The Blog

Interviews

8 Great Questions: Dean Koontz

May 14, 2018

The latest by Dean Koontz, The Crooked Staircase, picks up with his diehard FBI agent Jane Hawk, who knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom—and free will—of millions. Propelled by her righteous fury and insistence on justice, Jane makes her way from Southern California to the snowy slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark, dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

Recently, Dean checked in with Read It Forward about his ideal book club, a favorite word that has mystery at its core, and how he’s a little bit Mr. Toad at heart.

***

What word do you love and why? What word do you hate and why?

My favorite word is love, because of the infinite mystery at the core of its nature. As Dickinson wrote, “That Love is all there is / Is all we know of love.” My least favorite word is hate, because it’s an emotion that solves nothing, destroys everything, and comes disguised in countless self-righteous masks, so that the haters too often see themselves as noble.

Read the full Q&A at ReadItForward.com

Pia Lindstrom With Dean Koontz On SiriusXM Stars

February 21, 2018

Dean Koontz on the 50th Anniversary of His First Novel, Star Quest

January 22, 2018

50 years! Wow! And to get Dean speaking on the record about his early SF work, that’s a rarity these days. But SyFy Wire has done it.

How did Star Quest come about and what was the inspiration for the story?
Dean Koontz: As a kid, all I read was science fiction. I started out with probably the Heinlein juvenile, young adult novels and then just read, read, read constantly in the field. So by the time I was graduating college it was very natural for me that that would be the genre I wanted to write it. And I had sold a number of short stories first, but I can’t remember where that idea came from for that novel. All I know is that I wrote it over a summer between teaching jobs. I had no agent, you just sent things over the transom in those days. I sent it to Ace Books and they made me an offer for it.
One thing I vividly remember is that at that time, Ace paid $1,500 for one half of an Ace Double. They came back to me and said, “We can’t pay you $1,500 because your novel is short, so we’re gonna have to pay the guy on the other side of the double, $1,750, so we can only pay you $1,250.” It was the first time I had ever sold anything in book length so I jumped at that and said, alright, I’ll take the $1,250! Some years went by and I was still writing only in the science fiction genre and was somewhere where I ran into the author who was on the other side of that double. I said to him jokingly, that because of you I had to take $1,250 instead of $1,500. And he said, “What do you mean? They told me mine was shorter. I’d have to take $1,250!” I discovered we’d each been chiseled out of $250. Which explained to me why, when I looked at the book, it didn’t seem to me that his was a lot longer than mine. And it was a little warning that there were certain publishers in the world that would save the $500 at the risk of annoying the hell out of the writer down the road. That’s my biggest memory of that. I do sometimes say if I’d just thought of calling it Star Trek instead of Star Quest, maybe I would have been famous long before. (Laughs)

Read the full interview @ SyFy.com

Interview: Dean Koontz Takes Readers On A ‘Techno-Thriller’ Ride In His New ‘Jane Hawk’ Series

December 10, 2017

Master of suspense Dean Koontz has done it again. Written a new series, that is, a techno-thriller from the darker corners of his imagination.
Meet his latest character, Jane Hawk, introduced in “The Silent Corner” in June and continuing  now in “The Whispering Room” and in next year’s  “The Crooked Staircase” (May).
Jane, 27, is a resourceful, street-savvy FBI agent who takes a leave of absence to investigate the apparent suicide of her husband. What she discovers is a conspiracy at the highest levels of government and the tech industry—an insidious scheme involving nano brain implants that rob people of their will, turning them into virtual slaves or maneuvering them to kill themselves in the most horrific ways.
The action is fast, emotions and tension run high, and there are casualties. Soon the resolute Jane is declared a rogue FBI agent, then becomes the nation’s most wanted fugitive. Readers are right there with her as she ingeniously survives a series of close encounters in her quest to unveil the truth one piece at a time.
At this stage in his 50-year career, Koontz, 72, is writing at his most expressive and compelling as he follows Jane on her calculated yet obsessive journey. As Koontz once told me, “I give my characters free will and see where things will go.” Clearly, there is no stopping Jane Hawk.
Koontz, a former high school English teacher, is the New York Times best-selling author of more than 100 novels (16 made into movies) with 450 million copies in print in 38 languages.
That’s superstar status, yet he chooses to live under the radar (he no longer tours, for instance) in Newport Beach with his wife of 50 years, high-school sweetheart Gerda Ann Cerra, their golden retriever, Anna, and “the enduring spirit”  of their late golden, Trixie.
I asked Koontz about the new series via email. Visit him at www.deankoontz.com and follow him on Twitter: @deankoontz.

Read the full interview @ capradio.org

Dean Koontz @ SDCC '08

November 20, 2016





The New Yorker Magazine Special Advertising Section

May 1, 2016

2006.06.12 Interview ad- The New YorkerMissed this one when it first came out. It’s the June 12, 2006 issue of The New Yorker which contains an interview with Dean. What makes is more interesting is that the interview is actually a six-page “Special Advertising Section” that’s basically a giant ad for The Husband.
 

Delving into the mind with author Dean Koontz

December 21, 2015

New OCRcom logo final 3
Can you tell I’m trying to get caught up? Here’s an interview with Dean published by the Orange County Register back on December 4th.

Q. What was it like leaving Odd Thomas and his series behind to create Bibi and her brand-new story?
A. This was an extremely tricky thing to pull off and so it tests all your abilities and craftsmanship. So in a sense that’s daunting. But as always, if the character who is central to the story starts to work for you, if Bibi comes alive for you, within a day or two you’re into it and you’re not daunted anymore.
My publisher said, “I sort of fell in love with Bibi. She’s sort of a very fair, tough-minded, kick-butt kind of lady.” She’s a woman that reminds me a little of my mother and my wife, both strong women. She sort of has some of their qualities.

Read it all @ OCRegister.com.

The Secrets of their Success interview

March 27, 2015

Dean KoontzI’ve always resisted the cliché, ‘Today’s guest needs no introduction.’ And there are two reasons for that: for one thing, it’s one of those remarks that needs qualifying, and in so doing I think I’d end up at odds with the aforementioned claim. For another, those who need no – or little – introduction often provide the meatiest substance for an opening paragraph, and my guest today is no exception. Frankly, we’re in the presence of greatness – honestly, it’s true. He’ll shake his head at me for using such lofty rhetoric, I know, because despite his vast achievements he seems to have remained somehow unpretentious – at the very least down-to-earth. And in case you’re wondering at the magnitude of said achievements, permit me a small instruction. Go to Wikipedia and search: ‘Best-selling fiction authors.’ You’ll see a list populated by such revered denizens as William Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, Agatha Christie and a host of other authors endlessly cited by literature professors the world over. Well I’ll tell you something: today’s guest currently occupies the number seventeen spot on that roster, and by the figures quoted therein has sold around 400 million books. Take into account that some of the literary heavyweights above him on that list have been in print for several centuries, and that’s quite an achievement. But – every achievement starts somewhere, so to tell us how it all began allow me to hand over to the one and only: Dean Koontz.
“I was writing stories when I was 8 and selling them to relatives and neighbors,” Dean says. “I was writer, agent, and publisher all in one – and, I am quite sure, also a pest. I wrote in high school, and one of my English teachers, Winona Garbrick, encouraged me. In college, I won a top prize in a national college-student writing contest sponsored by the Atlantic Monthly, and I sold that same story to another magazine for $50, which was more money then than it is now and which allowed me to buy about a hundred paperbacks.
“We were quite poor, and therefore through high school I had held part-time jobs of one kind or another, during which I realized that I would never be happy working under a boss. After college, during the two years I taught school, that realization was reinforced on a daily basis. The education bureaucracy frustrated me. My wife, Gerda, said, “I know you want to write. I’ll support you for five years, and if you can’t make it in that time, you’ll never make it.” To this day, I am humbled by her generosity and her faith in me. I accepted her offer – and was immediately labeled a lazy, shiftless bum by many in our families!
“So you might say that in the early years, I was inspired by the need to be my own boss and to work at a task I loved instead of at some job that had no purpose for me except to pay the bills. During a lonely childhood, in a dysfunctional family, books had been my escape and salvation; therefore, to make a life of books was as close to bliss as I expected to get in this world.”

Read the full interview @ The Secrets of Their Success.

Interview on the Total Celebrity podcast

March 15, 2015


Source: Am/FM 24/7
Total-Tutor-Network-LOGOSM

Dean Koontz says goodbye to Odd Thomas

February 26, 2015

Saint Odd 3DDean Koontz is one of the world’s most popular novelists, with 450 million books sold worldwide. In recent years, his series featuring Odd Thomas — a young fry cook with paranormal powers, including the ability to see the spirits of the “lingering dead” — has been particularly popular, with 20 million copies sold to date. Now the series is ending with its seventh installment,Saint Odd (currently No. 4 on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list), in which the character returns to his hometown of Pico Mundo, Calif., to fulfill the destiny foretold in the series opener in 2003.
Koontz will be the featured guest on a special online video chat with fans from 1-2 p.m. today, sponsored by USA TODAY and Intercast. In the meantime, we caught up with Koontz, 69, for a phone interview from his home in Newport Coast, Calif.
Q: Is the ending of the Odd Thomas series a sad occasion for you?
A: When I finished the first one, Odd Thomas, I thought, “This is liable to be more than one book,” but at most I thought it would be a trilogy. But the character just had dimension after dimension that I found fascinating. In book two, I thought, “He’s on a journey to absolute humility,” which I didn’t know how I was going to write about since I don’t have an experience of absolute humility myself. (Laughs.) In the first book, he lost the love of his life, and got a little card from a fortune-telling machine that said, “You are destined to be together forever.” And I knew that was a promise that had to be fulfilled. I thought, “I can’t keep him going forever, no matter how interesting he is.”

Read the full interview @ The Baxter Bulletin.

The City: Dean Koontz veers from type with this tender, character-driven story.

February 4, 2015

The City (Cover 2)I call him the poor man’s Stephen King, which is ironic, because Koontz is probably one of the wealthiest authors alive.
So I picked up The City, convinced I was in for more of Koontz’s crafty if slightly formulaic storytelling.
I was very wrong.
In The City Koontz paints the unusual coming-of-age story of young Jonah Kirk, son of a talented lounge singer and grandson of a true piano man. Young Jonah learns about the mysteries and the beauty of his city through a very diverse crowd of friends… and enemies.

Read the full review @ Women24.

Sacramento Bee Interview

February 3, 2015


Sacramento Bee logoBest-selling author Dean Koontz talks about his success, latest hit character

by Allen Pierleoni
Q: Underlying the surface action, what is the Odd Thomas series about?
A: Perseverance in the face of the setbacks in life. Also, Odd represents the best that people are capable of being, but in this fallen world we rarely ever get there. That doesn’t mean he isn’t driven to do terrible things, but he does them to protect the innocent or save his own life.
Q: Where did Odd come from?
A: I was working on another book and suddenly into my mind came the line, “My name is Odd Thomas, and I lead an unusual life.” I spent the rest of the day writing what became the first chapter of the first book. The only thing I knew about him then was he was a character on a journey to absolute humility. Where all that came from is a mysterious process I did nothing to earn. The only thing I could do was bring my best craftsmanship to it.
Q: What’s so saintly about Odd?
A: I always knew the last book would be called “Saint Odd” because in his humility he would have come to a certain completeness. He lives for other people, and his philosophy is to live in a simple, old-fashioned, chivalrous way, but to never back down.

Read the full interview @ http://www.sacbee.com/entertainment/books/article8952776.html

Amazon Fishbowl with Bill Maher

January 28, 2015

Some of you may know that Dean appeared on several episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. But today I discovered that there was a short-lived online show titled Amazon Fishbowl with Bill Maher and that the first episode from 1 June 2006 included Dean. You can still find the full original online @ http://www.amazon.com/gp/mpd/permalink/39:31/104-3877406-928 and I’ve embedded the interview with Dean here. (Please keep in mind that this is streaming video from 2006 so the quality pretty much sucks.)

Dean Koontz says goodbye to Odd Thomas (Interview)

January 28, 2015

Saint Odd 3DDean Koontz is one of the world’s most popular novelists, with 450 million books sold worldwide. In recent years, his series featuring Odd Thomas — a young fry cook with paranormal powers, including the ability to see the spirits of the “lingering dead” — has been particularly popular, with 20 million copies sold to date. Now the series is ending with its seventh installment, Saint Odd (currently No. 4 on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list), in which the character returns to his hometown of Pico Mundo, Calif., to fulfill the destiny foretold in the series opener in 2003.
Koontz will be the featured guest on a special online video chat with fans from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 29, sponsored by USA TODAY and Intercast. In the meantime, we caught up with Koontz, 69, for a phone interview from his home in Newport Coast, Calif.
Q: Is the ending of the Odd Thomas series a sad occasion for you?
A: When I finished the first one, Odd Thomas, I thought, “This is liable to be more than one book,” but at most I thought it would be a trilogy. But the character just had dimension after dimension that I found fascinating. In book two, I thought, “He’s on a journey to absolute humility,” which I didn’t know how I was going to write about since I don’t have an experience of absolute humility myself. (Laughs.) In the first book, he lost the love of his life, and got a little card from a fortune-telling machine that said, “You are destined to be together forever.” And I knew that was a promise that had to be fulfilled. I thought, “I can’t keep him going forever, no matter how interesting he is.”

Read the full interview @ USA Today.

Dean Koontz on Life, Literature & His New Book 'Saint Odd' (INTERVIEW)

January 13, 2015

Author Dean Koontz has sold more than 450 million books. He says of his best-selling success: "I’ve always been driven, probably for a lot of reasons, and one of those is, unquestionably: I've always loved the English language."
Author Dean Koontz has sold more than 450 million books. He says of his best-selling success: “I’ve always been driven, probably for a lot of reasons, and one of those is, unquestionably: I’ve always loved the English language.”

Seven books later, the tale of Odd Thomas is now complete.

It was a sad day to finish the series because I loved the character so much. On the other hand, with the first book, I made a promise to the character, and it needed to be fulfilled, and it could only be fulfilled if the series came to an end.

Now that the series has concluded, some readers might determine that you’ve just finished your masterpiece. What do you think?

(Laughs) I think there have been so many books that it gets very difficult to make those kinds of assessments, at least for me. People ask me, “What is your favorite character or book, whatever?” To a degree, you have to almost say all of them because, even though I write pretty quickly, I’m still choosing to spend a lot of time with these characters, in these stories. I will say, though, that Odd Thomas was special to me. He wasn’t always well received, though. When I turned the first book in to my (previous) publisher, there were people there who so dislike the character and the conflict that they wouldn’t even talk to me about it. In me, that triggers a certain response.

Read the full interview @ Biography.com.

Dean on The Crime Thriller Club

October 12, 2014

Season 2, Episode 04 – First Broadcast at 9:00pm, Monday 6 October 2014, ITV (UK)
Bradley is joined by some of the stars of the biggest crime drama shows, as they offer a privileged look behind the scenes of upcoming new crime dramas. Bradley finds out more about Dean Koontz.

Dean Koontz: By the Book

July 24, 2014

I’m guessing that this will also be appearing in the print version of the Sunday Book Review given the 7/27 date in the URL of the online version.

0727-bks-BTB-master495The author, most recently, of “The City” is a fan of Marilynne Robinson and Cormac McCarthy: “Both offer voluptuous yet highly controlled language and profound moral purpose.”

What books are currently on your night stand?

After a long day, I’m especially charmed by the lyrical expressions and well-wrought cadences of poetry — currently, “The Wild Iris” and “Ararat,” by Louise Glück, and “New & Selected Poems,” by Donald Justice, all of which I’ve read many times. I’m also reading the complete poems of Elizabeth Bishop, whose life’s work shouldn’t be new to me but is.

Read the full interview now @ NYTimes.com.

Unread Books and the Ancient Enemy: An Interview with Dean Koontz

July 12, 2014

Dean Koontz 1998Here’s an interview from 1998 mostly about the film version of Phantoms.

“If you look at those movies (he cites Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the original Cat People), it was the psychological suspense of the moment that really gripped you. It’s harder to sell that to a studio these days because they don’t believe that people will sit still for that. I think they’re wrong. If there was anything I would have done more with Phantoms, it would have been to crank up that kind of psychological suspense higher than we have.”
Part of what separates Phantoms from the pack is the “less is more” attitude Koontz and his collaborators took toward the special effects. He explains, “If I were to totally translate my book to the screen, we’d need a budget three times the size of Titanic because of the gargantuan effects. Plus, I’m a little tired of movies that are nothing but effects; so are audiences. I don’t like mindless special effects movies. For people who like mindless special effects, we have a little of that. Basically, what interests me are stories that grip you and keep you. Your mind always does worse things than people can show in a movie.”

Read the full interview @ Lybarger Links.

Interview re: The City on Patheos.com

July 4, 2014

The City (Cover 2)Dean Koontz’ “The City”: A World Full of Mysterious Promise
We live in an age where we believe that science and technology have made us aware of all that is, but the world is a deeply-layered place, of which we understand only the tiniest part.
By Leo Brunnick, June 30, 2014
Dean Koontz sat down with Leo Brunnick (founder and CEO of Patheos) to talk about his latest novel, The City.
This new release continues Koontz’ tradition of writing stories that are exciting and thrilling and scary, while at the same time full of hope and meaning. The City is a story told through the adult eyes of Jonah Kirk as he relates some things that happened to him and his family when he was a boy. Set in a prototypical American city in the 1960s, The City tells a tale of the evil that is present in the world, but also shows that evil can be offset by the far-greater goodness and love that is also there, even where that good is often quiet and unnoticed, and makes the headlines far less often. Avid readers of Koontz’ work notice the strong spiritual messages and symbolism that permeate his work, and in The City Koontz gives a view of the world, of divinity, and of the power of love that readers will find very moving. Expect to cry a lot when reading this book …

In many of your books, and perhaps increasingly so as your work progresses, you show the presence of the Eternal, of Divinity, in nature, animals, relationships, and moments. How do you express that in a story like The City?

The stories I write—aside from the specifics of the story itself—talk about the operation of grace in our lives, which I see around me all the time. And the older I get, the more I see it. I think as you get older, and if you keep yourself alert and aware of what’s going on around you, you gain some wisdom, and it helps you see that.

With The City I wanted to tell a story that was about all the different types of love that exist, about the reality of evil, and about the magic that cities that comes from the operation of grace in our lives.

The City started as a much smaller book—basically as an e-single to help promote my previous book (Innocence) – with the connection being that this was in the same “universal city.” But as I started telling the story, I became enchanted with the voice of the character, this young piano prodigy Jonah Kirk, and about fifty pages into writing I realized this was going to be a novel. As I wrote, I had one of those experiences that writers can’t call forth on demand, and which certainly don’t happen to me very often—what psychologists call being in a “flow state” where it seems like you’re hardly writing the piece, that you’re more of a conduit for it. It made the experience of writing this book exhilarating from beginning to end.

Read the full interview @ Patheos.com.

Dean Koontz: Oh Behave!

April 5, 2014

Oh BehaveJust found another show on Pet Life Radio titled “Oh Behave!” which interview Dean back on 3 Novemebr 2008.

Say the name, Dean Koontz and it is understandable if you shudder involuntarily. After all, it is strongly advised to read many of his books with the lights on – unless you like being spooked. But Koontz chats with host Arden Moore about one notable – and delightful exception — his latest release, Bliss to You: Trixie’s Guide to a Happy Life. Discover how a Golden Retriever named Trixie brought out the best in this world-renowned suspense author, why Koontz describes dogs as “beauty without vanity” and more on this special episode of Oh Behave!

Listen, read & download the episode @ PetLifeRadio.com.