August 14, 2010
Back when I started this project the Internet wasn’t much of an issue. If you wanted to find book reviews you looked them up in large printed volumes such as The Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature and other similar tomes. These books didn’t list every book review ever published but they listed all the ones from the “important” publications like The New York Times, Kirkus, and Library Journal. So, way back then, I dutifully looked up every Dean Koontz title one by one and entered them into my manuscript.
By the time Dean got ahold of the first version of the manuscript back in 2001 one of his suggestions to me was to list all the reviews or none of the reviews. I sat on making a decision.
Now that the project is back in full swing I’m finally forced to make that decision and I know that listing every review of everything would be enough of a quest (now with this Internet thing being so much “help”) that to do so would be impossible. So, the reviews have been pulled.
However, I thought that readers might be interested in what was there. So, I’ve created a PDF of the removed reviews such as they are. Download it if you’re interested.
August 9, 2010
When I re-launched this site as a blog this past week I promised a long post explaining what’s been taking so long to get this book of mine published. This is the best explanation I can provide:
The Collector’s Guide to Dean Koontz started as one of those books-I’ve-read-by-a-particular-author lists, shortly after I discovered and read Lightning back sometime around 1989 or 1990. I was an employee of a Waldenbooks at the time and shared my newly-found love of Dean’s work with my store manager. Realizing that I would appreciate it much more than her she offered to give me her copy of the Land of Enchantment edition of Twilight Eyes. I immediately realized that there was more to reading Dean Koontz than just what was available in my little mall bookstore.
By my senior year of college in 1992 I was providing my bookstore customers with then then newly published Dark Harvest editions of the Leigh Nichols books (Shadowfires is still one of my all-time favorites,) and the still in-print Door to December by Richard Paige. Whenever, a customer said “I’ve read everything he’s ever written” I replied with a sly “no you haven’t” and filled them in. I also continued to work on my list and discovered that if you asked the campus librarians the right questions, they had access to databases that no one else had. (That database is now at www.worldcat.org and is much easier to search now than it was back in early 90s.)
In 1995 I went to graduate school for my Master’s Degree in Library Science (MLS). It seems that those librarians made quite an impression on me just a few years earlier. My final project was not your typical research project. With the help of the Special Collections Department at the University at Albany Library I submitted a descriptive bibliography of, you guessed it, Dean Koontz. (I think I got a B+.)
Late in 1997 I was working as an Internet Trainer for a multi-state regional library network and by 2000 had published my first “real” book. (The previous two were for a now defunct small publisher that wrote training manuals for computer classes in community colleges.) With my new-found writing confidence I approached Richard Chizmar at Cemetery Dance and asked if he’d be interested in publishing my research as a book. “Sure,” he replied “but we should get Dean’s approval and input too.” I was nervous but eventually everyone was on board and my proposal was accepted.
The book was announced and the book was scheduled to be published in the fall of 2001. (I still have the original advertisement hanging on my home office bulletin board.)
I launched a Web site for the book (this was a novel concept at the time) and started blogging updates. (Though it wasn’t called blogging at the time.) You can still read all of those posts if you’d like to. It looks like I accomplished a lot in 2001 and early 2002. A manuscript was “completed” and submitted to Dean for his review. In June of 2002 I received an amazing amount of feedback and comments from Dean and set out to revise the manuscript accordingly. I still had some outstanding questions for Dean and sent him a follow-up letter.
At this point communication between all the involved parties broke down. As you can see I did post something in late 2005 which didn’t bode well for the project. What happened at that point involved additional parties not previously involved and the details are unimportant. I don’t blame anyone in particular. I could have tried harder that I did to re-establish the lines of communication. I was also admittedly bull-headed on some issues. I tried on and off to get everything back on track but in retrospect, not often or hard enough.
Throughout what I now call “the dark years” of this project, I kept updating the manuscript, filling in holes and adding all the newly published material I could find. Every few months someone who pre-ordered the book way back in 2000 would e-mail me and ask for an update. Every time I would reassure them that I still intended on having the book published but I had no more information I could give them. Meanwhile other books took up much of my time. (Number 10 will be out in a few months.)
Then, two weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Brian Freeman, yes that Brian Freeman, at Cemetery Dance. He let me know that he was working on Cemetery Dance’s backlog and wondered if I still wanted them to publish my book. Brian not only wanted to get the project back on track he actually sounded excited about the prospect of this title (which was contracted before he was hired by CD) and wanted to work with me to get all the problems worked out. How soon could I have something ready?
Timing is everything. My most recent book project is done and off to the printer in a matter of weeks. I told him that I think I could have a solid manuscript in a few months; end of the year at the latest. Brian’s got a ton of ideas, and every single bit of feedback he’s given me so far has been spot-on and extremely helpful.
So, the updates will be posted here as often as I can get them typed up. I’ve already been going through the backlog of material sitting in my office and digging up items I’d previously missed. I’ve got to work on some consistency issues with the text, and will be posting an updated “information needed” page within a week or two.
Are there still hurdles? The honest answer is yes. But if I wasn’t confident that this project is firing on all cylinders at this point, I wouldn’t be up much later than usual because I couldn’t sleep until I got this all written down and posted.
As always, all comments are welcome and I look forward to hearing from you.
August 9, 2010
The lastest e-mail from Cemetery Dance points to Richard’s appearance on Maryland Public Television’s Your Money Your Business. I’ve embedded it here and the CD portion starts at around the 16:00 mark.
In case you’re wondering why I’ve included this video, there’s two reasons. First, as they show off the offices you’ll get a good look at the CD limited edition of Strange Highways. Second, there’s talk of their recent publication of Stephen Kin’gBlockage Billy and having opened up contacts with larger book buyers. From what I’ve heard it looks like my book may be able to take advantage of those new relationships.
August 7, 2010
As you can see I’ve relaunched the site for The Collector’s Guide to Dean Koontz. I’m working on getting some of the details of the site worked out and then I’ll write a longer post regarding the status of the project.
Let me stress here my eternal gratitude for everyone that has been so patient with this project. So far it’s ten years overdue but I’ve not been ignoring it in all that time. Keep your eyes here (or on the RSS feed) and news will be coming soon.
October 31, 2005
31 October 2005
Some important information has appeared on the blog that I don’t want anyone to miss. You can read it here.
14 December 2003
Though you may think that I’ve not been doing much on the book since no news has been here since August you’d be sadly mistaken. It seems that I’ve been putting all the news on my blog but didn’t mention here that I was putting it all there. So, go check it out. There’s usually at least one entry a week related to this book.
25 August 2003
I’ve taken the week off of work to try and get the book done. Instead of publishing every bit of that process here I’m putting it on my blog. If you’d like to follow along as the week progresses keep an eye there.
09 June 2003
Yes, I’m working on the book and I believe I’m in the home stretch when it comes to the text. The new last inclusions will be The Face and the Charnel House editions of The Book of Counted Sorrows. Anything out after that will not be included. (There’s a chance that Odd Thomas could be included but only as a last-minute addition while the books in the editing stage. More news to come this weekend.
04 June 2003
As you can tell I’ve rearranged this site a little. I’ll post further updates this weekend.
20 January 2003
I’m back from my vacation so here’s the latest:
* I’m currently on a tight deadline for my latest library-related book. That should be done and into the publisher (except for a final edit a month or two after that) by mid-February.
* I am working on this book, I promise. Up to this point it’s just been trying to figure out where it end it and filling in as many little holes as I could. Unfortunately I’ve hit a snag just recently. I can’t give many details but I’ve found completely conflicting information which has been hard to verify either way. In my quest to get things right for all of you, this will probably cause another delay.
So, when will it come out. Summer to Fall at the earliest. Sorry.
27 September 2002
Look, an update!!!
Anyway, the current plan is to include items published through the end of 2002. I’m taking a five-week vacation from work (Thanksgiving through Christmas) and heading back home (Rochester, NY) for that time. I’ll be dragging my laptop with me and polishing off the ms while there. (I am working on it now too.) When I get back it’s scanning a lot of book covers and then turning the whole thing into Rich at the end of the year. Stay tuned…
17 September 2002
I’ve not forgotten, honest. This summer saw me constantly on the road with little or no time at home. Even without the drought here in Colordao my lawn would have still died. I’m back and focusing. I’ve just finished an article for Colorado Librariesand also have half a book to write for another publisher. But, rest assured, I’ve got a plan and should have my work done on this book and into Rich at CD by the end of the year. I promise.
17 June 2002
Today I received a package containing a six-page typewritten letter from dean along with about 100 pages of the ms with his comments. I’ve not read through everything but I can tell that he cares about this project and wants it done right. He has confirmed some items collectors have been wondering about and denied others. I’ll be going through all of his notes this week and weekend and responding to what he’s said. Then the homestretch edit begins.
27 April 2002
Barry Hoffman has turned in his contribution to he lettered edition. The photography session has been postponed to an unspecified date.
30 March 2002
I’ve met with the photographer for the lettered edition. His name is Mike Williams and he’ll be back on April 28th to take the pictures for the color plates.
25 March 2002
Just wanted to leave a note for those wondering what’s up. Well, Dean has the ms and a list of questions I’m hoping he can/will answer. Until the ms returns there’s not much to do.
On another note, I just received my signed contract for my next book, another computer title.
03 March 2002
Well, seems there was a slight miscommunication but things are still on track. I’ve printed out the second-to-last draft of the ms (a whopping 400 pages) and will be sending it off the the publisher tomorrow. Rich will then pass it along to Dean for his review. Once I get it back it’s on to a final edit, writing of the introduction and insertion of the images. That will be the final draft. I’ll keep everyone posted here as things happen.
15 February 2002
Things are really starting to come together. Here’s what’s up:
- The ms is more or less done. Unless anything specific drops into my lap, there’s no more text to add.
- The ms currently tops out at 400 pages!
- Anything released after 12/31/01 is not included. (…and there’s already been a few things.)
- This weekend will be spent scanning covers.
- I still have to write an introduction but I always put that off ’till the last minute.
- The book has been dedicated. (No one anyone on the list knows, sorry.)
- A list member, who will rename nameless, has written a nothing less than brilliant foreword for the book. (List members are welcome to try and guess but we won’t say ’till the book comes out.)
- Katherine Ramsland has turned in her essay for the lettered edition.
- According to Rich Chizmar, Dean is going over the copy of the ms I gave him in October for major items. (He’s not checking every little detail, just making sure titles are correct and things like that.)
- Once Dean’s done (end of February is what I’m told,) I get a last personal edit (if any) and then off to editing at CD.
As things continue to happen I’ll post more here.
18 January 2002
David Silva has turned in a wonderful and funny essay for the limited edition.
17 January 2002
I’m in the home stretch. The needed list has also been updated.
26 December 2001
I’ll be taking a week of Vacation on January 7th, right after the Dark Carnival signing, to try and finish off the ms. Wish me luck.
17 December 2001
Stanley Waiter will be contributing to the lettered edition.
Charnel House’s lettered edition of FTCOHE has been released.
The latest issue of Useless News has been mailed.
16 December 2001
The Information Needed page has been updated.
14 December 2001
New contributor to the lettered edition: Gary Braunbeck
13 December 2001
New contributor to the lettered edition: David B. Silva
I also believe I’ve found a photographer for the color plates to be included in the lettered edition. More to follow…
12 December 2001
Ray Garton has also backed out due to health reasons. But Joe R. Lansdale has turned in his contribution!
Also, several people have been helping fill in from the information needed page. I’ll be planning on going through that material over the weekend and updating the page accordingly.
I will be attending the signing at the Book Carnival in L.A. on January 6th.
The UK edition is out and available through many fine booksellers.
Keep an eye on this page. As December continues and as we go through January the updates will become more frequent as the project heads down the home stretch.
09 December 2001
Ed Gorman has pulled out of contributing to the limited edition due to health reasons.
Oh, and one other thing. At this point it does look like the book will be including the porn (Hung and many others) that Dean doesn’t like to admit to. At the October signing in L.A. I gave him a copy of the ms and he said “I don’t think I’ll read it too carefully since there’s probably stuff in there I don’t want to remember.”
08 December 2001
Four more authors have signed on for the limited edition; Joe Lansdale, Barry Hoffman, Tom Piccirilli and T. Lucien Wright. According to Rich at CD, Phil Parks has also agreed to contribute artwork to the limited.
The deadline for my final draft of the ms is the end of January. Contributions from the authors for the limited are due at the end of February. This makes the publication date look like late spring or early summer.
06 September 2001
The first, yet still incomplete, draft of the ms has been sent off to two trusted individuals. (It will go off to a third at the end of the month.) So far the amount of information coming back from them to has been wonderful! Holes are filling in nicely.
On another note, I discovered a database of TV and radio transcripts. (Sorry, it’s LexisNexis Academic Universe and not available to the general public. Check with a local college or university if you’re really interested.) It contained literally hundreds of Dean Koontz citations. Looks like another appendix will be added for TV/Radio appearances and mentions.
31 August 2001
I’ve spent the week getting the ms into shape and it’s coming along nicely. I’ll be sending out the first (nearly) complete draft to a few reviewers early next week. With all I’ve accomplished this week, the “what I need” page has been completely revised to reflect very specific holes that I need filled. Take a look. If you think you have any of the answers I’m looking for please contact me ASAP at KoontzCollector@webpan.com.
16 August 2001
Douglas Clegg has committed to contributing to the lettered edition.
15 August 2001
Release date: It looks like the release of the book will be pushed back to early 2002. There’s just no way it can be as complete as I want it to be by the end of this year.
Work schedule: I’m planning on taking a full week of “vacation” from my regular job at the end of August or the beginning of September to completely focus on the manuscript. Hopefully after that I’ll be sending off the ms to three trusted individuals for their review and contributions. (Sorry, they’ve already been chosen and they are sworn to secrecy.)
The Trade Edition: Plans are to include as many b&w images of as many items as possible along with the text regarding each particular title. Of course, copyright restrictions may not allow me to include everything I’d like but I’ll do my best.
The Lettered Edition: So far I have verbal confirmations from the following authors wanting to contribute short pieces to the lettered edition; P.D. Cacek, Ed Gorman, Katherine Ramsland and Ray Garton. Other requests have gone out and I’ll post them here when the come in. (For example: I’m hoping to get Phil Parks to do some artwork.) I also hope to include a color plates section including photos of some of the more rare and unique items.
10 June 2001
The page with information on ordering autographed copies is now up.
12 March 2001
I am in the process of working out an exclusive deal with a independent bookstore in California to carry autographed copies of the trade edition. Stay tuned for more details.
Speaking of bookstores. I’ve found one online already offering the book at more than200% of cover price! That’s great for a book that won’t be published for more than six months. They’re asking $55 for the trade and $337 for the limited. DO NOT PAY THOSE PRICES!
10 February 2001
For those interested in knowing what additional material will be in the lettered edition the answer right now is I don’t know. As soon as I find out I’ll post it here. If you have any suggestions let me know.
O.k. Even though I didn’t want to make any decisions on this ’till much closer to publication (never mind that fact that I find it SEVERELY WEIRD that people will want MY autograph…) I’ve determined that I’d much rather have people order copies of the book through CD Publications at their convenience. Anyone wishing to then have the book autographed is welcome to ship it to me for an autograph as long as return postage is included. I may have copies available to purchase directly from me but there is no way I can guess how many there will be or how much they will cost (I’ll probably auction off a few on eBay when the time comes.) So, go ahead and place your orders.
09 February 2001
This site is up and the first of my needed information has been posted.