 

The must vote Republican line and no vegetarians caught my attention.  Seriously. . . all of the Palm Springs area is pretty liberal; I suspected even the gated communities out toward Palm Desert are littered with Obama bumper stickers.  It's all very alternative lifestyle friendly -- in fact, nearby Cathedral City even has purple lamp posts.  It's certainly no Orange County of the 80s - 90s, which was California's conservative fortress.

I wonder what kind of retired Marine can retire in a gated community in Palm Desert.  The dude must have been upper brass!  It work, because 29 Palms is down the road, and that is the biggest Marine base (land wise) in the world.  Marines like it because it's a live fire base; meaning they get to use big guns, bombs and everything else out there.

Given the choice between Duma Key or Palm Desert, I think I also would choose Duma Key.  I like it when California pops up in King novels.

Dead Zone Inspires Horror Bookstore

 With Borders announcing its closing, it seemed there was only dark horizons ahead for brick and mortar book stores.  However, Andrew Tanielian has a wonderful article about "Eerie Books & Collectables" -- a bookstore focused on selling horror.  Pretty cool?  You bet!  The store opened in 2008 and is home to all things horror.  Of course, wimps are welcome, and believe it or not, you're kids are welcome! 
Owner Randy Ray says that he has had people all the way from Oklahoma travel to visit the Wylie, Texas store.

Ray's love for horror was inspired by Stephen King.  The article quotes Ray:
“I went to a flea market when I was 15 years old and bought a copy of the Dead Zone by Stephen King. At the time I was really interested in science fiction and fantasy. I didn’t have any interest in Stephen King or horror. The cover looked cool and it was 75 cents. And the Dead Zone turned out to be one of the best novels I ever read and I loved it and that got me interested in Stephen King which in turn got me interested in horror."
Like Stephen King, Ray was an English teacher for a short time.  But he didn't like it, and has found that owning a bookstore allows him to make a bigger contribution to literacy.

Here are a few cool things about the bookstore:
  • A Stephen King book club that meets on the last Thursday of each month.  Ray explains, "we’re reading the Stephen King books in chronological order. So, we’re starting with Carrie and working our way up."
  • A general horror book club meets on the first Thursday of each month.
  • Around 6,000 books.
  • a wide range of children’s books.  Yep, you read that right.  Watcha wanna bet they have a copy of Goosebumps, eh.
Check it out:
Eerie Books & Collectables
205 North Ballard Avenue
Wylie, TX
(972) 442-9393

Andrew Tanielian's full article is here:

Kirby McCauley Talks About DARK FORCES

There is a great interview with Dark Forces editor, Kirby McCauley in the books 25th Anniversary Edition.  Dark Forces is now available as an ebook, and that means you can get it for your Amazon Kindle.

McCauley shares several things in the interview that are of interest to constant readers.  For instance, Kealan Patrick Burke (who is conducting the interview) notes that McCauley is credited as an executive producer on John Carpenter's screen adaptation of Christine.  How did that happen?  Well McCauley calls it Stephen King's "kindness."  Richard Korbitz was the primary producer.  Besides, McCauley notes, John Carpenter "pretty much does what he wants."  What does he think of the final result?  "I wouldn’t say it’s one of the best King films, but it’s a pretty good one."

The real gem in Dark Forces is Stephen King's offering of The Mist.  McCauley calls The mist a superb story, one of the best horror novella's he's ever read! 

Kealan Patrick Burke says that the Mist is the perfect length.  McCauley agrees, saying, "Henry James called it the 'beautiful and blest nouvelle', and that’s what The Turn of the Screw is. It’s a very good length. The Mist truly helped the anthology in every way too, both in quality and in terms of public success, so I am deeply grateful for Stephen’s generosity."

This is a great interview, and quite lengthy. 

Cemetery Dance ebooks

Cemetery Dance is now offering ebooks.  This is exciting stuff! 

I'm new to the ebook world (always a day late when it comes to technology), but I have arrived!  As of. . . yesterday.  Don't laugh at me. 

My wife owns a Kindle, and she's been on it constantly ever since her birthday.  But I like the feel of a book in my hands.  It just doesn't feel the same when you fall asleep reading -- the pages are supposed to mash over your nose, but a Kindle just smacks you in the eye. 

Yesterday I discovered I can read the Kindle books on my computer.  Awesome!  (Or, in California terms, "Far Out, Dude!)  I am totally sold on the ebooks.  I mean, come on, you can read the suckers on the beach. 

A few benefits:
1. I didn't have to drive 100 miles to get the book I need. 
2. Don't have to wait for the mail.  Amazon has always been an option -- but then there's that long eternity checking the mail box every day hoping my books arrived. Can the mail get any slower in small town America? 
3. The price is a lot less when purchasing an ebook.
4. Oh, this is important -- The pages turn quicker! I must have it set on some old persons blind setting, because I was breezing along.  It was the same day I saw the news story that Borders was closing.  So long brick and mortar stores!, You'll be missed. . . a little.

A few titles familiar to King fans:
Cemetery Dance page for their ebooks:


Mike Fleming at reports that Universal has decided not to proceed with the Dark Tower series of movies and TV mini-series. 

Fleming writes, "Universal has passed on going forward with the project, dealing a huge blow in the plan for Ron Howard to direct Akiva Goldsman's script, with Brian Grazer, Goldsman and the author producing and Javier Bardem starring as gunslinger Roland Deschain."

Of course, the issue is just how big the series is.  Flemming notes that, saying, "Now, the filmmakers will have to find a new backer of what might well be the most ambitious movie project since Bob Shaye allowed Peter Jackson to shoot three installments of The Lord of the Rings back to back."

This isn't really a big surprise, since filming was supposed to start this summer.  Did any of us really believe them when they said that things were still on track, they just needed to adjust the budget?  Tell us what ya know, Mike. . .
Flemming writes, "I'm told that this time, the studio reviewed Goldsman's script for the first film and the first leg of the TV series, and would only commit to the single film. That wasn't good enough for the filmmakers, who had already hired comic book and Heroes and Battlestar Galactica writer/producer Mark Verheiden to co-write the TV component with Goldsman, which was to be made for NBC Universal Television (studio insiders deny that the studio was only willing to make the movie and not the series). I know the filmmakers planned to make it all part of the first shoot while they had the cast in place and the sets erected. I'd heard back in May that Warner Bros--where Goldsman's Weed Road is based and which is fully financing two installments of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit--was a possible landing place for the adaptation of King's 7-novel epic that is that author's answer to Tolkien's LOTR novels. The Dark Tower is about the last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers, with Deschain becoming humanity’s last hope to save civilization as he hits the road to find the Dark Tower. Along the way, he encounters characters, good and bad, in a world that has an old West feel."
So what's the bottom line?  Why did they drop such a great project?  Flemming thinks it's money.  That's probably right on.  The project would be huge, and if filmed in large chunks (several movies at once) no income would be seen for some time.  Still, I think they're passing up a cash cow!

Ever since Universal decided to trim the budget (with a chainsaw), I've felt uneasy about this.  Who doesn't want to see the project brought to screen?  But if they're going to dumb it down and give us lame special effects, I prefer they just not touch it.  In the end, no matter how much passion Universal might say they have for The Dark Tower, it seems the truth is they don't have a heart for it.  They don't understand it. 

How Kubrick's THE SHINING Differs From King's

Nola Cancel at has a fun article titled "From page to screen: What makes a great horror movie adaptation?"  That's a title long enough to make a PPuritan proud!  Anyway, in her discussion she lists several differences between the novel The Shining and Kubrick's movie. 
In Stephen King’s “The Shining”, the brilliant director Stanley Kubrick, who also wrote the screenplay with help from Diane Johnson, was able to take a terrific book and make, some would say, an even better movie. However, there were quite a few distinct differences between the two that left fans of the novel crying foul, but didn’t affect the film viewer, at all.

In the novel, Danny can, actually, see Tony. In the movie, any interaction takes place within his head. Also, in the novel it’s Tony who doesn’t want to go to the “Overlook”, in the movie it’s Danny.

In the novel, Dick Hallorhan lives and “The Overlook” is destroyed; in the movie, Dick Hallorhan dies and “The Overlook” lives on. In the movie, we all remember the part where Wendy finds Jack’s novel and reads it; in the novel she never reads Jack’s play.

And, those are just to name a few.
Cancel goes on to discuss John Ajvide Lindquist’s “Let the Right One In”, and Anne Rice’s “Interview with a Vampire".  Read the full article here:

The Stand Could Be A Trilogy

Lilja's Library reported this a couple days ago.

David Yates, director of the Harry Potter films, can now just about pick any project her wants.  So what's in store?  Vulture ( offers this insight:
"The studio's top priority is a multi-picture adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand. Our spies tell us that Yates is flying into town tomorrow, and has been rereading King’s epic-length supernatural classic. We’re told Yates will decide if he wants to do the film sometime in the next two weeks. It is a big commitment, as the studio wants to split the giant book into three parts."
That said, the article also gives this grim comment, "one could imagine the studio backing away from that aspiration, just as we heard that Universal was getting nervous about its plan to turn King's Dark Tower series into three movies and a two-season TV series."  Ouch!  That wasn't nice.

The Stand would be exciting as three parts.  However, it's hard to really imagine that happening.  None of the three sections stand alone.  It is one concise story.  The middle section in particular would seem unusually awkward -- sorry, but no Empire Strikes Back with this Act.  what works for the Stand as a novel is that it keeps moving.  But movies don't do that!  They come out, and then you have to wait a year or two for the next one.  Momentum can be lost.

One other important element is missing thus far -- Stephen King!  What made the mini-series work for me was King's story telling.  It wasn't driven by special effects or super acting, it was just a good story at the core.

More Info On Mile 81

This is exciting -- had posted some new info on Mile 81.  First, we should note that it will include an excerpt for 11/22/63.  Then there is this rather detailed description (notice they mention both Stand By Me and Christine) --
At Mile 81 on the Maine Turnpike is a boarded up rest stop, a place where place where high school kids drink and get into the kind of trouble high school kids have always gotten into. It’s the place where Pete Simmons goes when his older brother, who’s supposed to be looking out for him, heads off to the gravel pit to play “paratroopers over the side.”

Pete, armed only with the magnifying glass he got for his tenth birthday, finds a discarded bottle of vodka in the boarded up burger shack and drinks enough to pass out.

Not much later, a mud-covered station wagon (which is strange because there hadn’t been any rain in New England for over a week) veers into the Mile 81 rest area, ignoring the sign that says “closed, no services.” The driver’s door opens but nobody gets out.

Doug Clayton, an insurance man from Bangor, is driving his Prius to a conference in Portland. On the backseat are his briefcase and suitcase and in the passenger bucket is a King James Bible, what Doug calls “the ultimate insurance manual,” but it isn’t going to save Doug when he decides to be the Good Samaritan and help the guy in the broken down wagon. He pulls up behind it, puts on his four-ways, and then notices that the wagon has no plates.

Ten minutes later, Julianne Vernon, pulling a horse trailer, spots the Prius and the wagon, and pulls over. Julianne finds Doug Clayton’s cracked cell phone near the wagon door – and gets too close herself. By the time Pete Simmons wakes up from his vodka nap, there are a half a dozen cars at the Mile 81 rest stop. Two kids – Rachel and Blake Lussier –and one horse named Deedee are the only living left. Unless you maybe count the wagon.

With the heart of Stand By Me and the genius horror of Christine, Mile 81 is Stephen unleashing his imagination as he drives past one of those road signs... 
I don't know who writes the promos -- but I think the mention of Christine is significant.  For a while it seemed King felt Christine didn't "work" because of the narration shifts.  However, over time the novel seems to have held its own as a genuine slice of horror.  I'm glad to see it getting a bit of attention again!

This link will get you there. . .

Duma Key Journal 1

About Journal Entries. . .
With The Stand finished, I dived into another long novel -- obviously it was Duma Key.  Hopefully I can read fast since I want to read the new books coming out in the fall.  The journal entries are my notes as I read, they are not book reviews. 

I choose to let wiser/sharper pens than mine review the books.  Lilja is always the best, and Charnel House is very good.

If you haven't read the book, then the Journal's are going to be full of spoilers -- because I'm actually talking about the book!

On To Duma Key. . .

First Person: It is interesting that King uses the first person in such a large novel.  I was once told by a writing friend that publishers don't like big first person novels. 

Edgar Allan Poe is referenced when Edgar sees the house, and notes that the sea is taking a toll on it.  It will groan, he imagines, like the House of Usher.

The Angry Man: I really like it that Edgar is such an angry, messed up dude!  His wife leaves him when he tries to strangle her; though he doesn't remember the incident.  Closer to his heart is the time he stabbed her with a spork!  (Spellcheck says spork is not a word.  Probably becuase to a computer, a spork is illogical.  Besides, it was actually a plastic fork.)  Anyway, his meanness has cost him his marriage. 

Object freely if I am wrong, guys --  I think most men will identify with Edgar and his anger.  Maybe it's not the raw, open, oozing anger that Edgar experiences; but I talk to a lot of guys, and almost all of them struggle with anger. 

Edgar lashes out at the people around him; people who want to help him.  He is in search of peace -- both physically and emotionally.  Like Jack from The Shining, he wants to find a place to go and practice his art.  For Jack, it was writing a novel.  For Edgar, it is painting.  Jack did not have the means to choose his path of escape -- he had to take the first open door to him, which was the Overlook.  Not so with Edgar.  He has the financial ability to seek out any place of refuge he wants.  Does he want to live alone on the Florida Keys?  Well, he can write a check and make it happen.  So for Jack, a bad situation became worse.  For Edgar, this does not start out as a bad situation.  It is one of his own choosing.  But can paradise become hell?  Ask Adam and Eve. (And it is worth noting, King gives a full half page to discussing Adam and Eve getting kicked out of paradise.  Now, tell me there's not some foreshadowing there, eh!)

Limitations: As we often find in King novels, our hero (?) has some serious limitations.  While most writers give us supermen, King gives us people we know and relate to because they are broken.  Well, Edgar is a very broken man!  Edgar has lost an arm, and has had serious physical and emotional damage done due to a serious accident.  The results are evident on the page in front of the reader!  Edgar can't think of the right words to use in given situations. 

Now imagine making someone who can't think of the right word -- the narrator!  That's gutsy!

New Novella: Mile 81

I spotted this first at Lilja's Library.

King has a new novella coming out as an ebook, titled "Mile 81."  The 80 page ebook will be available on September 1, 2011 and will cost $2.99.

No details are given.  Mile 81 is a rest area that appears in Dreamcatcher (p.525).

1978 The Stand Journal 12

I like this picture.  Photo credit:

Grover and Me:
I just finished the last tape of The Stand.  Yes, I listened to it.  It was read by Grover Gardner, and was fantastic.  At first Gardner seemed stiff, even dry, I found that I really liked him as the book progressed.  We became fast friends!

Gardner reads with a certain reserved energy.  Though he does not overpower the story, he is very engaged in what he is reading.  As one blogger commented, Gardner doesn't get in the way of the book!  He doesn't try to outperform the story

His voice is crisp, every word pronounced correctly, and well paced.  His inflections are always appropriate, but again, not distracting.  I think Gardner is quickly becoming one of my favorite readers!   

Pacing The Conclusion:
The Stand ends with a bang. . . and then it keeps going.  I really like the way King ended the Stand.  He didn't simply tie things up with the bad guys demise -- he spent time (considerable time) letting us see the world after Flagg.  The conclusion (a good hundred pages, I think) includes Stu and Tom meeting back up, and Tom's nursing Stu back to health.  It is touching, and again, not rushed.  Even in the chopped version I was reading, King gives this section room to breath.  He doesn't feel in a hurry to end the book -- and the reader isn't anxious for it to end, either.

The long journey home for Tom and Stu is the highlight of the last chapters of The Stand.  But there is more even after they reach the Free Zone.  Will Stu and Fran stay?  What about Larry's child?  On that note, what about Fran's?  Will the super-flu knock out the next generation?  These are things King deals with nicely in the last pages of The Stand.

I have read many reviews of The Stand, and no one ever mentions how much space King gives his characters at the end of the novel.  Usually King spends considerable time building characters at the beginning of a book; but here he lets us live with them a little bit longer.  Further, I have heard many people say they do not like the way King ends his books.  Try the Stand!  I think it is brilliant.  Though the "plot" has been carried out, King still sees more story ahead.  And the reader can imagine a million stories that could come out of The Stand.  It is surprising no one has thought to do a TV series based on the world of The Stand. 

Nukes And Our Children
Stu and Fran discuss the issue of bringing children into this new world.  But it's not really a "new" world!  In fact, the "toys" (kings word) are left behind -- nukes.  Two things need to be destroyed: The nukes, and the plant that created the super-flu. 

Now it's interesting that nukes are seen as the problem, since the essentially saved the Free Zone's hide.  There is a hint of anti-war sentiment that flows throughout The Stand.  Not that good should roll over and refuse to fight, but simply a fear that by over-building our military complex, we might be forcing our children's hands.

God turned out to be a pretty important character in The Stand.  When The Bomb actually goes off, it is unclear for a moment if God did it, or Flagg did it!  Flag was playing with a blue ball of fire when Trashy showed up with his toy.  It is that same ball of fire that strikes the bomb.  But later dialogue makes it clear that it was the work of God.

What kind of God do we encounter in The Stand?  At the mid point, Fran paints the picture of an evil God who would destroy so much of His creation.  But as the Stand progresses, we begin to see a purpose unfolding.

God's will is a major theme of The Stand.  God is portrayed as Sovereign; beyond our understanding, and able to tell the future.  God is shown as active in the affairs of men (he is not far off, unconcerned with us).  Now here's an interesting theological note: In the Stand, God is willing and ready to act.  He is completely capable of stopping evil.  He is not threatened by Flagg.  But before he will act, he requires that men also take their Stand.  He desires to use humans as much as possible in order to carry out His will.  Glen Bateman puts it together for us, saying "If there's a God, and I now believe these must be -- that's his will.  We're going to die and somehow all of this will end as a result of our dying."

God is not only presented as all powerful, but as Just.  Tom Cullen puts it pretty succinctly when he says, "It was the bad man killed Nick.  Tom knows.  But God fixed that bad man.  I saw it.  The hand of God came down out of the sky."  Now why did God kill the "bad man"?  Tom tells us!  "Fixed him for what he did to Nick and to the poor judge.  Laws yes."

Nods in other King works:
  • Freemantle: Mother Abigail's last name is Freemantle.  In Duma Key the main character is named Edgar Freemantle.
  • Hemmingford Home is also the setting for 1922.  It is the hometown of Ben from IT.  Hemmingford Home is also seen in The Last Rung Of The Ladder.
  • In Wizard and Glass, Blane The Mono stops in the world of The Stand. 
  • Night Surf sort of serves as a prologue to The Stand.
  • The evil character Flagg appears in The Eyes of the Dragon and The Dark Tower.  If he is the Devil himself, then he is also in Needful Things.
  • Wikipedia notes something really cool: "In the denouement, Stu and Tom happen upon an abandoned Plymouth Fury with the initials 'A.C.' engraved on the keychain. Arnie Cunningham was the owner of the 1958 Plymouth Fury in Christine. The car is found empty with no apparent driver."
  • Wikipedia points out that radio signals from Arnette, Texas, are also heard in The Tommyknockers.
  • And. . . "Charles Decker's teacher in Rage, Mrs. Jean Underwood, is said to be a relative of Larry Underwood."
  • Finally, Wikipedia says that "Stuart Redman has a dream of a corn field with a creature with red eyes staring at him, this is a reference to "Children of the Corn".

King Of Bangor (Paperback)

Overlook Connection has published Lee Gambin's play "King Of Bangor."  The 70 page script sells for $10 on amazon.  Fangoria says the plays Milbourne, Australia run has been "successful."  (Gambin is a contributor to Fangoria.)

Heather Bloom, says the work is "A wonderful look into the thin line that divides reality from illusion, The King of Bangor is an unsettling tale of what can happen when creation surpasses creator."

Also cited by amazon is this quote from theatre of words, "Although marketed to horror fans this play does have broader appeal. It is insightful, surprisingly funny at points and delightfully inter-textual. It is not a comfortable place to be sitting as Stephen King at his typewriter, but it sure is an absolute pleasure to sit in the audience and watch as both the play and his sanity unfold."

LiLo Gets Another Vote For CARRIE remake

A while back when the Carrie remake news was first hitting the web, Stephen King said it would be interesting to see Lindsay Lohan cast as Carrie White.  Well, Lindsay now has another fan. . . Sissy Spacek, who was the "original" Carrie!

According to that always trustworthy source --Perez Hilton -- Spacek feels "flattered" that anyone would compare herself to the young star.

Hilton quotes Lohan thusly:
"I read about it and I was very flattered because they ran a picture of me and of Lindsay Lohan. I was like, 'Oh my God, she's really a beautiful girl' and so I was very flattered. I was also flattered that they were casting someone to look like me instead of the real Carrie described in the book. It's gonna be real interesting."
Hilton offers Lohan this word of encouragement: "Not to worry, LiLo! With so much support in your corner for the originators of the story and film, you're bound to be seriously considered."

Full post from Perez Hilton here:  (and yo, check out the pic of Sissy. . .)

S.K. Wants Your Blood

It's true!  Stephen King wants your blood.  The author of that vampire book -- his novels ooze blood, don't they?  Now the secrets out -- what King really wants is your blood.  You shouldn't be surprised!  You did read Carrie, right?  The whole thing was about blood.  And finally we faithful constant readers get the word. . . Stephen King wants our blood.

Well, not personally.  He wants you to donate blood.  And he's doing more than just asking -- he's practically bribing!  (FYI: I really like this story)

Stephen King is doing a public announcement for Suncoast Communities Blood Bank. 

King's radio and television spots include this line, "“In 1999 people I had never met helped save my life. Blood donors. I’m a blood donor now, and I give as often as I can at Suncoast Communities Blood Bank.”

After he taped the public announcement, he stuck around and signed copies of the staffs Stephen King books.  Now, get this. . .
"Several staffers planned to donate their copies to the blood bank to award to a few lucky blood donors. When King learned of this, the next day he sent over a dozen autographed books, including some rare boxed editions signed by the illustrator as well."
That's awesome!  Anyone donating to the blood drive will be eligible to win a hard-bound, autographed copy of one of King’s books.  No big deal?  Well, check this out -- I spotted “The Shining” on the list.  Not to shabby, eh!  Also listed were “Full Dark, No Stars” and “Hearts in Atlantis.”

A complete list of official blood drives can be found at or by calling (866) 97-BLOOD.


Fangoria has just published the contents of the upcoming issue, #306.  It includes a "extensive chat with Sissy Spacek on Carrie."  Awesome!  That was a tremendous movie.  Often actors don't talk much about their older stuff.  It's exciting that Spacek has maintained a passion for Carrie.  In fact, she even read the audio version. 

Here's a snippet from Fangoria:
The front art is an old-school painting celebrating the new rubber-suit-monster opus CREATURE, for which we’ve got an exclusive interview and photos. We also preview DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK with writer/producer Guillermo del Toro and director Troy Nixey, FRIGHT NIGHT with director Craig Gillespie and star Colin Farrell, STRAW DOGS with director Rod Lurie, the British knockout ATTACK THE BLOCK and the 3D flicks SHARK NIGHT and FINAL DESTINATION 5, plus an extensive chat with Sissy Spacek on CARRIE and much more.

Stephen King Teaches You How To Read A Book!

I have been reading a great book by Larry Niven titled "Lucifer's Hammer."  It's about a comet that crashes into the earth.  Unlike the flood of movies a few years ago, Niven isn't afraid to actually allow the comet to slam down. 

Interesting, some people reviewed the book poorly because they said it has "too much character development."  Know what those people need?  A healthy dose of Stephen King! 

Benefits of Reading Stephen King
Reading Stephen King actually prepares you to read other writers. King usually does a lot of character development. It is never so much about the plot as it is the people caught up in the plot.  King often uses a host of characters who he easily moves on and off stage. 

Pitfalls of Reading Stephen King
Simply: It raises your expectations.  King often encourages constant reader to dig into other writers -- but it's frankly hard to find others who write as well as he does.  Why?  Two reasons: First, he's just got a gift.  It's what God made him to do!  Second, he has a lot of practice.

1978 The Stand Journal 11: Dreams Of Charlie Manson and the Will of God

Dream On. . .

We already know that dreams play an important role in The Stand.  They are initially used to draw people to either Mother or The Dark Man.  Dreams continue to season the story.  One in particular stood out to me -- it's from Larry Underwood.

Larry dreams that he is at a gig -- a big concert.  Of course, it's the fulfillment of his dreams. 
the audience began to clap rhythmically and call for Baby, Can You Dig Your Man?  he looked down int he first row and felt a slapping dash of cold ice water fear.  Charles Manson was there, the X on his forehead healed to a white twisted scar, clapping and chanting.  And Richard Speck was there, looking up at Larry with cocky impudent eyes, and unfiltered cigarette jittering between his lips.  They were flanking the dark man.  Flagg was leading the chant.
Freaky!  I like those kind of cultural references.

The novel moves on without explaining the dream.  On the surface, it could be simply nothing more than Larry's fears.  He knows deep within himself that the dark man is the evil behind Manson and Speck and every other evil; he's the devil.  Charlie Manson and Richard Speck were no one's servants!  So for them to be flanking and serving someone else, that other person must be one bad dude!

I think the dream goes deeper than that.  Why is Larry dreaming about the dark man?  Because there are issues within himself that are unresolved.  He's scared.  Not so much of the dark man -- but of himself.  The dream occurs after Stu has taken his tumble and Larry and the others are headed toward Vegas to take their stand.  Will he?  Or will he chicken out?  He's scared to death that he might not have the courage to take his stand.

The Stand: God's Will?

There's a lot at the end of The Stand about the will of God.  Why must they "stand"?  In simple terms -- because that is God's will.  It is a brilliant answer, since it requires no further answers.  God has understanding we don't, and thus he can require of us what we do not understand.  His will doesn't have to make sense to us.  In the Bible -- that works quite well!  Abraham, take your son up on the mountain.  Makes no sense to us!  God is testing Abraham.  But does it work in a novel?  "Larry, take your stand, let the enemy destroy you."  And the reader asks. . . but why?  Why must Larry and the others take a stand?  The bad boys are going to implode, so why must some righteous die with them?

King gives an answers (beyond God's will).  The reason for The Stand is the refinement of each man.  It proves what they are made of.  Or more importantly, it proves without a doubt who they serve.  What would you die for?  Just as Abraham's willingness showed who he really was -- so these servants will be tried by fire. 

The test is not just a "proving" -- it's a "becoming."  They are not sold out to God's will when they leave the Free Zone.  It is only as they approach the dark man's lair that they begin to rely more wholly on God and take comfort in his will.  It is only in the test that they become what they are really meant to be.

Consider this passage -- as a pastor I find this incredibly insightful!
(Thinking?  Praying?)
It was all the same thing.  Whichever it had been, the old wound in himself had finally closed, leaving him at peace.  He had felt the two people that he had been all his life -- the real one and the ideal on -- merge into one living being.  His mother would have liked this Larry.  And Rita Blakemoor.  It was a Larry that Wayne Stukey never would have had to tell the facts of life to.  It was a Larry that even that long-ago oral hygienist might have liked.

I'm going to die.  If there's a God -- and I now believe there must be -- that's His will.  We're going to die and somehow all of this will end as a result of our dying.  (p.753)
The merging to two Larry's into one is very nice.  Most of us live with two people; the person we reveal and the person we really are.

Also, note the idea that their dying is somehow directly related to the dark man's end.  They must sacrifice in order to bring peace to the Free Zone (world). 

It brings up the rather complicated question (again) of Why? 
First question: Why must they die? 
Answer: It is God's will. 

Okay. . . but why is it God's will? 
Answer: God doesn't have to explain himself. 

But do you see -- the Author giving an answer beyond that frustrating response.  Part of Larry's inner healing is his death.  It is only when he faces head on his own death, and chooses not to bow down to the dark man -- that he becomes the man he so desperately wants to be.


Cameron Woodhead has a review of Lee Gambin's Australian play "Stephen King of Bangor." He gives the play 3 of 5 stars (generous I suspect).
STEPHEN King has vices, but writer's block? The man wrote 2000 words a day for most of his career. I'm not saying he's nerveless: King threw the manuscript of Carrie in the trash before his wife fished it out and urged him to finish it. But no genre writer is as prolific and popular. To the extent that Lee Gambin's King of Bangor is intended to serve as a dramatic illustration of writer's block, it's barking up the wrong tree.

Luckily, that's not all it does. The one-act play features a passable King lookalike (Peter Berzanskis) perched on a throne at a typewriter. He's stuck. Characters from his fiction crowd him as he downs Scotch at an alarming rate, snorts lines and gobbles pills.
Since I haven't seen the play, I'll reserve comment.

Good Tommyknockers Review

Steve Brandt has a neat review of Tommyknockers. 

The Tommyknockers is often overlooked or disregarded as a failed novel.  That is not at all Brandt's take!  After giving the customary plot overview, Brant says, "On the surface, The Tommyknockers is a pretty good science fiction tale, and pretty creepy too." 

Brant "gets" King!  He understands that for Stephen King, it's always about the characters.  He writes, "Dig a little deeper, however, and you'll find something that's a little more down to Earth, although no less terrifying. There are all kinds of horrors in the world; sometimes they lurk beneath the surface of the earth, and sometimes they lurk beneath the surface of a human being. Both of Stephen King's main characters, Bobbie and Gard, have terrors hidden within them. For Bobbie, it's an over-bearing sister who wants to run her life. For Gard, it's the bottle."

The Tommyknockers is a big story.  One of the early works where an entire town is involved.  Later we would have Needful Things and Under The Dome.  Unlike The Stand, Tommyknockers has a closed enviroment -- meaning characters can't as easily just wander off stage.  They have to be dealt with! 

Brant gives this energetic endorsement: "Yes, Stephen King knows about personal demons, and I can see where The Tommyknockers might have been difficult for him to write, but I'm glad he did. This is one of my favorite King books."

Here is Brant's review:
Here is Brant's audiobook review site:
Check out my post "The Tommyknockers Redeemed":