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The Constant Reader Podcast - The Canon of Stephen King

The Constant Reader Podcast - The Canon of Stephen King

By Richard Sheppard
Everything Stephen King, from Carrie to The Institute, from the novels to the short stories, from the small screen to the big screen. Each month we take a deep dive into one book from the bibliography of the King of horror fiction, while also charting the byways of King's forays into other genres (The Dark Tower series, On Writing etc) and also casting an eye on the many TV and film adaptations of King's work.

Recorded live from the UEA media suite, Richard Sheppard interviews writers, academics, superfans and anyone with a passion for the work of Stephen King.
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Episode Four - Pet Sematary w/Edward Parnell

The Constant Reader Podcast - The Canon of Stephen King

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Episode Fifteen - It w/Andy Stanton
Hi, welcome back to the Constant Reader Podcast, with me your host, Richard Sheppard.  Last month’s guest, the mighty Paul Tremblay has recently re-released two of his earlier novels, The Little Sleep and No Sleep Til Wonderland through Titan publishing. They’re wonderful stuff, very offbeat, and will that great Titan design that I love. The Firestarter film will officially commencing filming in Ontario next month, with Zac Efron in the lead. Stephen King has sent them a message of love, so we’ll see how it turns out. There is certainly a great film somewhere in the novel. Other than that, not much news. Later has come out from Hard Case Crime, and we’re looking forward to discussing that on the show soon. Lisey’s Story is still coming out at the beginning of June on apple TV, and I’m definitely going to be talking about that adaptation of one of my least favourite king novels over the Summer. But now, to today’s guest. Andy Stanton is an author who lives in North London. He studied English at Oxford but they kicked him out. This stroke of good luck put him on the road to fame and fortune as the creator of Mr Gum, an anarchic curmudgeon in a series of best-selling children's books. Apt that we should talk about King’s best book about children, growing up and facing monsters, I suppose. As you can probably tell from the running time, Andy is passionate, verbose, funny and incisive, so I took the opportunity to speak to him a little longer than usual. This is a real deep dive, so take out hands as we explore the darker side of Derry Maine. A massive thank you to Stephen L Parkes, who was responsible for editing this behemoth. He’s the best in the business. This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Professor Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com or find us on instagram at /the_constant_reader_podcast/
01:45:38
May 5, 2021
Episode Fourteen - The Dead Zone w/Paul Tremblay
Very excited to speaking to one of the most exciting writers of fiction in this episode. Paul Tremblay is the author of A Head Full of Ghosts, Disappearance at Devil's Rock, Survivor Song and many others. His new book, an omnibus edition of The Little Sleep and No Sleep til Wonderland is out on the 6th April, and available here from Titan Books. He's also a fan of Stephen Kings, and he and discuss King's 1979 novel The Dead Zone, a piece of work that resonates with us both, and has fascinating connections to King's other work and our current political world.   This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Professor Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com or find us on instagram at /the_constant_reader_podcast/
40:20
April 1, 2021
Episode Thirteen - The Gwendy Novels w/Richard Chizmar
Very excited to talk to author, producer, editor and all round good-egg Richard Chizmar for this episode. We got to ask him not only about working with Stephen King on Gwendy's Button Box, but also his own formidable body of work, which includes the sequel Gwendy's Magic Feather and the forthcoming Chasing the Boogeyman. We also talk about the next part of Gwendy's story, what it's like when Stephen King asks you to collaborate, Cemetery Dance magazine, writing a 'political' novel and working during a pandemic. Check out Cemetery Dance here: - https://www.cemeterydance.com/ Richard's website with links to preorder Chasing the Boogeyman here: - https://richardchizmar.com/ Richard's page about rereading King here : - http://www.stephenkingrevisited.com/ This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com or find us on instagram at /the_constant_reader_podcast/
40:30
March 2, 2021
Episode Twelve - Revival w/Helena Bacon
Today's guest, Helena Bacon, is an academic, a teacher and a writer. We discuss Stephen King's 2014 novel Revival, one of (in my opinion) King's most beautifully written stories, with one of the nastiest endings. How does it relate to Arthur Machen, HP Lovecraft and the Old Gods of weird fiction? Find out in this conversation..... This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com or find us on instagram at /the_constant_reader_podcast/
50:32
February 3, 2021
Episode Eleven - The Dead Zone w/Mike Muncer
Mike Muncer is a guest we have wanted to get on the podcast for a while. His podcast, the long-running The Evolution of Horror, was a major inspiration on The Constant Reader Podcast, and it remains a constant source of erudition and joy to a lot of horror fans. We chose to talk about David Cronenberg's 1983 adaptation of the Dead Zone, dovetailing in with The Evolition of Horror's recent season on Cronenberg's home turf - horrors of the mind and body.  We discussed the film, Mike's podcast and plenty more digressions in our deep dive into this chilly masterpiece, and we look forward to welcoming Mike back in the future.  Find his podcast here www.evolutionofhorror.com/ This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com or find us on instagram at /the_constant_reader_podcast/
50:12
January 1, 2021
Episode Ten - Christine w/Lee Gambin
A deep dive into John Carpenter's 1983 adaptation of Stephen King's Christine, with the wonderful Lee Gambin. Like ghost stories? Our sister podcast, Hallowed Histories, is hosting an online screening of A Pleasant Terror: The Life and Ghost of M.R. James, a documentary profiling the life and career of England's master of the ghost story. The screening is free, and will be followed by a roundtable discussion with the director of the documentary, Clive Dunn, and the author of Ghostland, Edward Parnell. Get a free ticket HERE. The screening will be available for 48 hours, starting from midnight on the 22nd December. Writer and film historian Lee Gambin was born on July 13, 1979. Gambin has written for such notable websites and publications as Scream, Fangoria, Delirium, Diabolique, and Shock Till You Drop. Moreover, Lee not only runs the film society Cinemaniacs based in Melbourne, Australia and lectures on cinema studies, but also has provided commentaries for various DVD and Blu-ray releases. In addition, Gambin is the author of several books that include "Massacred by Mother Nature: Exploring the Natural Horror Film," "Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo," and "Hell Hath No Fury Like Her: The Making of Christine." This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com or find us on instagram at /the_constant_reader_podcast/
01:04:38
December 1, 2020
Episode Nine - The Outsider w/Adam De Collibus
A departure for us this month, as we take a look at a thoroughly modern King novel, 2016's The Outsider. Also, our guest, Adam De Collibus is a newcomer to Stephen King. What did he make of his first foray into the world of the master? And is The Outsider the best or worst place to start?? We talk it all through, and discuss Adam's fascinating novel Caravan, available to purchase at the links below. https://www.amazon.com/Adam-De-Collibus https://www.amazon.co.uk/Caravan-Novel-Adam-Collibus This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com or find us on instagram at /the_constant_reader_podcast/
41:39
November 6, 2020
Episode Eight - Cycle of the Werewolf & Silver Bullet w/Peter Laws
Very excited to speak to Peter Laws this month, covering the 1983 novella Cycle of the Werewolf and the 1985 adaptation Silver Bullet. As a Baptist minister, part-time werewolf hunter and full-time horror genre fan, Peter is ideally placed to discuss this genuine oddity in the King canon. We cover Bernie Wrightson's beautiful illustrations, the difficulty of writing a novella in the form of an almanac and the unique interpretation of the werewolf legend by Stephen King. We then move on to Dan Attias's Silver Bullet, and Peter explains why this film holds such a dear place in his heart. Peter Laws is a writer, podcaster, minister, musician and columnist for the Fortean Times. He writes the Matt Hunter series of horror-thrillers and the very engaging non-fiction overview of the appeal of the horror genre, The Frighteners. Links to his work here: - https://www.peterlaws.co.uk/ https://www.patreon.com/creepycove Amazon author page This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com or find us on instagram at /the_constant_reader_podcast/
01:12:13
October 6, 2020
Episode Seven - Christine w/Dan Jones
Host Richard Sheppard and guest Dan Jones look under the hood of Stephen King's 1983 novel, Christine. On the surface a rip-roaring, high-octane story about a killer Plymouth Fury, yet underneath the flashy paint job is a meditation on first love, high school politics, busted family dynamics and friendship. Dan Jones is the author of Man o' War, published by Snowbooks which can be purchased from amazon, forbidden planet.......and he has his own website here. This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes and Dylan Hickman. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com
54:45
September 7, 2020
Episode Six - w/Tom Holland - Interview with Fright Night, Child's Play and Stephen King's Thinner Director
Very happy to have the legendary Tom Holland on the podcast, speaking to us from the United States. We discuss his new book The Notch (links below, buy it, it's a corker), the controversial ending of Thinner,  and his life in the film industry including how his first job was to write a sequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Plus, Tom gives us some great anecdotes about meeting and working with Stephen King himself. Thanks to Jack Ulrich for setting up this interview. https://thterrortime.com/ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Notch-Tom-Holland/dp/1587677210 https://www.cemeterydance.com/the-notch.html https://www.amazon.com/Notch-Tom-Holland/dp/1587677210 This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes and Dylan Hickman. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com
44:07
August 3, 2020
Episode Five - The Dark Tower Volume One: The Gunslinger w/Ben Craske
We take our first steps down the long and winding road that leads us to Stephen King's magnum opus, The Dark Tower. Joining Dark Tower-sceptic Richard Sheppard is our special guest, archivist and guide Ben Craske. We talk Roland, Walter O'Dim, gunslinging in the USA and barely talk about the film adaptation at all. Promise. Ben's project, Local Recall, can be found here https://localrecall.archant.co.uk/login/ And his twitter is here https://twitter.com/bjcraske?lang=en This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes and Dylan Hickman. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com
39:01
July 4, 2020
Episode Four Extra - Pet Sematary 1989/2019 w/Dr Linda Sheppard
We continue our look at all things Pet Sematary with an interview with author, academic and festival organiser  Dr Linda Sheppard. Wooden acting, cheesy visual FX and blundered writing aside, there's a lot to enjoy about these two films, as we find out. We look at how the shift from Gage to Ellie in the 2019 version puts a very different spin on the tale, as well as the benefits of shooting on location rather than sets. We mention SImon Pritchard's art, which can be found here http://www.artbeat64.com/ and is well worth checking out.  Check out the other great Stephen King podcast, the Stephen King Cast here https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/stephen-king-cast/id908092216 This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com
01:03:58
June 4, 2020
Episode Four - Pet Sematary w/Edward Parnell
Edward Parnell is the author of The Listeners (2014 Rethink New Novels Prize Winner) and 2019's Ghostland (‘a wonderfully evocative book, creating a sense of place and invoking the power of literature and nature.’ The Guardian). He joins host Richard Sheppard in the studio to discuss the haunted world of Louis Creed, a young doctor who has bought a new house in the country, complete with cursed Micmac burial ground and stalking Wendigos.  Pet Sematary remains one of Stephen King's most personal and terrifying novel, as well as a raw depiction of grief and the vulnerability of the family unit. We cover these themes, King's Gothic sensibilities, the difficulties about breaking taboos and Edward Parnell's own work, as well as the classic ghost stories that shaped the genre. Info on Edward Parnell can be found here and you can buy Ghostland direct from the publisher here. This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com
01:08:52
May 4, 2020
Episode Three Extra - The Shining Miniseries & Room 237 w/Craig Appleby - "Don’t worry, Mom, I know everything about cannibalism. I saw a program on it on TV."
This episode we check out of the Overlook Hotel with a look at 1997's The Shining Miniseries and 2012's Room 237. Joining host Richard Sheppard is film critic and scholar Craig Appleby, and together they discuss sometimes interesting, often misfiring epic TV version of Stephen King's novel. Lime-green CGI animals meet a likeable version of Jack Torrance and a feminist take on his wife Wendy. Is it enough to save this adaptation? After that, we take a brief look at the 2012 documentary Room 237, which fills the empty hallways of the Overlook with enough theories, ideas and waffle to overload the boilers.  This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard and Craig Appleby, whose Beer-Soaked Popcorn film reviews can be found on instagram @beersoakedpopxorn. Research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com
41:29
April 6, 2020
Episode Three Extra - It's Kubrickian! The Shining (1980) w/Vincent M. Gaine
The Constant  Viewer podcast turns its eyes on Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of The Shining. This is one of the icons of the horror cinema, and to do it justice we got in film reviewer and genre expert Vincent M. Gaine to wield the scalpel as we dissect this masterpiece. We also take time to check Dr Sleep's temperature, and look how Mike Flanagan's 2019 adaptation of The Shining's sequel continues the story of the Torrance family. This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com Vincent can be found here:- https://vincentmgaine.wordpress.com/, here https://twitter.com/DrGaine
01:08:18
February 24, 2020
Episode Three - The Shining w/Professor Richard J Hand
This month we are joined by academic, writer, actor and broadcaster Richard J Hand. Richard is the lead writer on The Poe Radio Theatre out of Baltimore, episodes of which can be found on NPR or through apple podcasts. Today he joins to to discuss The Shining, King's third novel which the set the bar for haunted house stories in the twentieth century. We discuss Jack Torrance, wasp nests, Gothic roots and plenty more besides.  This episode was hosted by Richard Sheppard, with research and support from Dr Linda Sheppard, and technical and sound production by Stephen L. Parkes. Please like, subscribe, rate, review and recommend this podcast, and feel free to get in contact with us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com The Poe Theatre On Air can be found here
55:36
January 29, 2020
Episode Two Extra - Whole Lotta Salem w/Craig Appleby
A trio of Salem’s Lot adaptations to trawl through, from Tobe Hooper’s iconic miniseries all the way to 2004’s mood-laden TV series. Co-hosted by UEA’s Bad Film Society’s Craig Appleby. Contact us on theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com
52:53
December 16, 2019
Episode Two - Salem's Lot w/Steph McKenna of the National Centre for Writing
Stephen King's second novel, Salem's Lot, not only conquered the 'difficult second book' syndrome with style, it went down in culture as THE modern vampire novel. I was lucky enough to sit down with Steph McKenna from the Thirst Podcast and the National Writer's Centre, as we sink our teeth into the Middlemarch of horror fiction. Apologies to Steph for calling the National Centre for Writing the Norwich Centre for Writing two times, she was kind enough not to mention it during the interview. More about the good work of NWC can be found here:- https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/ Follow The Thirst Podcast here:- https://soundcloud.com/thethirstpod And feel free to write to the Constant Reader Podcast at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com
41:19
November 7, 2019
Episode One Extra - Carrie On Filming w/Craig Appleby
Richard Sheppard is joined by UEA's Bad Film Society's Craig Appleby to take a look at four different adaptations of Stephen King's Carrie. From Spacek to Grace-Moretz, and all points in between, we cover the highs and lows (looking at you, The Rage: Carrie 2) of bringing King's debut novel to the screen. Contact us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com 
01:06:21
October 7, 2019
Episode One - Carrie w/Professor Mark Jancovich
We kick off the Constant Reader Podcast with an in-depth look at Stephen King's bloodstained debut, 1974's Carrie. We look at the Gothic roots of a very modern tale, the sexual politics and the political paranoia of the time that turned Carrie into a worldwide hit and sent Stephen King on a career trajectory that would see him become the world's best selling writer. Mark Jancovich is the author of Horror (Batsford 1992), one of the best books written on the genre, and has been published extensively in film journals, books and anything else you care to mention. His blog is here http://fantasticfilmtv.com/ Write to us at theconstantreaderpodcast@gmail.com. We would love to hear any feedback, or if you would like to be a guest on the show, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
01:16:01
September 1, 2019