Episode 28: Fathers

I’m back with a bit of a survey through the worlds of fatherhood in Stephen King, prompted by the death of my dad on August 11.

Also have some tidbits on the Dark Tower movie project, the new production of Carrie, and a little bragging. Enjoy!

Chloe Moretz in "Carrie"

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Episode 27: Secrets.

Hi folks:

My fallen-apart copy of Salem's Lot (1975)

RIP Salem’s Lot, 1975-2012.
Fondly remembered.

I’m back with episode 27 of The Kingcast, featuring some thoughts about the power of secrets in Stephen King’s work. In other news… there was a death in the family last week. I’m a little broken up about it, but I know that with your support I’ll get over it.

In addition to some meandering about secrets, there’s always Stephen King news to be shared. For example:

  • Justin Long is booked to star in “The Ten O’Clock People”, an adaptation of the story which appeared in 1992’s “Nightmares and Dreamscapes.” The adaptation will be written and directed by Tom Holland, who previously adapted “The Langoliers” for TV and “Thinner”  for the big screen. (He also played Carl Hough in “The Stand”). Here’s a little glamour shot of a younger Mr. Holland:

Tom Holland

  • The Rock Bottom Remainders recently played their last show. The band, which has featured tons of authors but has had a core membership including Dave Barry, King, Ridley Pearson, and Amy Tan, has been playing benefits and fun shows for nearly 20 years. Dave Barry claims they’ve quit because nobody can get through a show without a pee break anymore.
  • Haven starts season three in September. A primer on the series will catch new viewers up on the action.
  • My fellow Stephen King podcaster and fan Matt Jacobs recently nailed a remarkable guest to interview– physicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson. You can read about the encounter on his site.
  • Via the Stephen King forum, I got a chuckle or two out of “The King’s Road,” a series by Mind Circus Comics featuring SK in some wacky (and possibly NSFW) adventures.

In any case, here’s the episode. Enjoy. As always, your comments are welcomed.

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Episode 26: I’m back! with talk about Ray Bradbury and “Keyhole”

Yes, I’m back. Been tackling a lot of new things – teaching part-time, a new venture in the works, and new clients for my day gig. This podcast was one of the things that “gave.” But I’ve been thinking of it. And you.

Ray Bradbury with a black cat

Ray Bradbury as I will remember him.

But this weekend is the final PAB conference. PAB was originally “Podcasters Across Borders.” And I’ve been to several of them. So as I prepared to present at the final PAB, podcasting has been more and more on my mind. So I’m back.

This is episode 26, right? So where is episode 25? I have episode 25 half done. I will get it completed and posted VERY soon, I promise. Then we’ll be back on track.

In any case, this episode is also brought to you by the sad loss of Ray Bradbury this week, at the age of 91. He will be missed, by me and many others. Thank you, Ray.

There’s also some thoughts about “Wind Through the Keyhole.” And you might not want to have your plot spoiled, so be careful.

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Kingcast 24: Matthew Kirschenbaum on “Stephen King’s Wang”

Matthew Kirschenbaum

Matthew Kirschenbaum

Episode 24 of the Kingcast features some news from Kingland, a mention of Matt Jacob and my discussion of “The Dark Tower 7: The Dark Tower” on his SK Fancast, a mini-review of David Cronenberg’s 1983 film The Dead Zone (a film cast by episode 23 guest Jane Jenkins) and of course, a feature interview with Matthew Kirschenbaum.

Matthew Kirschenbaum is an associate professor of English at the University of Maryland. He’s currently working on a history of word processing for Harvard University Press called Track Changes (due out next year), and recently gave a talk at the New York Public Library with the irresistible title of “Stephen King’s Wang.”

You can find out just where that title comes from, and a lot more, in our conversation.

For Toronto listeners, Matthew is speaking at the University of Toronto on March 1.

Enjoy the podcast, and always feel free to give me your feedback at thekingcast@gmail.com.

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Episode 23: Casting director Jane Jenkins on casting King (and the Dark Tower!)

Casting Director Jane Jenkins

Casting Director Jane Jenkins (r) with partner Janet Hirshenson

Happy New Year, all. Episode 23 of the podcast and the first of 2012 must begin on a sad note of condolence to the family and friends of John Dalglish. John was a leading contributor to the Stephen King Message Board and was one of Stephen King’s Constant Readers. He passed away recently, or in King-parlance “reached the clearing at the end of the path”, leaving behind a loving family and many friends both virtual and real. This episode is dedicated to his memory.

In any case, some news of Wind Through the Keyhole, a look forward to upcoming Kingcasts, and then an interview with Jane Jenkins, partner in The Casting Company.

From their site (emphasis mine):

Since 1981, Jane Jenkins and Janet Hirshenson of The Casting Company have cast over 100 feature films, including the Academy Award winning “A Beautiful Mind” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” “Something’s Gotta Give” ” Airforce One” “Jurassic Park” “The American President” “Apollo 13″ ” The Lost World” “A Few Good Men” “Backdraft” “Misery” “Ghost” “When Harry Met Sally” “Mystic Pizza” “Beetlejuice” “Stand By Me” “Home Alone” “The Outsiders” and more recently “Transformers” “Angels and Demons” and “The Da Vinci Code.”

Jane began her career in entertainment as an actress in New York City. She entered the casting profession while working in film production. Her first project was “On The Nickel” an independent film written, produced and starring her friend Ralph Waite. She soon began working with other casting directors, including Jennifer Shull, who would later connect her with Janet Hirshenson. 

…Today, they are established as two of the premier casting directors in the entertainment industry.” 

Jane joined me last month to talk about what casting directors do, and some of her experiences working on Stephen King — and non-Stephen King too — projects. I’ll bet you’ll have a hard time trying to imagine who the original choice for Paul Sheldon in Misery was!

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Episode 22: A horrorday gift guide for Kinglovers

Here’s episode 22, with a bunch of last-minute gift ideas for the King fan, and special appearances by Marsha DeFilippo, David Squyres of the Talk Stephen King blog, and Matt Jacobs and Luanne Johnson of the SK Fancast.

Here are links to all the items we mentioned:

Glenn Chadbourne's Scary Christmas cards!

Glenn Chadbourne's Scary Christmas cards, which benefit the Haven Foundation

Marsha DeFilippo (Ms. Mod): 
David Squyres (Talk Stephen King)
Matt Jacobs and Luanne Johnson (SK Fancast):
A Merry Christmas to all!
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Episode 21: Bag of Bones hits the screen

This is a bit long for a Kingcast, but I hope you’ll indulge me.

Bag of Bones (1998) is one of my favorite King novels. The story of Mike Noonan, a novelist who loses his wife Jo and discovers starnge events at their vacation home in rural Maine, is passionate, erotic, romantic, and a first-rate thriller.

The book treads some of the same ground that King later visits in Lisey’s Story (2006) — the act of creation, grief, loss, and what comes after death — but the two novels in some ways are mirror images, with Bag of Bones hinging on the death of a novelist’s wife as seen through the eyes of the novelist, and Lisey’s Story looking at the death of the novelist Scott Landon through the eyes of his wife.

A&E Network in the US has been spending a LOT of money promoting their two-night miniseries treatment of Bag of Bones, which airs December 11 and 12. The film stars Pierce Brosnan as Noonan, Annabeth Gish as his wife Jo, Melissa George as Mattie Devore, and Anika Noni Rose as Sara Tidwell, the blues singer whose name graces Noonan’s house and whose spirit remains to haunt Noonan’s soul. The miniseries was directed by Mick Garris from a script by Matt Venne.

As part of their promotion of the miniseries, A&E developed a fantastic website called “Dark Score Stories.” The site is a tremendously well-executed “photojournalism” project. It’s chock-full of Easter eggs and in-jokes that King fans will get great fun out of spotting. And A&E was also kind enough to send me a very well-produced DVD screener kit and a copy of the “Dark Score Stories” book, as well as get me an interview with Mick Garris, who (to his own incredulity) has made more films based on King than anyone else.

I was also able to speak with Annabeth Gish, who’s worked with Garris before on the miniseries treatment of Desperation. I’ve been a fan of Gish since her days on The X-Files and The West Wing, so this was far from the hardest job I’ve ever had.

So check out episode 21, which is 1:21 of audio spookiness. Hope you enjoy it, and please let me know what you think.

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Episode 20: The Stand, part 2 — you gotta have faith

Episode 20 of The Kingcast wraps up the 2-parter on The Stand
. Although you don’t have to listen in order, you might want to check out my interview with Trashy himself, Matt Frewer, in episode 18.

If you don’t remember Matt, here’s a YouTube clip from the miniseries of the Trash Can Man’s greatest hits:

In any case, this time I’ve got some thoughts (about 40 minutes worth, as it turns out) about the role religious faith plays in The Stand’s 1200 pages.

From Mother Abagail to Randall Flagg to Glen Bateman to Harold Lauder, there’s a lot of meat for those who like to think about religion in this novel.

Next time, a Bag of Bones-travaganza, with interviews with Mick Garris & Annabeth Gish and my own thoughts on the miniseries (yeah, I saw it!). And if you haven’t done so yet, check out Dark Score Stories, a site set up by A&E as part of their promos. This is a GREAT piece of content, with countless Easter eggs and in-jokes that King lovers will appreciate. And a special shout-out to Lilja, who got a nice bit of promo in Dark Score Stories. So. Jealous.

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Kingcast episode 19: “11/22/63″ quick review

11/22/63 Cover I hadn’t planned on this, but thanks to Scribner getting me a review copy of 11/22/63 and a loooong travel day, I was able to read the new novel last weekend, and I wanted to quickly record my audio review of it.

In short: it’s great work by King. Possibly Bag of Bones good, and for me that’s high praise.

Take a listen, and then I’ll get back to “The Stand” next episode.

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Episode 18: Part one of “The Stand”, with TrashCan Man

Matt Frewer as TrashCan Man

Matt Frewer as Trashcan Man

Here’s the first of a two-parter.

I was lucky enough to speak with Matt Frewer a little while ago.

Matt Frewer has had a tremendously prolific career. Since his first movie role in The Lords of Discipline in 1983, he’s racked up roles in 40 features, and 69 roles in television projects. Some may remember him as Max Headroom, Stephen King fans will undoubtely think of him first as TrashCan Man, one of the most compelling characters in Mick Garris’s 1994 miniseries treatment of The Stand.

Matt has continued to work on Stephen King projects throughout his career (Desperation, Quicksilver Highway, Riding the Bullet…) most recently in the miniseries treatment of Bag of Bones, airing on A&E in December 2011.

Here’s the interview. In the next instalment, I’ll talk a bit about how The Stand deals with issues of faith.

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