From the Author
DEMON SEED From the Author
I wrote my first story, "The Magic Puppy," when I was eight years old. It filled eleven pages of tablet paper, which I thought made it an immense tale. Tolstoy and I, writers of epics.
TWILIGHT EYES From the Author
TWILIGHT EYES was re-released in December (2007) by Berkley. The cowboy movie star Roy Rogers and his cowgirl wife, Dale Evans, were perhaps the first husband and wife in the American public eye to have different last names.
DARKFALL From the Author
When a young and unknown writer routinely completes more than one book per year, publishers urge him to use a pen name--or names--for what they view as excess production. They believe that critics will dismiss the work of a prolific writer without even reading it, assuming it is piffle. Many critics do, indeed, respond this way, even though Henry James--the litterateur's litterateur--produced over a hundred and twenty books in his lifetime, and though writers from Shakespeare to Dickens to Joyce Carol Oates have proved that one can produce quantity with quality.
WHISPERS From the Author
In 1979, when I wrote WHISPERS, I was less well-known than the young Harrison Ford before he appeared in American Graffiti--and a lot less handsome. I was slightly better looking than J. Fred Muggs, a performing chimpanzee on TV at that time, but also less well-known than he was. Although I had been a full-time writer for several years, though I had a file drawer full of good reviews, I had never enjoyed a best-seller and, in fact, had never known enough financial security to guarantee that I would always be able to earn a living at my chosen art and craft.
THE EYES OF DARKNESS From the Author
THE EYES OF DARKNESS was the second book I wrote under the pen name Leigh Nichols.
HOUSE OF THUNDER From the Author
Seldom does a subject come along that doesn't inspire me to chatter like a capuchin monkey. I can do an hour on the history of the word pork.
PHANTOMS From the Author
Writing Phantoms was one of the ten biggest mistakes of my life, ranking directly above that incident with the angry porcupine and the clown, about which I intend to say nothing more. Phantoms has been published in thirty-one languages and has been in print continuously for fifteen years, as I write this. Worldwide, it has sold almost six million copies in all editions. It has been well reviewed, and more than a few critics have called it a modern classic of its genre.
STRANGERS From the Author
I was not fully sane when I wrote STRANGERS. Some psychologists would argue that a person is either sane or not, that there aren't degrees of sanity. They would say that a person who otherwise acts sane but exhibits a few peculiar or even irrational actions might better be called an eccentric; certain Freudians might prefer the more serious medical term screwball, while Jungian psychologists might insist on twinkie. But while writing STRANGERS, I wasn't merely an eccentric or a screwball, or a twinkie, or even a Sara Lee pound cake; I was in fact not fully sane.
WATCHERS From the Author
If I am fortunate enough to live to such an advanced age that my wardrobe consists entirely of bathrobes, loose jumpsuits, bunny slippers, and adult diapers, and if I am also fortunate enough to be writing novels in that twilight of my life, I know that I can expect to receive mail from readers that says, in essence, "I love your new book, but that story you wrote when you were just a puppy, Watchers, is still the best thing you've ever done."
LIGHTNING From the Author
Most publishers are happiest with a successful novelist when he or she writes the same book every time. They don't care if he bathes only on the summer solstice, drinks himself into a stupor every day by 2:00 P.M., lives in sin with a llama, thinks SpongeBob SquarePants is the greatest actor of his generation, and spits on the floor--as long as, at the keyboard, he can slavishly repeat himself manuscript after manuscript. From story to story, if the writer always features lead characters who are lawyers, for example, the publisher will smile and pat him on the head.
MIDNIGHT From the Author
When the Critic strikes MIDNIGHT, Look Out!
THE BAD PLACE From the Author
So there I was, getting up seven days a week at the ping! of dawn...
SHADOWFIRES From the Author
SHADOWFIRES Makes Case for Horror Genre
COLD FIRE From the Author
To those of you who have been reading this series of afterwords that Berkley Books asked me to write for reissues of my novels, I wonder why you don't have something better to do with your time.
HIDEAWAY From the Author
HIDEAWAY was the first novel of mine that elicited a pleasing quantity of hate mail.
DRAGON TEARS From the Author
MR. MURDER From the Author
The most frequently asked question posed to every writer by readers is May I commission you to embroider a complete set of bed linens with the imperial crest of Napoleon? Some writers, lacking any talent for embroidery, must regretfully decline the commission and resort to some other work—mayonnaise tasting, spider ranching, repackaging bulk lard for resale in small gift boxes—as a secondary source of income.
ODD THOMAS From the Author
So I was in the middle of writing THE FACE, polishing page 345 of the manuscript, focused to such an intense degree that even an attack by a pack of wolverines failed to distract me from the keyboard (a team of out-call physicians treated me in my office chair: 124 stitches, a series of rabies shots, a procedure to reattach my left foot, and nine operations by a plastic surgeon to reconstruct my nose — all of which cost me only four hours of writing time.) Although the pesky — and mystifyingly hostile — wolverines couldn't distract me from THE FACE
FOREVER ODD From the Author
When I wrote ODD THOMAS, the title character came to me fully formed, as if he were a real person whom I had known all my life. No character in any of my previous novels led me through his story with such grace, with his voice unfailingly strong in my mind's ear, making revelations about himself and his family that were surprising — even shocking in some instances — yet seemed inevitable to me the moment they were made.
THE HUSBAND From the Author
Spring has arrived, and simultaneous with the first daffodils comes the writer with a web-site statement about his latest novel, a sight not as pretty as fresh flowers, not as pretty as frozen winter soil thawing into mud, but every bit as inevitable as the change of seasons. While bears have hibernated, while bees have huddled in a state of torpor in their hives, while vicious and evil extraterrestrial parasites have bided their time in the chest cavities of unsuspecting human hosts, the writer has been toiling away on a book. He has not lazed on a beach in Tahiti.
BROTHER ODD From the Author
Odd Thomas seems to me not a character whom I created, but instead a gift given to me. His voice was fully formed, his mind entirely known to me, when he first walked onto a page.
THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR From the Author
Why I Wrote THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR
The stern web master requires of me a why-I-wrote piece each time that a new book is about to arrive in stores. I find them difficult, but I am assured that you, gentle readers, enjoy them. I suggest that your time would be better spent eating some good Mexican food and contemplating the historical importance of the jalapeno. Nevertheless, here goes:
Sign up for Dean's free newsletter and for news, previews, and more!