Rocky Wood

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Rocky Wood
Born(1959-10-19)19 October 1959
Wellington, New Zealand
Died1 December 2014(2014-12-01) (aged 55)
Melbourne, Australia
NationalityNew Zealander / Australian
GenreNon-fiction, Horror
SubjectStephen King

Rocky Wood (19 October 1959 – 1 December 2014) was a New Zealand-born Australian writer and researcher best known for his books about horror author Stephen King. He is the first author from outside North America or Europe to hold the position of President of the Horror Writers Association.[1] Wood was born in Wellington, New Zealand and lived in Melbourne, Australia with his family. He has been a freelance writer for over 35 years. His writing career began at university, where he wrote a national newspaper column in New Zealand on extra-terrestrial life and UFO-related phenomena and published other articles about the phenomenon worldwide, in the course of which research he met such figures as Erich von Däniken and J. Allen Hynek;[2][3] and had articles on the security industry published in the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand and South Africa. In October 2010, Wood was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). He died of complications on 1 December 2014.[4]

Reference works on Stephen King[edit]

In the Stephen King and horror communities, Wood was regarded as a leading expert on Stephen King's work.[5] He is the co-author of The Complete Guide to the Works of Stephen King (Kanrock Partners, 2003, 2004);[6] Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished (Cemetery Dance Publications, 2006);[7] The Stephen King Collector's Guide (Kanrock Partners, 2007[8]); Stephen King: The Non-Fiction (Cemetery Dance Publications, 2009)[9] and the author of Stephen King: A Literary Companion (McFarland, 2011).[10] In 2012 the Overlook Connection Press issued a fourth edition of Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished, extensively revised and with direct input from Stephen King, resolving many previous mysteries.[11]

He assisted King with research for the sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep.[12] King had this to say in the Author's Note to Doctor Sleep: "Rocky Wood was my go-to guy for all things Shining, providing me with names and dates I had either forgotten or plain got wrong. He also provided reams of info on every recreational vehicle and camper under the sun (the coolest was Rose's EarthCruiser). The Rock knows my work better than I do myself. Look him up on the web sometime. He's got it going on."[13]

Wood has also written many articles on King that have appeared in such magazines as Cemetery Dance, Dark Discoveries,[14] and Lighthouse.[15]

In 2002, he traveled to Orono, Maine and spent three weeks researching the Stephen King Archives at the Special Collections Unit of the Raymond H. Fogler Library at the University of Maine. Wood has undertaken five research trips to Maine in the course of his research on King's work.

His first King book was The Complete Guide to the Works of Stephen King, a 6000+ page encyclopedia on CD-ROM, which summarizes every story, every character, every place, and the entire timeline of King's work. In-depth information on all 270+ fiction works by Stephen King, 26,000 King characters, and 5,000 King places are included, along with adaptations of King's work to the big and small screens. The Guide is even used by Stephen King's office for research.[16][17][18]

In his research, Wood rediscovered previously unknown King stories,[19][20] including two written in his high school years, of which even the author did not have a copy.[21] King agreed to allow the inclusion of another two previously unpublished pieces, Sword in the Darkness and Dino[22] in Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished. That book covers about 100 King stories that had never been published or appeared only in obscure venues.

In 2005, he returned to Maine for a lengthy investigative trip into King’s non-fiction, discovering over 40 previously unknown pieces, again including lost material from King’s formative years, which he later provided to the author. King agreed to the inclusion of an obscure article, My Little Serrated Security Blanket in Wood's Stephen King: The Non-Fiction, which covers more than 600 individual items.[23] Wood returned to Maine in 2007, 2008 and 2009 to continue his research. In 2008/9 he wrote the 'King of Horror' column for the Australian magazine, 'Black: Australian Dark Culture'.[24]

Affiliations and award nominations[edit]

Wood was an Active member and President of the Horror Writers Association (HWA), serving a two-year term from 1 November 2010 (having previously served a term from 2008–10 as a Trustee).[25] He was re-elected to a further two-year term in 2012. He was also an Active Member of International Thriller Writers (ITW). Wood was President of the Australian American Association (Victoria) in Australia from 2008–2010 and was elected a Life Member in September 2010; and was a member of the Australian Logistics Council from 2008 to 2012.

He was nominated for the HWA's Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction for Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished (2006) and Stephen King: The Non-Fiction (2009).[26] He won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction for Stephen King: A Literary Companion (2011). He was a member of the Australian Horror Writers Association.[27] He served as Guest Judge (Edited Publications) for the Australian Shadows Award, 2010.

Wood's first mainstream fiction was the graphic novel, Horrors! Great Tales of Fear and Their Creators (McFarland, 2010), a re-imagining of events in 19th century horror, illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne. Horrors! was nominated both for a Black Quill Non-Fiction Award[28] and a for Best Illustrated Book or Graphic Novel in the 2010 Aurealis Awards.[29] His second graphic novel was Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times (McFarland, 2012), examining the witch hunting phenomenon that plagued Europe and New England. It is co-written by Lisa Morton and illustrated by Greg Chapman and won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement on a Graphic Novel in 2012.

Media appearances and conferences[edit]

Wood made many media appearances on TV, radio, and in the press, and has spoken at conferences in the US,[30] Canada, UK, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Wood was keynote speaker at the 2003 Stephen King (SKEMER) Conference held in Estes Park, Colorado at the site of the hotel that featured in The Shining (2003). He spoke at Continuum 3 (2005), Continuum 4 (2006) and Continuum 5 (2009) in Melbourne, Australia; Conflux in Canberra, Australia (2006); at the Stephen King film festival (Dollar Baby Film Festival) held in King's hometown of Bangor, Maine in October 2005; at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City (2008); at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne (2010); at the World Horror Convention in Austin, Texas (2011) and the Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker Weekends in Burbank (2009), on Long Island, New York (2011) and in New Orleans, Louisiana (2013). He was a Special Guest at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City in March 2012.[31] He also addressed the Lisbon Historical Society in Lisbon Falls, Maine twice in July 2009 about inspirations from Stephen King's later childhood and teenage years in Durham, Maine and attending Lisbon High School.


  1. ^ "Horror Writers Association - About Us". Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Did UFO Abduct Aircraft?", Fate magazine 32,3 (March 1979): 61–65
  3. ^ New Zealand UFO Studies Centre: Kaikoura ufo controversy / edited by Rocky Wood. – Wellington (New Zealand) : New Zealand UFO Studies Centre, 1980. – 22 s. – (4th special issue)
  4. ^ Rocky Wood (1959-2014), Locus, 1 December 2014, retrieved 1 December 2014
  5. ^ Australian horror website
  6. ^ Melbourne, Australia: 2004, Kanrock Partners
  7. ^ Kanrock Partners, 2006 and Abingdon, Maryland: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2006
  8. ^ Melbourne, Australia: 2007, Kanrock Partners
  9. ^ Abingdon, Maryland, 2009: Cemetery Dance Publications
  10. ^ "McFarland - a leading independent publisher of academic and nonfiction books". Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  11. ^ "The Overlook Connection Press and Bookstore : Stephen King Uncollected Unpublished [SKUUHC] - $44.79". Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  12. ^ Stephen King: New details of 'The Shining' sequel 'Doctor Sleep' | Shelf Life |
  13. ^ New York City: 2013, Scribner
  14. ^ 'The Joy of Stephen King' Vol 1, No 1 Spring 2004 p.31-36 Dark Discoveries website
  15. ^ 'King's Neverending Story' in Lighthouse IV p.15-26; 'Stephen King: Why the Huge Fanbase?' in Lighthouse V p.20-28; Table of Contents from Locus magazine
  16. ^ Stephen King official website -credits
  17. ^ 'Bangor Daily News' (Bangor, Maine) article
  18. ^ For Immediate Release
  19. ^ Article in Stonnigton Leader (Melbourne, Australia)
  20. ^ Article in Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
  21. ^ 'Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished' p.173 ff.
  22. ^ Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished: Cemetery Dance Publications Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Announcement ref. My Little Serrated Security Blanket
  24. ^ 'King of Horror' in Issue #1, July 2008; 'Stephen King's The Dark Tower' in Issue #1, July 2008, ISSN 1835-9248,
  25. ^ HWA Members Web page
  26. ^ "Bram Stoker Award™ 2011 Final Ballot". Horror Writers Association Blog. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  27. ^ Australian Horror Writers Association member page
  28. ^ "Dark Scribe Magazine - 4th Annual Nominees". Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  29. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 May 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ World Horror Convention, Salt Lake City 27–30 March 2008,
  31. ^ World Horror Convention, Salt Lake City 29 March-1 April 2012

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