located now and when you started out in the business etc....?
I’m originally from Atlanta, here in the good ol’ South. I’ve been many places, and lived across the country, but
Georgia’s definitely home. The Overlook was never meant to be a full-time job. It came out of my interest in Stephen
King’s fiction. I managed record stores around the Atlanta area for several years. Music being my first love since that
day I remember hearing The Beatles on an 8 track in my parent’s car in the 60’s. I had the good fortune to work for
PolyGram Records for ten years. Working with artists from Bon Jovi, Kiss, and Mellencamp to Luciano Pavarotti.
Listen, I have stories that could go on for ..well… forever it seems like. I decided to sell the extra copies of
magazines and books of King’s work that I found during my travels to help feed my King fiction collection. I put out a
little Xerox catalog and mailed it to fifty people who found out about us from a small ad I placed in Castle Rock,
Stephen King’s newsletter. I still have a couple of those customers twenty years later! While reading, writing and
promoting new authors in our catalog, I had this whacky idea that “hey, I can do this. Publish, yeah, that’s it.” Our first
novel, Gary Raisors “Less Than Human” was definitely publishing 101 for us. The novel itself is one of the best
written stories we’ve ever published. Raisor is a born storyteller. I’m still proud of that book and our accomplishment
in that production. We did publish the signed limited edition of the Official Stephen King Encyclopedia. Signed by
over twenty-seven contributors including Richard Matheson, Joe Lansdale, Ray Garton, publisher Donald Grant, and
many more. It also includes the only interview King’s brother David has ever published, and it’s also signed by him.
The Overlook was located in Woodstock, Georgia for fifteen years. We’re now located on an acre of land in Hiram,
Georgia. Just off a three-mile stretch of “Travis Tritt Highway” and just a stones throw away from his residence.
Considering I worked with Billy Ray Cyrus for a year at PolyGram during the “Achy Breaky Heart” success, I find this
very ironic when I look at my Billy Ray platinum award on the wall (Travis didn’t care for Mr. Cyrus work during this
2. When did you become a Stephen King fan?
DAVE: Oh, an easy one! I was fifteen, in ninth grade, and someone said I had to read this book, "The Shining." How
many times can you look at a moment in your life and realize this was where your life took a new path? Our interests
and circumstances dictate who and what we are. At least in my case, this is very true. "The Shining" was the first
book I read that made me feel I was "watching a movie in my head." My heart was pounding, I was relating to the
characters (albeit not Jack ;-), the fear and the boo! that waited around every corner. It was exhilarating! Who was this
Stephen King guy? So I stared looking for more by him. "Nightshift" was next and then I was hooked. Those stories
still resonate today. I've never re-read a King novel. A short story or two, yet. But King's works are my "good friends"
sitting on my shelf. Just knowing that I will revisit them someday, and they're on hand at any time, are a comfort and
joy to this reader.
3. I've been collecting King for about 3 decades now. I have almost everything in 1st edition and a few limited
editions. I also collect non-book King items; movie posters, T-Shirts, playing cards, the Stephen King bobblehead
doll etc. Are you a collector of Stephen King's books? Do you collect non-book Stephen King items as well?
DAVE: I am a collector, and I own quite a bit of "everything." I've slowed down quite a bit - I'm running out of room! I
have some prized items that are more personal than anything else. Steve sent me a Roman numeral copy of Six
Stories as a gift which I'm very fond of. The limited edition of "The Stand" is just a beautiful production. I'm very
selective about what I collect these days. A lot of items have come thru the Overlook, and if I were to collect
everything I wouldn't have a store! HA! I have an "Eyes of the Dragon" board poster that I had framed, again just a
beautiful production for a promotional poster. Frank Darabont, who directed "The Shawshank Redemption" (and is
also directing / screenwriting Stephen King's 'The Mist' for release in November 2007) sent me a signed movie
poster of Shawshank that hangs in the Overlook office. That one is especially personal. I do collect non-fiction, and
there is such much out there. Some personal favorites are Stephen Spignesi (The Lost Work of Stephen King),
Michael Collings (Stephen King is Richard Bachman) and Bev Vincent's books. These gentlemen are very good at
what they do and I always look forward to seeing what they come up with next on King. They take a personal pride in
Stephen King's work and they spend the time necessary to give the readers a little more insight into Stephen King's
4. Have you ever met King? If so...what was that like!?
DAVE: I've met Steve several times. The first time was unexpected. We were making our first visit to the King offices
in Bangor in 1989. We were there to visit with Marsha, Shirley and the ladies. We're getting the grand tour when all of
a sudden Steve shows up! He was there to do an interview with a German magazine writer that flew to Bangor just
for the interview. He was waiting on Steve's office as it turns out. So Steve didn't have a lot of time, but he did visit
with us for a bit, took us around the office, and at my request did go outside to take a picture. What came out of that
visit is the photo of Larry Fire and Dave Lowell picking Stephen King up and I snapped the photo. I've let it appear in
several publications so I'm sure many have seen this photo by now. As the new website grows, I'm sure I'll put it up
on the site in a photo gallery someday. I also met him again on the Rock Bottom Remainders tour in '93.
5. What kind of selection do you offer currently of King's work?
DAVE: What would you like? I have no limit as to what we carry by or about Stephen King. I recently put up some rare
promotional t-shirts on the site that we received from a collection. I say rare because Steve doesn't allow, as a
whole, merchandise to be made about him or his work. So when a film or a bookstore puts out a shirt, it's very rare
indeed. We offer Signed limiteds, First edition hard covers, paperbacks, audio, video, signed DVDs (by the
directors), magazines, newspapers, you name it, we probably have it or have had it. And in most cases can probably
get it with our connections.
6. When it comes to King's books, my "favorite" keeps changing. Right now I'd say that "IT" is my favorite, but The
Stand is also a fave, right up there on the list like many King readers. My favorite King movie would probably be
"Stand By Me" or "Needful Things". Do you have a favorite King book and movie? Favorite character....and why?
DAVE: "The Shining" is still my favorite. "The Stand" is second. "The Dead Zone" was always a fave of mine too. I
would have to say that although not a favorite, the most 'evil' book by King is Pet Sematary. I was very upset by that
book. Steve has been quoted as saying he wasn't going to release that novel because it is so heavy, but as he still
owed Doubleday one more book, and he was already with a new publisher, he gave them Pet Sematary because it
was completed and ready to go. You're probably saying "Dave.. evil?" I have kids, so it was unnerving when I read it.
My boys were just a few years older than the boy in Pet, and I'm sure that had everything to do with it. Movie?
Hmmm... It would have to be a tie between "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Stand By Me." Both have wonderful
qualities that outweigh the other, and are yet similar, so it's a tie. But as a horror movie, I would put Mick Garris's
version of "The Stand" right up there. That was an amazing job! I mean, how do you put The Stand on screen? Mick
made the most of the 25 million dollar budget he was given. That story could easily have been 100 million plus to
make. The music, the acting, the screenplay, quality work on a tight budget for a long film. As a viewer I was involved
in that movie, and for most of us readers, it's because "The Stand" holds such a special place for King readers. Mick
did it right.
7. Your site is a wealth of information about King past, present and future. Where does the Overlook get their info?
DAVE: This is a good question and one that the answer will evolve into how the internet plays such an important
role today. Originally The Overlook was one of the only places / publications, which offered information on Stephen
King (especially since Castle Rock ceased in 1989). We also branched into offering information and titles on many
other authors that I was discovering way back when. Readers clambered for information, but at that time there
wasn't an internet - at least not easily accessible for the general public. We receive information from all kinds of
sources. I receive information all the time that I can't talk about! But it's all about timing and respecting the author's
rights until they want this information released. But we're here to offer it up when the time comes. This is especially
true of King projects. These days I can't seem to keep up because of the internet, so much information is available if
you want to look for it. The Overlook always has the new products.. and we offer items that no one else may have.
Such as slipcases for some of the special King releases with original artwork that is foil embossed, etc. We have
guests that sign items and bookplates for us. Robin Furth, co-script writer of the recent Dark Tower Gunslinger Born
original comic series signed plates for the Overlook that we gave away free with every purchase of the series and/or
hardcover release. Thomas Jane (actor in The Mist, and Dreamcatcher) also signs plates for the DVD's and his
original comic book series Alien Pig Farm 3000. These are just a few of hundreds of authors, directors, and actors
who sign for our customers. We're still a good location for "all things King" and we always have the new releases in
book, video and audio.
8. What do you think is the most sought after King book or publication...the "Holy Grail" for collectors?
DAVE: If I have to pick "one" it would be Doubleday's release of THE STAND un-edited signed limited release. The
leather binding, the red-silk lined wood box (with wood top), along with the foil embossing, and other features make
this one of the most beautiful and sought after volumes. "Eyes of the Dragon" and "Skeleton Crew" signed limiteds
are also beautiful productions and nice for any collection.
9. If you could cast King's "The Dark Tower" as a movie....who would you cast as Roland and the other main
DAVE: That's a loaded question. Actually I think there are many actors that would fill this role. I had the opportunity to
see Thomas Jane (The Punisher, Dream Catcher) during the filming of Stephen King's "The Mist." Based on seeing
his acting in person, and on the screen, I think he would add the tough, dark exterior, which this role would require.
But can also express the softer side of Roland when he needs to. As far as the rest of the cast, well, I could be here
all day filling those slots! How much time does everyone have here? (laughs).
Also...would you have a specific band or musical style in mind for the soundtrack?
DAVE: Ah.. music, my passion! Recently Metallica did a version of Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold" on a
tribute album to this amazing composer. Have you heard it? It's a harder version of that piece, but I could see
something along those lines - maybe slowed down a bit. My idea overall would be Ennio Morricone meets up with
The Chemical Brothers. Also Rob Dougan's piece "Furious Angel" from Matrix Reloaded - moving, emotional work.
Great stuff! Throw in some Paul Oakenfold mixes.. man you'd have one helluva soundtrack! The old West meets
contemporary synthesizer. Hey, you asked :-).
10. What King book(s) would you say are your least favorite and why?
DAVE: "The Tommyknockers" is not my favorite. It gets a bum rap actually. I've met a lot of people who haven't
finished it -- they couldn't get past the first half. Because it deals with the main character's alcoholic issues. It's up,
it's down, and can drag. This book was obviously a therapeutic time for Mr. King, and it's only natural that his writing
would reflect some of that moment in his life. With that said, I think the second half of the book really kicks ass! If the
reader will stick with it, it's a good payoff. "The Talisman" is a fine novel, but not one of my favorites. "IT" is a good
read, but when I get to the ending, it's kind of a let down. This is when I had to start looking at art in a different light,
be it book or movie. I ask myself, "was it a good ride?" In the case of IT, it was an amazing ride! Okay, so the ending
isn't what I expected, but for almost a thousand pages I had a great time. I'll give the book/movie it's moment. It's rare
that I won't finish something, but you can usually tell where the story's going. There's always the possibility of an
unexpected surprise though, so I'm ever hopeful.
11. The Overlook carries a huge assortment of Sci-Fi, fantasy and horror. What other authors does your site feature
and do you have some favorites? Is there a "next" Stephen King on the horizon in terms of style and/or popularity?
DAVE: As a publisher I am of course biased on the author's I publish, because, I like them! They're good! So I'll
mention them first: Jack Ketchum, Yvonne Navarro, Edward Lee, A.R. Morlan, Christopher Fahy, Mort Castle,
Matthew Costello, and of course, F. Paul Wilson. Our recent releases of Philip Nutman's "Wet Work" and A.R.
Morlan's "Smothered Dolls" are some choice favorites at the moment. We also publish non-fiction bibliographies on
Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, Peter Straub, and upcoming we have the exciting new books Michael Colling's
"Stephen King is Richard Bachman" and Tim Richmond's "Fingerprints on the Sky: The Illustrated Reader's Guide to
Harlan Ellison." Both are due later this year.
Brian Keene seems to be at the forefront of the current horror movement. He has continued to publish and hone his
fiction and the readers have been picking his work up like crazy. Tim Lebbon is also another writer who continues to
show promise and who is branching out into other genres, but remains close to horror genre fiction. I've been
reading some graphic novels lately, and I have to say I'm quite impressed. "Wasteland" by Johnston and Mitten is a
series I'm really enjoying. Steve Niles "30 Days of Night" is a cool idea and expertly executed in several volumes of
graphic novels. The movie of the same name is out in Oct. 2007 and I'll be there with popcorn strapped on to see
12. How are sales of King's books today as compared to the 1980's when you first started in the business? Are
there still collectors trying to get everything in 1st edition, and do the limited edition books sell well?
DAVE: I would have to say that collecting Stephen King has not abated. I don't know of any other author that warrants
this kind of collecting frenzy. I use the word "frenzy" because it's consistent. This is our twentieth year in business
and I always expected King collecting to slow down at some point. Well, it hasn't happened yet. Certainly it has an
ebb and flow with what's going on with new releases, etc. It does remain consistent. When a new King reader
comes along and they want to begin collecting his novels, many do look for the first editions. This may lead into the
signed editions, but of course that's a larger investment to say the least. Limited editions ALWAYS sell out. If we
have any in stock, it's from editions that have made there way back to our store from the secondary market.
13. Lucky question #13....heh...heh.. Who had the idea to name the business "Overlook" ? And have you been to the
DAVE: This business I started, to feed "my" Stephen King collecting, was only meant to be temporary. Something I
did on the side to feed my own frenzy of "everything King." I wasn't as interested in the collectible items as much as I
was just interested in finding all of King's fiction. Of course as my reading/collecting continued, I found I wanted
some of the King limiteds and oddities. When I began this "temp job" I wanted it to have a name that represented my
interests. As "The Shining" was my favorite novel, and the hotel such a presence, I decided to connect to my
customers as The Overlook Connection. Our slogan "We All Shine On" mixes my interest with The Shining and The
Beatles (a major influence in my life) using John Lennon's chorus from "Instant Karma."
The Stanley is a wonderful hotel. I've been there once for Horrorfest in 1989. It was a wonderful time and I'm still
friends with many customers and authors that we met there. I understand they've renovated the hotel extensively.
And the history with "The Shining" novel has certainly increased its interest out tourism for Estes Park, Colorado.
Now that Mick Garris's version of "The Shining" was filmed there (the origin of King's idea began from his staying at
this hotel) the story has come full circle. I would suggest that if you have the opportunity to visit The Stanley, to do so.
You'll understand where Stephen King found his inspiration.
14. What's HOT right now at the Overlook Connection and Press? And what's coming up soon that readers would
like to know about?
DAVE: Our new slipcase series for new Stephen King books has been very popular. This idea came from my
interest in slipcasing my King books with something nice and original. We’ve produced a slipcase for “Blaze” and
we’ll also be producing one for “Duma Key” when it’s released in Jan. 2008. Even more popular is the slipcase for
the Dark Tower Gunslinger Born comic book series. This slipcase holds all 7 issues of the series, plus has room to
hold the Guidebook and a couple of extra issues. In December we’re issuing a slipcase for the hardcover edition of
Dark Tower Gunslinger Born as well. These cases use original artwork produced exclusively for the books.
Overlook Connection Press is proud to present Michael Colling’s edition of “Stephen King is Richard Bachman” in
the Fall of 2007. This special edition features extensive updates and revisions from the original book published
twenty years ago. This title is an important release in Stephen King history. There is a signed limited and a trade
hardcover. We’re also releasing a special Signed Sterling Boxed edition of 100 copies that are bound especially for
this set. You can see more on this entire edition on the www.OverlookConnection.com website.
15. Many of the other specialty sellers have gone out of business. To what do you attribute the success of the
DAVE: Dedication. And work, work, work. My wife hears me say “no workee, no eatee” all the time and that’s just
about sizes it up. Of course this is true for anyone working. But I’ll say this, unless you’re ready to put in the hours
and dedication to work for yourself, don’t quit your day job. Believe me, bookselling / publishing has never been
easy. You’ve got to love what you’re doing to make it happen, and even then it’s no guarantee. But the longer you
stick with something, the better chance you have of being a success. Every business has its ups and downs. We’ve
certainly had ours. But I’m here for the long haul. The Overlook isn’t going anywhere. I’m more involved now than I
think I’ve ever been! Making the decision to stick with it has always been the mantra. You also have to make good
decisions. Running a business is like raising a child. You have to feed that baby to make it grow. Nurture it. Plan for
the future. It’s a never-ending entity. It’s always hungry. You feed it, and it will feed you – or so you hope! Seriously, if
it’s something you believe in, stick with it, it will usually treat you right. If you can go with the flow, like anything in life,
you’ll be okay. Don’t worry, be happy, and keep your health insurance payments up!
16. What was the Overlook like in the beginning.....and what has it become. I imagine your digs have grown
immensely. I remember visiting Craig Goden's "Time Tunnel" years ago and was surprised to learn that the "store"
was a room in his house. I thought that was pretty cool.
DAVE: Craig Goden’s “Time Tunnel” was great! That’s because the man behind it kept it fun and interesting. When
the Overlook started it was in a basement room. The stock eventually had to take over the 2 car garage. We built a
shipping room and a separate office for me. Since then it has moved into its own buildings that we actually refer to
as “Heaven,” (the store and shipping area); “Hell,” back stock and originally named that because it was “Hell” to
have to move boxes full of heavy books around to find your orders. Fortunately for my shipper, it’s all on shelves now
(he still buys me lunch for that improvement!). And we recently put in my new office with its temporary name of
“Paradise.” Why “Paradise?” Because I can spread out and take care of business and for me, that's paradise! What
a difference. Time for a new name though (and no, Purgatory doesn’t fit the bill J.)
17. I'm sure you're an avid reader.....who are your favorites? What books got you interested in reading? For me it was
Ray Bradbury and Jack London.
DAVE: Believe it or not, I didn’t read that much growing up. Some short fiction for sure. But I loved stories and
storytelling. I grew up with our father having us listen to the CBS Mystery Theatre at night – man I loved those radio
shows. I would love to have a set of those! I wonder if those are available now? And of course there are the movies
and comics (okay, I read comics). The “Planet of the Apes” movie series fascinated me since I was 7. As a child that
idea just blew me away! Time travel? Apes ruling man? Whew.. heavy for a seven-year-old. I loved “The Omega
Man,” “Soylent Green,” the “after-disaster” movies always kept me fascinated. Not that I wanted that to happen to me
and mankind for that matter, but to see what are the possibilities. The fallout from war is true horror, and that’s
where most of these ideas come from (outside of natural disasters of course). I woke up one day and found that my
father had brought home a comic and left it by my bedside table. It was issue no. 32 of Kamandi, The Last Boy On
Earth. The story was fascinating, and certainly along the lines of “Planet of the Apes” but it was still unique. This was
the first time I began noticing who the artist and storyteller’s were. In this case it was Jack Kirby. I’ve been a Kirby fan
ever since. I recently purchased the Kamandi sets in hardcover – man, what a great thing to have from your
childhood. I mean these comics are old friends. You have to understand that I lived in a tin roof house, on a dirt road,
outside of Statesboro, Georgia at the time. We were surrounded by tobacco and corn fields all over. Pecan trees
outside. We fished in a pond on our property. We’re almost talking Huck Finn here okay? So when these stories of
“after-disaster,” “horror,” and “science fiction” were coming into my house these were very different worlds to
consider. TV – Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica, Star Wars; you get the idea. I am definitely a media influenced
individual. My major reading came in my teens with King and Koontz. In my twenties I continued with Joe Lansdale,
Robert McCammon, Rick Hautala, and most of the horror writing genre from the 80’s. “The Horror Show” magazine
was a wonderful introduction to many writers back then. Today I’d like to recommend the magazines “Apex” and
“Dark Discoveries” especially. These editors really do take the time to deliver good fiction to readers.
18. Anything else you'd like to add?
DAVE: Thank you to all those readers, customers, authors, and anyone that believed in and still believes in The
Overlook. I attribute our success to these people who have helped make the Overlook a success. These people still
make us who we are everyday and I work very hard to attend to our customers and guests here at the front desk. The
Overlook is not just a line and a price. Come on in and sit a spell sometime and let us know what you think is good
fiction out there. And remember.. We All Shine On!
|Mark Orr Interviews Dave Hinchberger of The Overlook Connection and Press
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