Dean Koontz is one of the best-selling authors of all time. He just released “Saint Odd,” the final book in one of his most popular series, a series filled with stories inspired in part by troubles in his own life.
“I’m just the guy who lives down the street, and I do books instead of sell cars,” Koontz said.
If that’s true, then Koontz is the Henry Ford of authors. He’s written around 100 different books from sci-fi and suspense to horror with a touch of satire.
“When I write a novel, I don’t move from page one to page two until I’ve written 20 or 30 drafts. I have to polish it until I think it can’t be any better. Then I can move on,” Koontz said. “This comes out of a very deep self-doubt. And that comes out of my childhood.”
“He came to me in the most amazing way. I was working on another book, and into my head came the line, ‘My name is Odd Thomas. I lead an unusual life,'” Koontz said.
Koontz has also led an unusual life. He grew up poor in Pennsylvania and calls his mother Florence a saint, his father a sinner who once tried to stab him. “My dad had 44 jobs in 34 years. He was a violent alcoholic,” Koontz said. When Koontz’s father was 81 years old, he tried to kill his son.
“I ended up putting it in a novel. We’re merciless, us writers. We use everything,” Koontz revealed. “You know, it’s a terrible thing to say about your own father. I have no happy memories. I literally cannot think of one.”He said while those memories were something he had to overcome, they also helped define who he is today.
Right now, Koontz is mourning a loss. He’s just released the eighth and final installment in his series about his everyday hero, Odd Thomas, a fry cook who sees dead people. The books have sold 20 million copies.