Answer: Everyone who knew Brandon loved the guy. Have lunch with him just once, and you were charmed. He was a genuine, warm, kind, and enthusiastic man. Most people who run networks or have equivalent positions in the entertainment industry are insufferable in one way or another; they either trade their humanity for the thrill of power or are sadly deficient human beings to begin with. Brandon Tartikoff had none of the arrogance, none of the egomania, none of the venom so often found in others who have achieved his position. When he fell ill, after he left NBC, as he fought for his life, he remained full of enthusiasm and energy, and sought ways to channel them productively. My agent, Robert Gottlieb, a friend and admirer of Brandon's, thought that with all of Brandon's entertainment contacts, he would be well-advised to start a book line of his own, within an existing publishing company, with the intention of trying to promote film and television projects based on them. STRANGE HIGHWAYS was the first-perhaps the last, I'm not sure-in that imprint because cancer will too often have its way. Brandon didn't have as much time left as everyone who knew him hoped he would. His contribution to STRANGE HIGHWAYS would have come if he'd been able to operate with his characteristic energy and if he had lived.
Question: PHANTOMS is my favorite book of all time. Where did you get the idea for such a scary book? Kendra, Odessa, MO
Answer: Since adolescence, I'd been fascinated with stories of real-life mass disappearances (those mentioned throughout PHANTOMS) and had from time to time tried to imagine explanations for them, not as the plot for a novel but just to satisfy my own curiosity. One day, driving from somewhere to somewhere, when there was nothing on the radio to entertain me and no extraterrestrials seemed interested in abducting me, I started mulling over these disappearances-and into my head popped the concept of the Ancient Enemy. As soon as I realized this could also explain the extinction of the dinosaurs, I knew I had a cool story line for a novel.
Question: Hi, Dean! One of my all-time favorites is STRANGERS. Any plans for this to be made into a movie? Scott, San Francisco, CA
Answer: Hi, Scott! I've got a standing offer from a fine producer, with whom I've worked before, to turn STRANGERS into a high-profile TV movie. With the exception of INTENSITY (a miniseries), THE FACE OF FEAR (a two-hour TV movie), and some parts of SOLE SURVIVOR, I've not been too pleased with longform TV and don't want to do more of it at this time. Currently, with my Frankenstein project at USA, I'm hoping that the series format will work better. I am no doubt a fool in full denial.
Question: What was your inspiration for TWILIGHT EYES? Of all your books, that one stays in my mind the most for some reason. Janice, Tallahassee, FL