May 19, 2010

Why is the word “ululate” in all your books.

I’m not going to read all my books over the weekend to prove this answer, but I suspect I don’t use the word “ululate” in more than 39.5% of them. I’ll admit that may still be a high ululate ratio, as compared to other writers, and my only self-defense is to say that I strive hard to use the best word at all times. Because I set many of my books in California and the Southwest, and because I depict nature as vividly as I can when the story calls for scenes in the green of things, coyotes from time to time appear. If you have ever heard a pack of coyotes crying with excitement while chasing down prey, you know that their singularly eerie voices, raised together, can best–and perhaps only–be described as a ululation. I’m sure most of the ululating that goes on in Koontz novels involves coyotes. Then, of course, because I live in California, I’m surrounded by all kinds of crazy ululating cults; I can hardly get through the day without encountering at least a hundred public ululators, so when I sit down to write, the word is always in my head.

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