I’ve got my work cut out for me

I recently received a CD containing what ended up being a 1.5″-high pile of pages of Koontz-related material from a super wonderful person who’s gone above and beyond to help me with this project. (I’m only being non-specific so people don’t just start contacting them for their own set.)

Anything of interest I find (starting with the the page on the top of the pile) will be added to the finished product. Of which, news should be coming relatively soon.

There was almost a Funhouse film remake/prequel….

DC: When you world-premiered Leatherface at FrightFest, it was the same weekend Tobe Hooper [the director of the 1974 Texas Chain Saw Massacre] passed away. Did he at least get to see your film at some point?

JM: No. We learnt that he passed away the day before the first screening of Leatherface. So it really was a shock for us and especially because we didn’t have the chance to meet him or even talk to him. His name is on the credits, but it is just contractual and because he created the characters with Kim Henkel. Honestly, it was very disappointing for us, because when we accepted this project, we hoped to meet him and to hear his take on the story and all the sequels and how he felt about that and maybe ask some advice from him. So we were really saddened and disappointed, yes. He’s someone that really changed our lives, as an audience and as a director later. We love his career. We even tried to propose a remake of Funhouse. I remember we had this conversation with an executive from Universal, just saying that we would love to do that movie, being a prequel of the movie and being inspired by the novel by Dean Koontz. I remember the executive at that time said ‘Ah fellows, interesting, I’ve never seen this one.’ And we were like ‘Okay you know it’s in your catalogue and you own the rights.’ He said, ‘Ah really!? Cool!’ (laughs) So it didn’t happen, whatever. But yeah, we were very, very saddened about Tobe’s passing.

Read the full article @ Dread Central.

Contest: Where have you seen this bug before?

Yesterday’s mail brought me a copy of The St. Louis Bug, a four-page b&w comic by Dean’s friend Vaughn Bodé, published in 1969 w/ a copyright of 1968.

On page four is this guy:

Recognize him? Where have you seen him before?

The first person to comment below (in this blog post, not on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform) with the correct answer (be as specific as possible) will win a prize of their choosing from a pile of random Koontz items I have laying around.

Let the searching begin!

Charnel House editions of The Whispering Room now available for pre-order

The Charnel House Numbered Edition
Crafted by hand and signed by the author
250 Numbered copies, bound in Japanese silk jacquard
600 Pages
$300.00

The Charnel House Lettered Edition
Crafted by hand and signed by the author
26 Lettered copies, bound in full Morocco leather in the color(s) of your choice and stamped in 22kt gold
600 Pages
Available in choice of 4 colors: Hunter Green, Crimson, Chocolate, and Black
$1000.00

 

 

The Whispering Room ARC & Cover Change

This arrived in today’s mail…

The same day that Dean’s Facebook page announced this is will now be the cover of the book when it’s released.

I must admit this is the first cover change post-ARC that I’ve ever experienced. I’m sure it’s happened before to some book somewhere but it’s definitely rare.

Achievement Unlocked: A Visit to Shippensburg University

Early in August my wife and I took an epic road trip from Nebraska to New York, to New Jersey, to Pennsylvania, to Missouri then back home. Along the way we met old friends, possibly got filmed as part of a reality TV show, and did a lot of quilt and book shopping.

When cruising through Pennsylvania, I wondered out loud where Shippensburg, PA was knowing full well that the university library there had copies of The Reflector in their archives containing Dean’s earliest published works.  My wife looked it up and she said it was about 30 minutes away. What I thought she meant was it was 30 minutes off our route which would add an hour of travel time (plus the time spent at the university) to our trip and at this point of the trip I wasn’t looking to extend my driving that much. No, she corrected me, it’s about 30 minutes ahead of us on our current route, and just 10 miles off the highway. Well, that changed everything!

Next up was a call to a long-time acquaintance of mine, a fellow librarian on the campus. (Turns out he’d recently become the head of the library. Yes folks, personal networks come in handy.) He have us directions and made it to campus a short while later.

Our first stop was in the university archives to check out issues of The Reflector. I’ve had photocopies of Dean’s content for years, but to actually hold the issues in hand was a bit of an experience.

The next step was to verify something I’d already suspected. Dean did appear in the 1964 campus yearbook (I own a copy) but I did not know if he appeared in the ’65, ’66’ or ’67 (just for good measure) yearbooks. Those were brought out for me and I got to take a look. Theory confirmed, he’s not in there.

I was then asked if I wanted to see the Koontz items in special collections. I believe my response was literally “duh.” Turns out the library created the “Dean R. Koontz” collection a few years back containing the personal collection of OI. Richard Forsythe, Dean’s favorite English professor from his time on campus.

The library also kept material from a display put up for when Dean was back on campus years ago to give a talk. (I forgot to ask what year that was when I was there.) Here’s just one of the pieces from that display.

As if this visit hadn’t been exciting enough, I was then asked if I wanted to see the box of correspondence and other things. At this point I was pretty much babbling. Again here’s just a sample of the content of that box:

 

Like I said, the photos here are just a sample of what they had. I took many more, but I’m saving those for later.  Needless to say, this happy accident was amazing and the staff of the library were nothing short of gracious, helpful, and understanding of my excitement especially Melanie Reed who I look forward to working with the future regarding their collection.

Tobe Hooper, The Funhouse Director, Dies at 74

Filmmaker Tobe Hooper, best known for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, has died, according to Variety and other news sources. He was 74.

Born in Austin, Texas, Hooper made his first feature, Eggshells, in 1969, an odd, experimental film that is allegorical and, more than that, spacey and trippy. But it was The Texas Chain Saw Massacre that made him (in)famous. Long before I saw it, I remember reading a newspaper article in Los Angeles about a big, tough college football player who vomited during a screening and thought: ‘that’s a movie for me!’

Its horrors, of course, were more shocking in contrast to its era. Even as Hollywood was becoming (briefly) more serious about redefining mainstream filmmaking, Hooper and his colleagues painted a disarming picture about a house in rural Texas that looked bucolic on the outside, hiding truly unimaginable horrors within.

The film became a sensation and a foundation for horror movies to come. Hooper never escaped its shadow, but neither did Orson Welles escape the shadow of Citizen Kane, so it was not entirely a bad thing. Eaten Alive was a charming crudity about another hungry killing thing, Salem’s Lot was an acceptable if rudimentary TV version of Stephen King’s novel, and The Funhouse was a solid slasher.

Read the full article @ Screen Anarchy.