Answer: I own the original film for the book, but I'm not sure that it is in good enough condition to allow the art work to be reproduced at full quality. It might be fine; I just don't have the knowledge to judge correctly. Since I feel that the art is as important to the experience of the book as is the text, I've not tried to make a deal for text alone. Perhaps if Robot Santa, my next book for children, sells at least as well as Santa's Twin, some publisher will want to investigate the possibility of reprinting Oddkins in all its original visual splendor. Don't steal from your library, Karen. That is immoral. Hold up a liquor store and use the proceeds of the robbery to buy a mint-condition Oddkins first printing.
Between the Pages: Book Questions
Question: Are you planning on doing any more books like Odd Thomas — first person-narration, etc.? That was one of the best books I have ever read. Brian, Washington, D.C.
Answer: Thank you, Brian. I have seldom written first-person narration — Twilight Eyes, Fear Nothing, Seize the Night, Odd Thomas — because I've always felt that each first-person narrator should sound unique, not like me when I write in third person, and not like one another. Because first person necessarily narrows the scope of a story, I only want to use it when I have a character so fresh (at least to me) that more is gained by his or her voice than is lost by the narrower scope.
For some reason, suitable first-person narrators have been coming to me more frequently than in the past. Life Expectancy, which will be published in December of 2004, is in the first person. 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.
Question: Odd Thomas was wonderful. How are you able to create such nuanced characters like Thomas and his girlfriend? Are they modeled off people you know? Chris, Austin, Texas
Answer: Thanks, Chris. No, the characters aren't modeled off people I know, though traits I see in several people can sometimes coalesce in a single character.
After more years at this keyboard than seem possible — or sane! — I've learned how to let characters speak for themselves. This might sound mystical and a little weird — who? me? weird? — but I realized one day, in '97, that every act of human creation — whether by a writer, bricklayer, carpenter, seamstress — is a reflection of the divine Creation, the one with a capital C. This is particularly obvious in the case of writers, who create whole worlds and populate them with life, if only on the page.