Author Dean Koontz Answers Questions

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

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, Fla.

Answer: I've written previously about my unpleasant childhood-the drunk and violent father, the poverty, the ravenous alien parasite that lived in our basement … I often dreamed of running away from home. We lived across the highway from the county fairgrounds, and when the carnival came for a week each summer, that was the high point of the year. I longed to run away with the carnival...and this yearning led to an interest in the culture of carnivals, about which I came to be something of an expert. With so much background knowledge gained over so many years, I one day realized I had a terrific setting for a novel. What came to me was Twilight Eyes.

Question: You often refer to "The Book of Counted Sorrows." I can't find this book in any local bookstores. Is it out of print? Do you know where I can obtain a copy? Thank you. Mildred, Pensacola, Fla.

Answer: The book did not exist when I began citing it. The verses from it were written by me. I now await the knock on the door that will be the Book Police with a warrant for my arrest on charges of poetry-attribution fraud. Last year, a small press — www.charnelhouse.com — did issue Counted Sorrows as a beautiful limited, signed, numbered collector's edition at $100 per copy, complete with all verses and a 22,000-word comic history of the text. Because books of poetry don't sell well, I've not been able to find a sucker — I mean, publisher — willing to issue the book in a lower-priced edition.

Chris Snow/ Fear Nothing

Question: When can we expect to hear from Christopher Snow again? Catherine, Denver

Answer: When I started the third Chris Snow book, I quickly discovered that it was likely to be a huge adventure story, packed full of wild stuff, and more epic in scope than the first two. I put it aside to think about it, intending to write False Memory and then go back to it — and instead have written a series of books while I work on the third Snow, which is titled Ride the Storm. It will be done one day, but it's a book that insists on setting its own pace.

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