Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz
Born July 9, 1945 (1945-07-09) (age 66)
Everett, Pennsylvania
Pen name Aaron Wolfe, Brian Coffey, David Axton, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, K.R. Dwyer, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Owen West, Richard Paige.
Occupation novelist, short story writer, screenwriter
Genres Suspense, Horror fiction, Science fiction, Thrillers
Notable work(s) Demon Seed, Watchers, Hideaway, Intensity, Phantoms.



deankoontz.com

Dean Ray Koontz (born July 9, 1945) is a prolific American author best known for his novels which could be described broadly as suspense thrillers. He also frequently incorporates elements of horror, science fiction, mystery, and satire. A number of his books have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List, with 12 hardcovers and 14 paperbacks reaching the number one slot.[1] Early in his career, Koontz wrote under an array of pen names, such as David Axton, and Brian Coffey.

Contents

Early life

Koontz was born on July 9, 1945, in Everett, Pennsylvania.[2] In his senior year at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, he won a fiction competition sponsored by Atlantic Monthly magazine.[3] After graduation in 1967, he went to work as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg High School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.[2] In the 1960s, Koontz worked for the Appalachian Poverty Program, a federally funded initiative designed to help poor children.[4] In a 1996 interview with Reason Magazine, he said that while the program sounded "very noble and wonderful, . . . [i]n reality, it was a dumping ground for violent children . . . and most of the funding ended up 'disappearing somewhere.'"[4] This experience greatly shaped Koontz's political outlook. In his book, The Dean Koontz Companion, he recalled that he:

realized that most of these programs are not meant to help anyone, merely to control people and make them dependent. I was forced to reconsider everything I'd once believed. I developed a profound distrust of government regardless of the philosophy of the people in power. I remained a liberal on civil-rights issues, became a conservative on defense, and a semi-libertarian on all other matters."[4]

Career

In his spare time, he wrote his first novel, Star Quest, which was published in 1968. Koontz went on to write over a dozen science fiction novels. Seeing the Catholic faith as a contrast to the chaos in his family, Koontz converted in college because it gave him answers for his life, admiring its "intellectual rigor" and saying it permits a view of life that sees mystery and wonder in all things.[5][6] He says he sees the Church as English writer and Roman Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton did.[5] Koontz notes that spirituality has always been part of his books, as are grace and our struggle as fallen souls, but he "never get[s] on a soapbox".[5]

In 1970 Koontz collaborated with his wife on 30 erotic novels; in an article for the fanzine Energumen 8 (1971) Koontz described the period and named some of the titles, others have only been identified in recent years. In the 1970s, Koontz began writing suspense and horror fiction, both under his own name and several pseudonyms, sometimes publishing up to eight books a year. Koontz has stated that he began using pen names after several editors convinced him that authors who switched back and forth between different genres invariably fell victim to "negative crossover" (alienating established fans and simultaneously failing to pick up any new ones). Known pseudonyms used by Koontz during his career include Deanna Dwyer, K. R. Dwyer, Aaron Wolfe, David Axton, Brian Coffey, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Owen West, Richard Paige and Anthony North. As Brian Coffey he wrote the "Mike Tucker" trilogy [Blood Risk, Surrounded, Wall of Masks] in acknowledged tribute to the Parker novels of Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake). Many of Koontz's pseudonymous novels are now available under his real name. Many others remain suppressed by Koontz, who bought back the rights to ensure they could not be republished; he has, on occasion, said that he might revise some for re-publication, but only 3 have appeared - Demon Seed and Invasion were both heavily rewritten before they were republished, and Prison of Ice had certain sections bowdlerised.

After writing full time for more than ten years, Koontz's acknowledged breakthrough novel was Whispers, published in 1980. The two books before that, The Key to Midnight and The Funhouse, also sold over a million copies, but were written under pen names. Thus although Whispers is Koontz's third paperback bestseller, it was the second credited to Koontz.[7] His very first bestseller was Demon Seed, the sales of which picked up after the release of the film of the same name in 1977, and sold over two million copies in one year.[8] Demon Seed's success may have been a fluke, but from 1979 on, Koontz's books regularly became paperback bestsellers. His first hardcover bestseller, which finally promised some financial stability and lifted him out of the midlist hit-and-miss range was his book Strangers.[9] Since then, 12 hardcovers and 13 paperbacks written by Koontz have reached #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.[1]

Bestselling science fiction author Brian Herbert has stated, that "I even went though a phase where I read everything that Dean Koontz wrote, and in the process I learned a lot about characterization and building suspense."[10]

In 1997 psychologist, Katherine Ramsland, published an extensive biography of Koontz based on interviews with him and his family. This "psychobiography" (as Ramsland called it) often showed the conception of Koontz's characters and plots from events in his own life.[11]

Early author photos on the back of many of his novels show a balding Koontz with a mustache. After Koontz underwent hair transplantation surgery in the late 1990s his subsequent books have featured a new clean-shaven appearance with a fuller head of hair.[12] Koontz explained the change by claiming that he was tired of looking like G. Gordon Liddy.[citation needed]

Koontz does not spend much time on partisan politics, and doesn't believe politics solves many problems.[4] Since 1988, however, he has contributed almost $73,000 to conservative, Republican candidates and causes. He donated to the 2008 US Presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and John McCain.[13] He and Mrs. Koontz have contributed over $138,000 to Republican candidates for federal office and Republican organizations (1991–2009).[14][15] In 2005, he supported Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger with $5000 in cash donations and more than $100,000 for a fund-raising dinner for 123 guests.[16][17][18]

Many of his novels are set in or near Newport Beach, California. As of 2006 he lives there with his wife, Gerda. In 2008 he was the world's sixth most highly-paid author, tied with John Grisham, at $25 million annually.[19]

Inspiration

One of Dean Koontz's pen names was inspired by his dog, Trixie Koontz, a golden retriever, shown in many of his book-jacket photos. Trixie originally was a service dog with Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a charitable organization that provides service dogs for people with disabilities.[20] Trixie was a gift from CCI in gratitude of the Koontz's substantial donations, totalling $2,500,000 between 1991 and 2004.[21] Koontz was taken with the charity while he was researching his novel Midnight, a book which included a CCI-trained dog, a black Labrador retriever, named Moose. In 2004 Koontz wrote and edited Life Is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living in her name, and in 2005 Koontz wrote a second book credited to Trixie, Christmas Is Good. Both books are written from a supposed canine perspective on the joys of life. The royalties of the books were donated to CCI.[20] In 2007 Trixie contracted terminal cancer that created a tumor in her heart. The Koontzes had her put to sleep outside of their family home on June 30.[20] After Trixie's death Koontz has continued writing on his website under Trixie's names in "TOTOS", standing for Trixie on the Other Side.[20] It is widely thought that Trixie was his inspiration for his November 2007 book, The Darkest Evening of the Year, about a woman who runs a golden retriever rescue home, and who rescues a 'special' dog, named Nickie, who eventually saves her life. In August 2009 Koontz published "A Big Little Life," a memoir of his life with Trixie.

In October 2008 Koontz revealed that he had adopted a new dog, Anna. It eventually was learned that Anna was the grandniece of Trixie.[22]

Bibliography

  • 1965 – "The Kittens", short fiction
  • 1965 – "This Fence", short fiction
  • 1965–1967 – The Reflector, poetry collection
  • 1966 – "Some Disputed Barricade", short fiction
  • 1966 – "A Miracle is Anything", short fiction
  • 1966 – "Ibsen's Dream", essay
  • 1966 – "Of Childhood", essay
  • 1967 – "To Behold the Sun", short fiction
  • 1967 – "Love 2005", short fiction
  • 1967 – "Soft Come the Dragons", short fiction
  • 1968 – "The Psychedelic Children", short fiction
  • 1968 – "The Twelfth Bed", short fiction
  • 1968 – "Dreambird", short fiction
  • 1968 – Star Quest [never reissued]
  • 1969 – Fear That Man [never reissued]
  • 1969 – The Fall of the Dream Machine [never reissued]
  • 1969 – "Muse", short fiction
  • 1969 – "The Face in His Belly: Part One", short fiction
  • 1969 – "Dragon In the Land", short fiction
  • 1969 – "The Face in His Belly: Part Two", short fiction
  • 1969 – "Where the Beast Runs", short fiction
  • 1969 – "Killerbot", short fiction
  • 1969 – "Temple of Sorrow", short fiction
  • 1969 – "In the Shield", short fiction
  • 1970 – "Unseen Warriors", short fiction [Worlds of Tomorrow, Winter 1970]
  • 1970 – "A Third Hand", short fiction [F&SF, Jan 1970]
  • 1970 – "The Good Ship Lookoutworld", short fiction [Fantastic, Feb 1970]
  • 1970 – "The Mystery of His Flesh", short fiction [F&SF, July 1970]
  • 1970 – "Beastchild", short fiction [Venture SF, Aug 1970] (expanded as novel, also 1970)
  • 1970 – "The Crimson Witch", short fiction [Fantastic, Oct 1970] (expanded as novel, 1971)
  • 1970 – "Shambolain", short fiction [Worlds of IF, Nov/Dec 1970]
  • 1970 – "Nightmare Gang", short fiction [Infinity One (ed., Robert Hoskins), Lancer Books]
  • 1970 – "Emanations", short fiction
  • 1970 – Dark of the Woods [never reissued]
  • 1970 – Anti-Man [never reissued]
  • 1970 – Dark Symphony [never reissued]
  • 1970 – Hell's Gate [never reissued]
  • 1970 – Hung (as Leonard Chris)
  • 1970 – Soft Come the Dragons, short story collection [Soft Come the Dragons / To Behold the Sun / A Darkness in My Soul / The Psychedelic Children / The Twelfth Bed / Killerbot / A Third Hand / Dragon in the Land] [never reissued]
  • 1970 – The Pig Society (with Gerda Koontz), nonfiction [rewritten by the publisher, later disavowed by Koontz]
  • 1970 – The Underground Lifestyles Handbook (with Gerda Koontz), nonfiction [rewritten by the publisher, later disavowed by Koontz]
  • 1971 – Legacy of Terror (as Deanna Dwyer) [never reissued]
  • 1971 – The Crimson Witch (expanded from 1970 short fiction) [never reissued]
  • 1971 – "Bruno", short fiction
  • 1972 – Warlock! [never reissued]
  • 1972 – Time Thieves [never reissued]
  • 1972 – Starblood [never reissued]
  • 1972 – Demon Child (as Deanna Dwyer) [never reissued]
  • 1972 – A Darkness in My Soul [never reissued]
  • 1972 – The Dark of Summer (as Deanna Dwyer) [never reissued]
  • 1972 – Children of the Storm (as Deanna Dwyer) [never reissued]
  • 1972 – The Flesh in the Furnace [never reissued]
  • 1972 – Chase (as K. R. Dwyer)
  • 1972 – Writing Popular Fiction, nonfiction
  • 1972 – "A Mouse in the Walls of the Global Village", short fiction
  • 1972 – "Ollie's Hands", short fiction
  • 1972 – "Altarboy", short fiction
  • 1972 – "Cosmic Sin", short fiction
  • 1972 – "The Terrible Weapon"
  • 1973 – Shattered (as K. R. Dwyer)
  • 1973 – Demon Seed (completely rewritten in 1997)
  • 1973 – A Werewolf Among Us [never reissued]
  • 1973 – The Haunted Earth [never reissued]
  • 1973 – Hanging On [never reissued]
  • 1973 – Dance with the Devil (as Deanna Dwyer) [never reissued]
  • 1973 – Blood Risk (as Brian Coffey)[Mike Tucker #1] [never reissued]
  • 1973 – "The Undercity", short fiction
  • 1973 – "Terra Phobia", short fiction
  • 1973 – "Wake Up To Thunder", short fiction
  • 1973 – "The Sinless Child", short fiction
  • 1973 – "Grayworld", short fiction
  • 1974 – Surrounded (as Brian Coffey)[Mike Tucker #2] [never reissued]
  • 1974 – After the Last Race
  • 1974 – "Night of the Storm", short fiction
  • 1974 – "We Three", short fiction
  • 1975 – Wall of Masks (as Brian Coffey)[Mike Tucker #3] [never reissued]
  • 1975 – Nightmare Journey
  • 1975 – The Long Sleep (as John Hill)
  • 1975 – Dragonfly (as K. R. Dwyer)
  • 1975 – Invasion (as Aaron Wolfe), extensively revised as Winter Moon in 1994
  • 1976 – Prison of Ice (as David Axton), revised as Icebound in 1995
  • 1976 – Night Chills
  • 1977 – The Vision
  • 1977 – The Face of Fear (as Brian Coffey)
  • 1979 – The Key to Midnight (as Leigh Nichols)
  • 1980 – Whispers
  • 1980 – The Voice of the Night (as Brian Coffey)
  • 1980 – The Funhouse (as Owen West)
  • 1981 – The Mask (as Owen West)
  • 1981 – The Eyes of Darkness (as Leigh Nichols)
  • 1981 – How To Write Best-Selling Fiction, nonfiction
  • 1982 – The House of Thunder (as Leigh Nichols)
  • 1983 – Phantoms
  • 1984 – Darkness Comes [later issued as Darkfall]
  • 1985 – Twilight Eyes, reissued with extension in 1987
  • 1985 – The Door to December (as Richard Paige)
  • 1986 – Strangers
  • 1986 – "The Black Pumpkin", short fiction
  • 1986 – "The Monitors of Providence", short fiction
  • 1986 – "Snatcher", short fiction
  • 1986 – "Weird World", short fiction
  • 1986 – "Down in the Darkness", short fiction
  • 1987 – Watchers
  • 1987 – Shadowfires (as Leigh Nichols)
  • 1987 – "Graveyard Highway", short fiction
  • 1987 – "Twilight of the Dawn", short fiction
  • 1987 – "Miss Atilla the Hun", short fiction
  • 1987 – "Hardshell", short fiction
  • 1987 – "The Interrogation", short fiction
  • 1988 – The Servants of Twilight (as Leigh Nichols)
  • 1988 – Lightning
  • 1988 – Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages, a children's book
  • 1989 – Midnight
  • 1989 – "Trapped", short fiction
  • 1990 – The Bad Place
  • 1991 – Cold Fire
  • 1992 – Hideaway
  • 1993 – Mr. Murder
  • 1993 – Dragon Tears
  • 1994 – Winter Moon
  • 1994 – Dark Rivers of the Heart
  • 1995 – Icebound [revised from Prison of Ice, 1976]
  • 1995 – Strange Highways, short story collection
  • 1996 – Intensity
  • 1996 – Ticktock
  • 1996 – Santa's Twin, a children's book in verse
  • 1997 – Demon Seed (rewritten from 1973 original)
  • 1997 – Sole Survivor
  • 1998 – Fear Nothing
  • 1998 – "Pinkie", short fiction
  • 1999 – False Memory
  • 1999 – Seize the Night
  • 1999 – "Black River", short fiction
  • 2000 – From the Corner of His Eye
  • 2001 – One Door Away from Heaven
  • 2001 – The Paper Doorway : Funny Verse and Nothing Worse, a children's book
  • 2001 – "Qual Con", short fiction
  • 2002 – By the Light of the Moon
  • 2003 – The Face
  • 2003 – Odd Thomas
  • 2003 – Every Day's a Holiday : Amusing Rhymes for Happy Times, a children's book
  • 2003 – The Book Of Counted Sorrows, poetry collection
  • 2004 – The Taking
  • 2004 – Life Expectancy
  • 2004 – Robot Santa: The Further Adventures of Santa's Twin, a children's bookin verse
  • 2004 – Life is Good! Lessons in Joyful Living (with Trixie Koontz), nonfiction
  • 2005 – Prodigal Son (with Kevin J. Anderson), Book One in the Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series
  • 2005 – Velocity
  • 2005 – City of Night (with Ed Gorman), Book Two in the Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series
  • 2005 – Forever Odd
  • 2005 – Christmas Is Good!: Trixie Treats And Holiday Wisdom (with Trixie Koontz), nonfiction
  • 2006 – The Husband
  • 2006 – Brother Odd
  • 2007 – The Good Guy
  • 2007 – The Darkest Evening of the Year
  • 2008 – Odd Hours
  • 2008 – In Odd We Trust
  • 2008 - Bliss to You: Trixie's Guide to a Happy Life with Trixie Koontz
  • 2008 – Your Heart Belongs to Me
  • 2009 – Relentless
  • 2009 – A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog
  • 2009 – Nevermore
  • 2009 – Breathless
  • 2009 – Frankenstein: Dead and Alive(Book Three)
  • 2009 – I, Trixie, Who is Dog
  • 2010 – Frankenstein: Lost Souls
  • 2010 – Darkness Under the Sun [novella; prequel to What the Night Knows]
  • 2010 – What the Night Knows
  • 2011 – Frankenstein: Dead Town
  • 2011 - 77 Shadow Street
  • 2012 - House of Odd
  • 2012 - Odd Apocalypse

Screenplays

  • 1979 – CHiPs episode 306: Counterfeit (as Brian Coffey), screenplay
  • 1998 – Phantoms, screenplay
  • 2005 – Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, screenplay

Recurring themes and elements

Characters

  • Art dealer and professional thief (Tucker appeared in the novels Blood Risk, Surrounded, and The Wall of Masks, all written under the pseudonym Brian Coffey); and the (as yet unfinished) Moonlight Bay Trilogy, whose hero, Christopher Snow, appears in the novels Fear Nothing and Seize the Night (a proposed third entry, Ride the Storm, has yet to appear). In recent years, however, Koontz has written four novels featuring the character of Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, Forever Odd, Brother Odd, and Odd Hours), as well as the ongoing Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series, based on a concept for a failed television series that Koontz was briefly involved with. The show's pilot episode wound up being repackaged as a direct-to-DVD movie. Additionally, the Christopher Snow novels are loosely connected to Watchers, and the Tranquility Motel of Strangers appears in the Odd Passenger web series. Odd Thomas also had a link to the Christopher Snow series via a sweatshirt with the words "mystery Train." Deucalion of the Frankenstein series made an appearance at St. Bart's monastery which was the backdrop for Brother Odd.
  • The female lead is often intelligent, beautiful, witty, and assertive, and is just as often paired with a more sensitive and easygoing male counterpart (for example, Bobby and Julie Dakota in The Bad Place, Detectives Michael Madison and Carson O'Conner in Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, Tommy and Del in Ticktock, and Jimmy and Lorrie Tock in Life Expectancy, and Odd and Stormy in Odd Thomas, to name a few).
  • Several of Koontz's female protagonists are single mothers bringing up their children against all the odds.
  • Male protagonists are usually tough and capable, often either police officers (as in Phantoms, Dragon Tears, or The Door to December) or seemingly mild mannered sorts who are revealed to have police or military experience in their background (as in The Good Guy, Dark Rivers of the Heart, The Eyes of Darkness, Watchers, Shadow Fires, and others).
  • Many of Koontz's heroes come from abusive (or at least dysfunctional) backgrounds, but are nonetheless portrayed as successful, financially independent, strong-willed, and emotionally stable.
  • Conversely, his antagonists are often sociopathic monsters with no redeeming or humanizing qualities whatsoever, who are invariably destroyed by the story's end; many of Koontz's villains are delusional, and consider their extremely warped and elaborate worldviews to be philosophically transcendent (for example, Edgler Vess from Intensity, Corky Laputa from The Face, Vassago from Hideaway, Bryan Drackman from Dragon Tears, Vince Nasco from Watchers, Preston Maddoc from One Door Away from Heaven, Valis in Velocity, Thomas Shaddack in Midnight, Junior Cain in From the Corner of His Eye, Krait in The Good Guy, and Alton Turner Blackwood in What the Night Knows).
  • Many of Koontz's novels feature sympathetic portrayals of characters who suffer from some mental or physical abnormality (for example, Christopher Snow from the Moonlight Bay Trilogy, Regina from Hideaway, Shepherd in By the Light of the Moon, Thomas in The Bad Place, and Harry in Midnight, which smoothly combines with Koontz's common theme of dogs, as portrayed by Harry's helpful service dog who also provides him with friendship).
  • Koontz is an only child, and many of the protagonists in his stories are only children (for example, Christopher Snow, Odd Thomas, Jimmy Tock – although born a twin, he was raised an only child – from Life Expectancy, Laura Shane from Lightning, Fric from The Face).
  • While in Koontz's early novels like The Haunted Earth the protagonist may still be a pot-smoking, highly sexual cynic with no respect or patience for traditional moral authorities, in his later bestsellers like Whispers or Midnight the protagonist is already a morose, conservative-minded individual who shrinks back in disgust at elements of contemporary life like extreme metal, street graffiti, magical literature and psychological explanations for the motivation of 'evil' deeds.

Plot

  • Though Koontz's books often feature fantastical plot elements, he usually offers plausible, logically consistent science-based explanations for these bizarre events. Very few of Koontz's novels involve the overtly supernatural, instead often relying on unique genetic traits and congenital conditions. Exceptions, however, are found in the following: The Taking, which features 'nightmarish alien-like & ethereal' creatures which are primarily organic, with the majority of them being 'fungal' and 'insectile' by nature. Phantoms, as well as Midnight, make mention of an 'amoebic' being; however, though the general basal characteristics are varying, their principal function is congruent. Neither being consists of functioning organs; these are living beings who thrive on the consumption of other living creatures and human beings. The creature from Phantoms is able to embody the consumed beings and in turn take any form it wishes, simultaneously assuming the consciousness and intelligence of the consumed beings as almost an 'evolved' higher-being. The opposite applies to the creature from Midnight, as the amoebic being is viewed as almost a 'devolution' of the human race, taking on a basal primitive (simplest) form of basic human needs. The creatures who form the main storyline thread throughout Breathless are both somewhat alien and somewhat genetically engineered. Though their origins are left a mystery and open to each readers interpretation (be it 'alien' or a bizarre genetic experiment), the image of an 'ewok' is almost conjured in the mention of their characteristics.
  • Koontz's protagonists often arm themselves with guns to combat the various monsters and madmen they are forced to do battle with. Often a Chief's Special or Combat Magnum Heckler & Koch P7 appear as handguns (Koontz himself is a lifelong gun owner). An exception to this rule has been the recurring character Odd Thomas who is said, in fact, to dislike guns due to his childhood trauma of his mother threatening suicide by using her favorite gun.
  • A protagonist having to hide a dead body.
  • A desperate struggle for survival that leads to a final confrontation where good completely vanquishes evil, usually leading to a "happy ending" for the main characters.
  • A shadowy conspiracy of assassination or illicit and unethical scientific research – or both – involving the police or a government agency, or rogue elements within them.

Themes

  • Koontz employs serious themes about the importance of faith, especially faith in God. While in his early science fiction Koontz may describe God as an evil amoeba with delusions of grandeur, as in Fear That Man, 15 years later it is Satan who is the evil amoeba with delusions of grandeur (Phantoms); and in his 2009 book Breathless the plot follows a creationist logic of new species just appearing suddenly, positive characters discussing their issues with the theory of evolution , and evil characters admitting to themselves that they are evil because they do not believe in divine justice and thus have no values save seeking pleasure at the expense of others.
  • Duality, such as Mr. Murder or a key point in House of Thunder.
  • Characters who follow an unwavering moral compass, but do not conform to organized religion or depend on the law.
  • The ideal that love and compassion can save one from the apparent absurdities of existence and the cruelties of life.
  • Love for children by their parents.
  • Reflection (sometimes at length), in his post-1970s books on the decline of modern society in the past 20 to 30 years, either in a dialogue between two characters or in the private musings of the protagonist, sometimes centering the blame on liberal-based tolerance of criminal and/or undesirable activity; free love, drug use, and political correctness are frequent targets (the antagonist of Dragon Tears, for instance, evidently owes not only his superhuman abilities but also his pathological personality to his mother's use of illicit drugs while he was in utero).
  • A particular high respect for humanity and repugnance for those who degrade any human. Sometimes (as in One Door Away from Heaven) taking a critical stance against "life" issues like Utilitarian bioethics.
  • A lack of atonement or redemption from the villains and antagonists, coinciding with main characters who are (eventually) clearly depicted as either good or evil with little moral ambiguity. Little sympathy is elicited for the antagonists. However, some exceptions to this are Watchers, Whispers, and Mr. Murder.
  • Scientific themes such as Quantum Theory and Quantum Mechanics have emerged in many of Koontz's novels, providing a new territory of subject matter.
  • A recurrent theme is the power and immutability of Fate or Destiny. Koontz's Fate is a singular entity which is very hard, if not impossible to change. A central theme in Lightning, to paraphrase, "Fate will always struggle to reassert itself."

Other trademarks

  • Koontz is an avid dog lover, and canines (typically an unusually smart Golden or Labrador Retriever) often feature prominently in his works: Fear Nothing, Seize the Night, The Taking, Watchers, Dark Rivers of the Heart, Dragon Tears, One Door Away from Heaven, Ticktock, Twilight Eyes (Towards the end of the book) and The Darkest Evening of the Year are prime examples. Cats have often fared worse in his books (Koontz is allergic to felines), though he has occasionally included cats as characters, most notably the smart feline Mungojerrie in the Christopher Snow novels, Terrible Chester in the Odd Thomas novels and Aristophanes in The Mask.
  • A setting in southern California.
  • A Smith and Wesson .38 caliber Chiefs Special or Heckler and Koch P7.
  • Use of the words "blacktop", "heretofore", "ozone", "preternatural", "spoor," "susurration", "malocholy", "malevolent", and "momentous" is prevalent in his books, and the phrase "from the corner of his/her eye".
  • Vivid, detailed descriptions of the settings' architectural and interior design elements, such as beveled glass.
  • Street lights being described as "Sodium Vapor lights".
  • Bitumen is described as McAdam(macadam)frequently
  • Amoral scientists using brutalizing techniques (sometimes upon children) to further their research (Sole Survivor, Midnight, Frankenstein, The Key to Midnight, The Door to December, The Eyes of Darkness)
  • References to literature and poetry of which Koontz is a fan. The poetry of T. S. Eliot plays a prominent role in The Taking, and many of the same lines by Eliot are seen in Velocity. Fear Nothing includes a character named Tom Eliot, another reference to the famous poet. Little Ozzie from the Odd Thomas series often quotes T.S. Eliot and Shakespeare.
  • Plants and flowers are described in horticultural detail, and bougainvillea flowers often feature in Dean Koontz's books.
  • Small references to Japan are often made. Such as plants and characters with a Japanese name, or people having Japanese gardens, furniture or enjoying Japanese food and drink.
  • Strange, quirky descriptions, for example, The Darkest Evening of the Year "...but a pair of lamps shed light as lusterless as ashes and the colors were muted as though settled smoke from a long-quenched fire had laid a patina on them."
  • Frequent references to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • Frequent quotations from The Book of Counted Sorrows, a book that Koontz made up. Aside from the quotes, he personally wrote, Koontz wrote one book of poetry, entitled "The Paper Doorway."
  • Frequent instances of characters with minor wounds self-administering or being treated with Neosporin.
  • Main characters drive a Ford Explorer in several novels.
  • Frequent references to The United States Marine Corps.
  • Male characters often wear Rockport boots.
  • Use of a lugwrench/tire iron as a weapon.
  • Use of the word "elfin" to describe a female character's looks.
  • Many of his characters are often seen eating tacos.

Film adaptations

References

  1. ^ a b "http://www.deankoontz.com/about-dean/". 
  2. ^ a b Dean Koontz biography accessed May 3, 2010.
  3. ^ Piazza, Judyth: "Judyth Piazza chats with Dean Koontz and Mark Constant, The Market on Granada" St. Augustine News, July 27, 2009
  4. ^ a b c d Dean Koontz – Friend of Liberty, Advocates for Self-Government
  5. ^ a b c Drake, Tim (March 6, 2007). "Chatting With Koontz About Faith". National Catholic Register. http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/2013. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  6. ^ Rossi, Tony, Best-selling Author Dean Koontz Explores Catholic Values in Novels Catholic Exchange, August 1, 2009
  7. ^ deankoontz.com. "shadowfires from the author". http://www.deankoontz.com/shadowfires-from-the-author/. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  8. ^ deankoontz.com. "demon seed from the author". http://www.deankoontz.com/demon-seed-from-the-author/. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  9. ^ deankoontz.com. "strangers from the author". http://www.deankoontz.com/strangers-from-the-author/. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  10. ^ "Interview with Brian Herbert". www.frankherbert.net. http://www.frankherbert.net/news/BrianHerbertInterview.pdf/. Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  11. ^ Ramsland, Katherine M. (1997). Dean Koontz : a writer’s biography. New York, N.Y.: HarperPrism. ISBN 006105271X.  LCCN 97-030839
  12. ^ deankoontz.com. "photo gallery". Archived from the original on 2007-06-29. http://web.archive.org/web/20070629153158/http://www.deankoontz.com/about-dean/photo-gallery.php. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  13. ^ Newsmeat.com, ▷ Dean Koontz's Federal Campaign Contribution Report]
  14. ^ "Donor Lookup: Find Individual and Soft Money Contributors – Koontz, Gerda". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.php?name=Koontz%2C+gerda&state=&zip=&employ=&cand=&all=Y&sort=N&capcode=8nqtk&submit=Submit. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  15. ^ "Donor Lookup: Find Individual and Soft Money Contributors – Koontz, Dean". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.php?name=Koontz%2C+gerda&state=&zip=&employ=&cand=&all=Y&sort=N&capcode=8nqtk&submit=Submit. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  16. ^ "CalAccess – Campaign Finance". California Secretary of State. http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1279675&session=2005&view=contributions. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  17. ^ Maio, Pat. "Support Base: OC's Money, Moderation Bankrolls Schwarzenegger – Consumer Watchdog". Orange County Business Journal. http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/corporateering/articles/?storyId=16805. Retrieved 2009-11-28. "The governor has held a few fund-raisers this year in a bid to drum up $50 million. Those include a dinner last month at Koontz's in Newport." 
  18. ^ Koontz, Dean. "Major Donor and Independent Expenditure Committee Campaign Statement". http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/PDFGen/pdfgen.prg?filingid=1124979&amendid=0. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  19. ^ "Rowling makes £5 every second". BBC. October 3, 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7649962.stm. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  20. ^ a b c d deankoontz.com. "Trixie Koontz". Archived from the original on 2007-07-10. http://web.archive.org/web/20070710211834/http://www.deankoontz.com/trixie/monthly-columns.php. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  21. ^ Ben Fox (2004-12-26). "Associated Press". Deseret News. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20041226/ai_n11495304. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  22. ^ Koontz, Dean. "The Write Stuff: All About Anna". http://www.deankoontz.com/about-dean/the-write-stuff/. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  23. ^ "Dean R. Koontz's 'Frankenstein' Resurrected in Feature Film Form". BloodyDisgusting. http://www.bloody-disgusting.com/news/19129. 
  24. ^ Dean Koontz The Husband, The Husband Movie – Dean Koontz – The Official Site
  25. ^ Dean Koontz Website, Suspense Novel – Dean Koontz – The Official Site

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