Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Bestselling author Dean Koontz, a personal favorite of mine, recently did a lengthy Q&A with fans over at ABCNews.

Among the topics he covered are:

His influences: Charles Dickens, James M. Cain, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Herman Wouk, Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Conner, Emily Dickinson

His plans for light-averse hero Christopher Snow (Fear Nothing & Seize the Night): "When I started the third Chris Snow book, I quickly discovered that it was likely to be a huge adventure story, packed full of wild stuff, and more epic in scope than the first two. I put it aside to think about it, intending to write False Memory and then go back to it — and instead have written a series of books while I work on the third Snow, which is titled Ride the Storm. It will be done one day, but it's a book that insists on setting its own pace."

The return of Odd Thomas: "Because I was so enchanted by the character of Odd Thomas and because reader mail related to that book has now exceeded the mail volume for any other book I've published, I plan to return to Odd and see where his life has gone since I left him listening to music with Elvis; I'm sure he has more to tell me."

His advice on attracting an agent: "What agents want to see in a query letter is the story of your novel captured in 100 or fewer words, the fewer the better, in such a way that presents its concept clearly and in such a way that makes it sound fresh. They don't want long plot summaries. They don't want to be told that it is thrilling or suspenseful or moving. They want to be shown in a succinct fashion that it's exciting."

He also has some insightful things to say about the writing process.