K is for Dean Koontz

Unknown-4.Anyone who knows me, knows that Dean Koontz had to show up in this list.

I read my first Koontz book when I was 12.  I happened to pick up Watchers off the rack in some store, probably K-mart or the grocery store.  The book amazed me.  It had everything I could have imagined wanting in a book: romance, a dog who could communicate with people, science-fiction, and horror, with undercurrents of philosophy.

From then on, I was hooked.  I read everything I could by him, and bought his hardbacks when they were released every November.  I praised them and recommended them to anyone who’d listen.

Koontz was the first author I’d read who blended genres.  He was considered a horror author, but he really wasn’t.  His stories did evoke fear and dread at times, but there was almost always some sort of happy ending.

Koontz usually has multiple “parts” to his books, and starts them with a quote or a short poem.  While I loved all those quotes, my favorite was when he’d quote The Book of Counted Sorrows.  In the pre-internet days, I drove myself crazy trying to find that book.  In 1992, Koontz publicly explained the the book didn’t exist, but I didn’t hear about it until many years later.

Searching for this non-existent book was something I didn’t give up on.  Oh, I didn’t think about it every day or anything, but it popped back into my consciousness with regularity.  When I finally found out it wasn’t real, I felt let down, like I’d lost a friend.

I moved on, and through the magic of the internet, was able to find the collected quotes from the books.

I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember.  But Koontz helped me figure out what kind of writer I wanted to be.

I want to be someone who writes uplifting stories, sometimes about dark and strange topics.  I want to write across genres.  But mostly, I just want to tell a good story.

“Not one day in anyone’s life is an uneventful day, no day without profound meaning, no matter how dull and boring it might seem… Because in every day of your life, there are opportunities to perform little kindnesses for others, both by conscious acts of will and unconscious example. Each smallest act of kindness… reverberates across great distances and spans of time… because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away.”

-Dean Koontz, from

 

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11 comments on “K is for Dean Koontz

  1. scr4pl80 says:

    Love that quote from Koontz! Going to add that to my “quotes” journal. Thanks for sharing that. Love his books too!

  2. I haven’t read Koontz, but now will. I love the quote. Let’s all do an act of kindness today – let it reverberate like the wings of a butterfly starting a hurricane.
    http://www.lorihenriksen.com

  3. I almost had to laugh about “The Book of Counted Sorrows” not existing…but I guess it make you want to knock a wooly wart on his head, e?

    How you want to write? Yeah, that’s how I’d like to write.

    • doreeweller says:

      I don’t think it would be a big deal today, when I could just find the answer on the internet in like 10 seconds. But back in the day, pre-internet, I searched everywhere!

  4. Just read that Koontz (although into science fiction, I’ve never checked out any of his works) has made substantial contribution to an organization that provides service dogs to people with disabilities. I am going to check out the books written from Trixie’s viewpoint.

  5. Cynthia says:

    I’ve read a few Dean Koontz books. I remember once I read a library book of his and I was so upset to see that someone had torn out the last few pages when I got to the end.

  6. grazona says:

    I’m not surprised to hear Koontz has been such an influence for you. I’ve only read two of his books: Intensity about 20 years ago, which I loved and The Darkest Evening of the Year just a few years ago which I didn’t care for much. Maybe I’ll try Watchers. Or is there another of his you think I’d like?

    • doreeweller says:

      Watchers was always my favorite, followed closely by Lightning. Third on my list is The Face. Check out Goodreads and see which interests you the most; they’re three very different books. (And I didn’t like The Darkest Evening of the Year either. Every few years he goes into a slump where I don’t really like his books.)

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