May 11, 2010

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. Usually, a character comes to life for me through the first few chapters of a story, but Odd was instantly there. In my daily life, I’ll see something amusing or curious–and will ask myself, What would Odd have to say about that? As if he is real.

This is a young man on a journey as eccentric as it is epic, to whom comedy and tragedy are threads so intimately woven in the tapestry of life that no dark moment is without light and no light moment is free of shadow. In ODD THOMAS, he learned many things, not the least of which was the need for perseverance even in the face of great loss. In FOREVER ODD, he came to understand that life offers us opportunities for redemption even when we feel that our actions and experiences have put us beyond hope. In BROTHER ODD… well, I’m not going to give away anything about it. Suffice to say, Odd finds in himself new strengths, and he exhibits a deepening humility.

After all, this is a series about a character whose humility is the primary source of his strength. Humility–its beauty, its power–is not a common subject in fiction, and remains virtually unexplored in suspense fiction. Occasionally–rarely, I’m happy to say–someone finds Odd Thomas to be too modest in his nature, too humble about himself, to be a full-blooded hero; they want the cocky, totally self-assured, Hollywood-style ass-kicker–which I generally find to be just an ass. If I were going into battle, I would rather have at my side a man who knows his limitations instead of a man who thinks he has none. When you read about those who have won the Medal of Honor, about their behavior in war and their reaction to the acclaim their actions later received, you will be moved to see that nearly all of them have been self-effacing, modest; when their bravery is praised, they deflect the praise with words about soldiers who died beside them, whom they call “the real heroes,” and they characterize their own courage as just “doing what had to be done.” That’s my kind of hero, and that’s Oddie.

I hope you enjoy BROTHER ODD. I am sure this is not the last book with him. I have to know where he goes from here. If you feel the same about him–or even if you don’t–let me know by e-mailing me: I can’t answer every e-mail, but I read the majority of them.

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