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Tag: Stephen King (31-40 of 46)

Stephen King answers questions about his new book and more in EW exclusive video

Everybody has something they want to ask Stephen King, whether it’s “Where exactly is the rip in space/time that allows you to write all of these books?” or, as it is for me, “Why did my parents let me read It as a child and then take me to the circus?” Luckily, EW has an exclusive video of Uncle Stevie answering fans’ questions related to his new collection of novellas, Full Dark, No Stars, as well as a whole bunch of other topics. Watch below:

So do you now know everything you wanted to know about King? Have any of you read the new book yet? What do you think?

EW Exclusive: Stephen King talks vampires in introduction to comics series

stephen-king-american-vampireImage Credit: Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty ImagesStephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot helped to bring vampires back to their Bram Stoker origins, with an emphasis on the heartless, frightening nature of the bloodsuckers combined with a side-focus on real estate, so he knows a little something about the creatures of the night. In his introduction to the first volume of the upcoming American Vampire series from DC Comics, the horror maestro makes his feelings about how vampires should really be portrayed known: That is, as truly monstrous and evil, not fanged and fabulous. And most definitely not as “lovelorn southern gentlemen,” “anorexic teenage girls,” or “boy-toys with big dewy eyes.”

Click here to read King’s introduction exclusively on EW.com.

So is King right? Does scary beat sexy? Are you excited for American Vampire?

'Dancing with Stars' but not authors

dancing-with-starsImage Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABCABC announced the newest cast of Dancing with the Stars Monday night, and today they released the couple pairings for the show’s 11th season. (At the time of this post, EW.com readers had voted Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough as the couple to beat! Fellow ‘stars’ watch your backs!)

Anyway, it has come to my attention that DWTS keeps neglecting one important genre of stars—authors! Author Ally Carter took to her blog to comment on this travesty. In 11 seasons with more than 100 stars, none of them have been authors. (This does not count the stars who have book deals, like reality mom Kate Gosselin.)

Even if you don’t watch the show, it’s hard to avoid the casting news each season. And if I’ve learned anything at all by watching week after week, it’s that the producers use the term ‘stars’ loosely. I get it. Dancing with the People You’ve Probably Heard About in the News, Regardless of Star Quality was never really a viable name choice. So I won’t hold that against the ABC powers that be. But I’m not sure I’m comfortable living in a world where Bristol Palin is considered a ‘star’ and a best-selling author is not. And that has nothing to do with politics.

Carter points out that this might be a mere coincidence and not a direct snub of the writers of the world. And she’s right. Maybe J.K Rowling has no interest. Maybe EW’s own Stephen King isn’t quite ready to break out his dancing shoes. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that authors are very notably missing from each DWTS lineup.

What author would you want to see strut their dancing stuff in an effort to claim the coveted mirror ball trophy? And who knows? Maybe ABC will take note and make the “write” choice next season. (Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.) Head to the comments below!

Stephen King to publish surprise baseball novella, 'Blockade Billy'

Stephen-KingImage Credit: Lee Roth/RothStock/PR PhotosStephen King is a big fan of baseball, particularly the Boston Red Sox, as anyone who’s read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon can tell you, and now he’s ready to take us out to the ballpark again. In the lead-up to Opening Day, indie publisher Cemetery Dance has just announced the release of Blockade Billy, a new baseball-themed novella from King. The work is the tale of William Blakely, a player long erased from the history books, who harbored a deep, dark secret. Knowing the author, I suspect it’ll be something a lot creepier than steroids or pine tar.

“People have asked me for years when I was going to write a baseball story,” King said in the press release. “Ask no more; this is it.” According to Cemetery Dance, Blockade Billy will be available to ship in a few weeks, but you can order a copy now via the publisher’s online store. The first copies will also come with a baseball card of the protagonist. (And those who don’t order online may be out of luck. As the Cemetery Dance website notes, “We’ll be filling direct orders first and then distributors, online stores, and the chains if there are copies left available after we’ve taken care of our regular customers.”)

It’s interesting to see one of the biggest-name authors in popular literature publishing through a relatively small specialty house like Cemetery Dance. The company kept news of the book quiet so it would be a surprise just in time for the upcoming baseball season. What do you think? Surprised? Any fans of both King and baseball particularly excited for this?

'The Lost Symbol' and 'Going Rogue' top 2009 best-seller list

Though it didn’t sell as strongly as The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol moved more than 5.5 million copies to dominate Publishers Weekly‘s just-unveiled list of the best-selling hardcover books of 2009. A few other expected author names populate the Top 15, including John Grisham (No. 2 and No. 6), James Patterson (No. 5), and Patricia Cornwell (No. 12 and No. 14). Stephenie Meyer landed in the ninth spot with her 2008 sci-fi novel The Host, but the lack of a Twilight book was evident, particularly in the ascendancy of two entries from P.C. Cast’s Twi-lite House of Night series, which rose up to fill a vampire-shaped hole. The real surprise, though, is Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, which itself was helped by tremendous word of mouth to become the fourth best-selling fiction book of the year with 1.1 million copies sold. On the nonfiction side, it was politics, mainly conservative, that got the cash register ringing. Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue capped the list, but books by Glenn Beck, conservative radio host Mark Levin, and the late Edward Kennedy all made it into the top five.

Whereas sales of albums and movie tickets are tallied virtually in real-time, the figures for the publishing industry are often as closely guarded as the Colonel’s secret recipe, so PW’s yearly ranking offers one of the best snapshots of the literary marketplace. And while the top contenders on both the fiction and nonfiction lists sold millions of copies, the overall list reveals a far less rosy picture of book sales. The number of titles that sold at least 100,000 copies is down by significant double-digit percentages from 2008 in both fiction and nonfiction.

E-book sales figures weren’t included this year (they will be for 2010), but since digital editions rarely exceed 5 percent of a book’s total sales it’s unlikely that the 2009 sales list would have received a big boost from their inclusion. Here are the top selling books of 2009 (since some publishers did not provide PW exact sales figures, several titles’ rankings are based on estimates or sales figures provided in confidence for the purposes of ranking):

Hardcover Fiction

1. The Lost Symbol: A Novel, Dan Brown (5,543,643 copies)
2. The Associate: A Novel, John Grisham
3. Tempted, P.C. Cast (1,141,818)
4. The Help, Kathryn Stockett (1,104,617)
5. I, Alex Cross, James Patterson (1,040,976)
6. Ford County, John Grisham
7. Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, Janet Evanovich (977,178)
8. Hunted, P.C. Cast (931,219)
9. The Host: A Novel, Stephenie Meyer (912,165)
10. Under the Dome, Stephen King
11. Pirate Latitudes, Michael Crichton (855,638)
12. Scarpetta, Patricia Cornwell (800,00)
13. U Is for Undertow, Sue Grafton (706,154)
14. The Scarpetta Factor, Patricia Cornwell (705,000)
15. Shadowland, Alyson Noel (609,355)

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. Going Rogue: An American Life, Sarah Palin (2,674,684 copies)
2. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment, Steve Harvey (1,735,219)
3. Arguing With Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government, Glenn Beck
4. Liberty & Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, Mark R. Levin
5. True Compass: A Memoir, Edward M. Kennedy (870,402)
6. Have a Little Faith: A True Story, Mitch Albom (855,843)
7. It’s Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams, and Increase in God’s Favor, Joel Osteen
8. The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow (610,033)
9. Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books Not Bombs, Greg Mortenson (515,566)
10. Superfreakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (487,977).
11. Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child (487,228)
12. Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body! Jillian Michaels (486,154)
13. The Yankee Years, Joe Torre and Tom Verducci (397,954)
14. Open, Andre Agassi (383,722)
15. Time of My Life, Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niem

'American Vampire' comic book: New twists on the vampire genre, with a little help from Stephen King

The first issue of American Vampire (Vertigo/DC) goes on sale today, and it’s something rather rare: a non-super-hero comic book that does something new with the vampire genre. Created by writer Scott Snyder and drawn by Rafael Albuquerque, the debut introduces us to Skinner Sweet, a low-down, rattlesnake-mean vampire. Forget the neurasthenic, elegantly neurotic, aristo vamps of so much popular literature. Skinner is more like crossing Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul with a young, slim, undead Ronnie Van Zant from Lynyrd Skynyrd: a tough little cuss who wants to bite for the blood, for the class-revenge, and for the pleasure of it.

The book spans decades. Snyder is launching American Vampire with his own story, about a Roaring Twenties version of Skinner, on the shady outskirts of the movie industry. Very smart, knowledgeable stuff. And Snyder gets an assist, and a little extra publicity, by having enlisted Stephen King to write a Skinner origin-story: A lean, mean cowboy Skinner in the Old West. As I’ve written before, one of the best ways King uses his popularity is to draw attention to the work of other writers and artists he admires, so his generosity here is matched by his cool storytelling.

It’s good to know that American Vampire will take its unique character and skip him across many different decades; the story possibilities are abundant. Add Rafael Albuquerque’s excellent art, which mixes shadowy action with bright sunlight and sketchy characters, and you’ve got one promising new series.

Rocker Josh Ritter to release first novel via Random House

Dylan-esque folkie Josh Ritter, 33, has signed on with Random House imprint The Dial Press to publish his first work of fiction, Bright’s Passage, in summer 2011. Ritter told EW, “It was while I was writing song for my new record, So Runs the World Away (coming out May 4th) that the story came into my head for Bright’s Passage.  Several of the songs on So Runs the World Away are fairly complicated narrative songs, so my first instinct was to try and make Henry Bright’s story into a song.  As I thought about it, though, I realized this was my chance to try my hand at a novel.” He added, “I’ve written lots of longer-form fiction before, but none that I’d ever think to show anyone.  I’ve always thought that one of the most important talents a good writer can have is the knowledge of when to share a work and when to leave it locked in your desk. Besides my songs, Bright’s Passage is the first work I’ve I wanted anyone to see.”

Ritter says that for him, songwriting and novel-writing bring the same challenges: “While the audience may not be in the room with a novelist, they still demand the same kind of attention as they do from the performance of a song.  They ask that you give them your full attention, that you are generous with your time and that you don’t over stay your welcome.  They give you their trust, and if they can tell your efforts have been for the right reasons, they’ll give you the room for whatever flights of imagination you’re willing to take them on.” Who does he like to read? “Muriel Spark, Pete Dexter, Dennis Lehane Stephen King, Mordecai Richler, Philip Roth and Daphne du Maurier and Flannery O’Connor. I like anyone who is willing to burn their own dollhouses down.”

Ritter, a favorite of EW columnist Stephen King, will be touring throughout the spring to promote So Runs The World Away.

Stephen King on J.D. Salinger: 'The last of the great post-WWII American writers'

I wasn’t a huge Salinger fan, but I’m sorry to hear of his passing — the way you’d feel if you heard an eccentric, short-tempered, but often fascinating uncle had passed away. Not as great a loss as Beverly Jensen (her marvelous The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay will be published this summer), who wrote only one book before dying of cancer at the age of 49, or of Raymond Carver, who was barely into his 50s; Salinger was, after all, in his 90s.

But it is a milestone of sorts, because Salinger was the last of the great post-WWII American writers, and in Holden Caulfield — maybe the greatest American-boy narrator since Huck Finn — he created an authentic Voice of the Age: funny, anxious, at odds with himself, and badly lost.

Salinger’s death may answer one question that has intrigued readers, writers, and critics for nearly half a century — what literary trove of unpublished work may he have left behind? Much? Some? Or none? Salinger is gone, but if we’re lucky, he may have more to say, even so.

Stephen King on proposed 'Shining' sequel: 'People shouldn't hold their breath'

On the heels of the news that best-selling horror master (and EW columnist) told the audience at a Toronto book signing that he was considering writing a sequel to The Shining, King tells EW.com that he’s got no immediate plans to revisit the character of Danny Torrance. “It’s a great idea, and I just can’t seem to get down to it,” says the author in an e-mail. “People shouldn’t hold their breath. I know it would be cool, though. I want to write it just for the title, Dr. Sleep. I even told them [at the book signing], ‘It will probably never happen.'” Still, King — whose most recent novel is this month’s Under the Dome — can’t quite shut the door on the Shining sequel, adding, “But ‘probably’ isn’t ‘positively,’ so maybe.”

Stephen King is considering writing a 'Shining' sequel

Redrum backwards spells “sequel.” Thirty-two years after Stephen King’s third novel, The Shining, was published, the prolific horror maestro has announced that he’s considering penning a follow-up.

The Torontoist reported that King dropped the news at a book reading for his new novel Under the Dome moderated by movie director, and brother in horror, David Cronenberg. According to the author, the second novel would center on Danny Torrance, the young boy from the original story with the gift (or curse) of being able to communicate clairvoyantly with ghosts, and who is now an appropriately aged 40-year-old. All these years after being tormented by the spiritual inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel and his father’s alcoholism/homicidal rage, Danny is now working at a hospice using his supernatural powers for palliative purposes. King even offered a tentative title: Doctor Sleep.

King mentioned that he began working on the idea last summer, but that he isn’t entirely committed to writing it quite yet.

UPDATE: Stephen King tells EW.com “People shouldn’t hold their breath” for Shining sequel

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