Inspiration from Dean Koontz

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I believe Dean Koontz writes some of the most entertaining, imaginative, and readable "horror" fiction anywhere. He prefers the term "suspense fiction", probably because unlike some authors, his intent is not specifically to horrify or gross out his audience, but to tell engrossing stories with fascinating characters.

As an example, Koontz has a series of books based on Frankenstein's monster - only the monster (Deucalion) is the good guy. Dr. Frankenstein, having discovered the key to immortality, is intent on populating the world with his man-made race - who worship him.

He has another series about a boy named Odd Thomas who does see dead people. He encounters a number of bizarre enemies because of this - some mortal and some supernatural. His gift/curse helps him find murderers and madmen - and the occasional poltergeist. The Odd Thomas books are some of his most popular. You may enjoy this interview with Odd Thomas here.

Looking for a good Halloween read? Try Darkness Under the Sun. If you like that one, it is tied to What the Night Knows. Just want monsters? Tick Tock has a murderous Vietnamese Golem. You don't see those every day. Or maybe you would prefer Watchers - with the classic experiment gone wrong mutant beast.

Don't think carnivals are scary? You will after Twilight Eyes.

One of the things I like about Koontz's work is it is NOT all horror. There is often an element of supernatural, or even actual monsters, in his work - but just as often the only monsters are men. It is always full of interesting concepts, extreme characters, and good writing. See his more recent novels The Good Guy, The Husband, Your Heart Belongs to Me, or The Darkest Evening of the Year.

For supernatural / science fiction type reading, there is always Lightning, The Face, One Door Away From Heaven, From the Corner of His Eye, Sole Survivor, and The Taking.

For my money, "77 Shadow Street" is the most interesting and novel twist on the haunted house I have ever seen.

I am a big believer that creative input yields more creative output. If all one puts in is the same claptrap on TV, it becomes harder to make the kinds of new connections and associations that surprise people. Dean Koontz, to me, is like a one stop shop. I never know if I'm going to be reading about demons, aliens, mobsters, G-men, or what! I do know I am going to be reading a thoroughly researched, tightly written, entertaining and engaging story. Maybe - just maybe - I can tap into that for my own creative projects.

Happy reading - and happy haunting!


  1. Jadewik's Avatar
    I've read most of the Koontz Frankenstein series... been a while (2006-ish) if I recall it was cops-and-occult. Good story. Great writing. Reminded me a lot of the Dresden novels by Jim Butcher. I'm more of an F. Paul Wilson kinda gal, personally-- Repairman Jack, specifically-- though I will agree with you, Koontz is a great author.

    Most of what I read is supernatural. Though, I haven't read much in a while... since I first had a baby-- they do that! I do keep a list of things to read and things I've read since June 2007 over at Goodreads.com. I used to pick up give-aways left and right too. Now, not-so-much.

    Happy Reading.