Dean Koontz
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Author Q&A: Manga/Comics

I would love ODD THOMAS to be a graphic novel. Will you allow your characters to be in comic books? -Toby (location withheld, perhaps because this is the Toby the police are looking for in 50 states, or perhaps because he just thinks the rules shouldn't apply to him.)

I am in the process of forming a joint venture with three really smart women to move Odd into graphic novels and other exciting formats. See how it works, Toby? You just ask me for something, and you get it. Within reason. You ask for my car, however, the most you might get is run down by it.

You have such a way with your characters' dialogue, it seems to flow naturally and always rings true. How do you go about making your characters "speak"? Is it purely an internal process or is it more involved?

I give my characters free will. The story is never outlined. They go where they want — and surprise me. When they speak, I don’t force them to feed information to the reader and advance the story. If they want to digress, I let them. If each is a vivid individual, his or her dialogue will be unique. And often in the digressions, we learn about them and discover new dimensions in the story. When a character says something funny, I laugh out loud because it’s as if I’m hearing it, not writing it.

You have two big books listed in the same Previews. What was it like to work with the Dabels and Del Rey?

Del Rey’s In Odd We Trust is a Manga, focused more on character and tone than on slam-bang story. The Dabel Brothers adaptation, Frankenstein: Prodigal Son #1 is, like the books, full-on action and thrills, but moody. I like both of them for different reasons, and everyone was great to work with.

Have you thought about having Demon Seed revisited as a graphic novel? (Steven Leaf, Brand Manager, Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.)

That’s an intriguing idea. But it would have to be based on the rewritten version I reissued about a decade ago. It’s immeasurably better than the original novel.

Do you feel having a mainstream author creating stories specifically for the comic-book market benefits both the book and comics markets? (Anonymous)

Sure. Maybe. I hope so. Who knows? Besides, I’m mainstream in sales, but I don’t share the views of the fiction establishment. In their postmodern nihilism, my views are heretical. The day I am “mainstream” as it’s now defined will be the day I’ve lost my soul.

Do you feel having a mainstream author creating stories specifically for the comic-book market benefits both the book and comics markets? (Anonymous)

I love the guy. I knew he was on a journey, but I didn’t know the purpose of the destination — and I had to find out. It’ll take six books to fulfill his destiny. I all but bounce up and down in my chair with excitement every day when I’m in the story with him.

Dean, most of your novels are self-contained stories that begin and end in a single volume. What was it about Odd Thomasthat made you want to revisit him so many times? (Anonymous)

I love the guy. I knew he was on a journey, but I didn’t know the purpose of the destination — and I had to find out. It’ll take six books to fulfill his destiny. I all but bounce up and down in my chair with excitement every day when I’m in the story with him.

What was it about the comics medium that convinced you to use it for these stories, and why should fans of your prose work make the crossover with you? (Robert Scott, Owner Comickaze & AFC Studio, San Diego, CA)

Comics and graphics novels are visual media that, unlike film, do not require 643 producers and others to muddle-up a story during its adaptation. Just a couple of comics writers and an artist keep it truer to the source and more powerful.

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