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Stephen Spignesi on Stephen King, Writing, and More

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Stephen Spignesi is a New York Times bestselling author who writes about historical biography, popular culture, television, film, American and world history, and contemporary fiction. He is also a university professor, novelist, poet, screenwriter, and musician.

Spignesi — christened “the world’s leading authority on Stephen King” by Entertainment Weekly magazine — has worked with Stephen King, Turner Entertainment, the Margaret Mitchell Estate, Ron Howard, Andy Griffith, the Smithsonian Institution, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Viacom, and other personalities and entities on a wide range of projects. Spignesi has also contributed essays, chapters, articles, and introductions to a wide range of books.

Spignesi’s more than 60 books have been translated into several languages and he has also written for Harper’s, Cinefantastique, Saturday Review, TV Guide, Mystery Scene, Gauntlet, and Midnight Graffiti magazines; as well as the New York Times, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the New Haven Register, the French literary journal Tenébres and the Italian online literary journal, Horror.It. Spignesi has also appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, and other TV and radio outlets; and also appeared in the 1998 E! documentary, The Kennedys: Power, Seduction, and Hollywood, as a Kennedy family authority; and in the A & E Biography of Stephen King that aired in January 2000. Spignesi’s 1997 book JFK Jr. was a New York Times bestseller. Spignesi’s Complete Stephen King Encyclopedia was a 1991 Bram Stoker Award nominee.

In addition to writing, Spignesi also lectures on a variety of popular culture and historical subjects and is a Practitioner in Residence at the University of New Haven and Adjunct Professor at Gateway Community College in Connecticut. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the small press publishing company, The Stephen John Press. Spignesi was recently praised for “reinventing the psychological thriller” upon the publication of his acclaimed debut novel, Dialogues.

Spignesi lives in New Haven, Connecticut with his grey cat, Chloe.

Deadman’s Tome podcast is a variety show covers everything from horror writing, horror movies, filmmaking, youtube drama, and fringe communities. Deadman’s Tome has stong stance on free speech and is open to exploring conspiracy theories and social issues. While the show has a comedic bent to it, some many heartfelt moments have been explored on the program. The show was designed to be somewhere between the Joe Rogan Experience and Howard Stern, but with a stronger focus on horror and writing.

Live stream every monday, wednesday, and friday at 9:30pm

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Andy Rausch and Russian Roulette Cops

Andy Rausch, author of Riding Shotgun and Other American Cruelties, The Wit and Wisdom of Stephen King, Dirty Talk: Conversations with Porn Stars talks about his new books, talks about his upcoming projects. Andy is a prolific writer and interviewer with several books in development at the moment, one of which gets closer to Stephen King, another takes anecdotes from over 100 authors, and another explores the life of Astronauts.

Andy also joins riffs with us as we look at some very stupid news articles: grenades at Taco Bell, St Louis police play Russian Roulette, and a Russian captain used to beat people with dildos.


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Stanley Wiater and Deep Web Mystery Box UnBoxing


Praised by his friend and colleague Stephen King as “a very talented journalist,” Stanley Wiater is a widely acclaimed observer of the dark side of popular culture. He has interviewed more major horror and suspense authors, filmmakers, actors, and artists than any other journalist, living or undead.
Rue Morgue magazine has hailed him as “the top horror journalist in North America for the past twenty-five years.”
Mr. Deadman also opens a mysterious deep web mystery box he received from an anonymous fan or troll. Will Mr. Deadman really open the deep web box or will he be too scared and call the police?

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Gift from the Immortals

Many writers were influenced by the great generation, authors such as Gertrude Stein, Earnest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, while others were influenced by H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe. No matter the source, the influence can be seen in their prose and style. Much more, the themes, subjects, and even characters become borrowed and re-envisioned. One of the most obvious examples of this is with H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos. A lot of writers take bits and pieces from the lore, and work them into their own vision, making something new and unique with something borrowed.

I consider this a gift from those that have become immortal.

As a writer, how would you feel if your name and legacy was not only remembered, but people borrowed from it, and put bits and pieces of you into their own work? Do you find it to be stealing from your estate? Do you find it to be taking something of yours without permission, or is it a way to spread your reach and legacy even after death?

With this in mind, I think of Stephen King. God forbid King passes away, but being human it’s inevitable that he will. When he does, will his characters and mythos be available for other writers to use as their own, or will they be tied to the estate?

Could you imagine Jack Torrance living on in different iterations, created by authors from various sub-genres of horror? Could you imagine Randall Flagg living on well passed his creator’s death much like Cthulhu? What about Stephen King’s mythical turtle?

Stephen King definitely has the status and reputation to be remembered long after he passes away, and his books, themes, and characters will be with us long after that. I could imagine the family keeping the rights and guarding the books, of course, but you know good and well that people would want to write on with bits of his legacy. I’m curious how that King family would address that when that time comes.



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Conversation with J. Thorn

Dark fiction author and professor J. Thorn meets with Mr. Deadman to talk about his stories, horror and life in-between. Catch the show live this Saturday at 9pm CST, or listen to it afterwards on iTunes, iHeartradio, Spreaker, and YouTube.

J. Thorn is a Top 100 Most Popular Author in Horror, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure and Fantasy (Amazon Author Rank). He has published over one million words and has sold more than 170,000 books worldwide. In March of 2014 Thorn held the #5 position in Horror alongside his childhood idols Dean Koontz and Stephen King (at #4 and #2 respectively). He is an official, active member of the Horror Writers Association and a member of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers.

Thorn earned a B.A. in American History from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.A. from Duquesne University. He is a full-time writer, adjunct university professor, co-owner of Molten Universe Media, podcaster, musician, and a certified Story Grid nerd.


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Jack Torrance VS Patrick Bateman

Jack Torrance and Patrick Bateman are both iconic horror psychos, and while they’re both psychotic, one is gripped with blood-lust towards his family, while the other may or may not have a staggering collection of dead hookers. Jack Torrance showed he is unhinged and willing to kill at any cost in The Shining, but what about Patrick Bateman in American Psycho? He’s a yuppie with nasty habit of just straight up murder, right in the street even.

What would happen is Jack Torrance and Patrick Bateman were to face-off at the Overlook hotel? I don’t see Patrick Bateman being the initial aggressor, as Jack doesn’t fit his motive. However, once Jack tries to attack Bateman, he most certainly would counter and then the fight is on. So, who wins? How does it happen?

Cast your vote and give me a rundown in the comments section below. Your comment might be read on the podcast!



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Write Under the Influence

Have you ever worked on your craft while under the influence? Not going to judge if you have, or if you do. Several well-known authors have had worked on various books while under the influence. Stephen King drank mouthwash for alcohol and snorted rock star levels of coke while working on Cujo. The legend has even admitted he doesn’t remember how he even wrote the book, because he was so out of it. Ayn Rand was taking speed while working on Fountainhead. Of course we can’t forget Hunter S. Thompson, he wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas while experimenting on mushrooms.

So, I extend the question to you. Do you write under the influence? If not, why not/ Have you ever, and if so what was it like?



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You Will Not Believe This

Do you like to read horror and dark fiction? Do you hate spending money? Well guess what? Deadman’s Tome is offering Deadman’s Tome Best of the Demonic and Deadman’s Tome very first issue for free.

Deadman’s Tome very first issue was under the name Demonic Tome. As a first issue, readers should expect a certain amount of roughness. With that said, the issue contains supernatural horror, werewolves, ghost hunting, and chilling dark fiction. If you like Stranger Things and Stephen King elements, then you ought to consider giving this issue a read. Why not? It’s free!

Download Demonic Tome 2008 PDF (very first issue)

We’re also giving away Deadman’s Tome Best of the Demonic – a collection of horror tales and dark fiction picked by readers and editors. This issue contains an assortment of speculative horror and supernatural horror.

Download Deadman’s Tome Best of the Demonic PDF

We hope you enjoy these two freebies.

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Write Every Day?

“Read and write four to six hours a day. If you cannot find the time for that, you can’t expect to become a good writer.” – Stephen King

Do you write every day? Some do, some want to, while others find the act of writing just to write monotonous. Where do you stand?

Those that write every day might have the luxury of not worrying about a 9 to 5 with a side of mandatory overtime (is this legal? Apparently, it is), they might also have method to their schedule and juggle priorities in order to make the time for the 2000 word quota. For those that put in the time and lay down the words each and every day, how do you manage you time and responsibilities?  Those that want to throw down the words would benefit from you feedback.

For those that find the task monotonous, perhaps its the concept of writing just to write to be useless. Some like to start off with an idea, a concept, something worthy of their time, and they may find the process needless because of a lack of understanding of what it means to write every day. What I mean by that is what are you writing? A stream on consciousness? Adding words to a novel? Playing around with a short that may or may not go anywhere?

Please leave you feedback in the comments and share to those that could use this information to help grow as a writer.


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Frauds Among Us

Reprints. Many magazine and anthologies avoid these like a five dollar hooker with a nasty cough. But what exactly is a reprint, and do publishers even check?

First off, a reprint is any story that has been previously printed elsewhere. In lay man’s terms that means it’s secondhand. In perverts terms that means it ain’t a virgin. Publishers want that virgin piece, that never before read, never before printed work because that’s how they make their money. They want something that others haven’t used before, something fresh.

Now, Deadman’s Tome has been rather cool about reprints. In the digital age, while the same story might be published there, it could also be published here and meet a new audience, or even bring in a bit of crossover. But, some publishers don’t share that approach.

Yet, some times a reprint is submitted as fresh, original content, like a donut shop selling day old glaze as made same day fresh. Criminal, right?

There are authors out there, some I know, some I don’t know very well, and some you know better than me that reuse the same old story over and over again without a care. It’s the con, fraud mentality. It’s the psychology that breaks down what exactly is a reprint and what if a new title is placed on it, what if names are changed, or what if the characters have a gender swap? Is that still a reprint? Is that a brand new story? Does that count? While I’ll entertain the semantic game for a while, it boils down to no. A hard fucking no.

How could it possibly yes? Imagine if Stephen King just changed the names in IT and sold it to a publisher as original? What If Anne Rice gave every one in Interview with the Vampire gender reassignment surgery and submitted it to a rival publisher? What if she did so under a different name? No. It would be bullshit and any publisher that looks for it would throw her out like a damn fraud.

Well, guess what? There are frauds among us. I normally don’t screen for reprints in a  rigorous way, or in anyway at all for that matter, but for publishers that do, listen up. There are authors circulating around that are passing around sloppy seconds, thirds, and fourths as brand new never before used pieces. Be careful.

Some authors might read this and feel like I’m just pissing in their Lucky Charms. Well, I’m not. Unless you meet this criteria. Which, if you do, then you deserve it. It’s lying. It’s dishonest, and adds unnecessary clutter in an already very competitive market.