Dean Ray Koontz
Born: 9 July 1945, Everett, Pennsylvania
Koontz grew up in a home marred by poverty and violence from an alcoholic father, his parents actually discouraged him from reading to no avail; he found it to be the only way to escape from his situation. He won an Atlantic Monthly fiction contest in his senior year at Shippensburg University, he graduated in 1967. During college he adopted the Catholic faith, seeing in it an intellectual rigor and sense of mystery that contrasted with the chaos of his home experience. He spent a year with the Appalachian Poverty Program as a tutor, learning on his first day that his predecessor had quit because he had been beat up by students. He taught high school English for two years at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Having sold Star Quest in 1968 he chose to devote full time to writing fiction. His first works were science fiction but he worked in different genres under ten different names. His first bestseller under his own name was Whispers (1980), the previous two novels also each sold a million copies but under pen names. It wasn't until his 51st book, Strangers (1986), that he had a hard-cover best seller. Since then, ten hardcovers and thirteen paperbacks have reached the top of the New York Time Bestseller list. He writes for seven to ten hours a day, averaging three pages a day, by meticulously working on each page until it's in final form. He asserts that doubt of his own talents have driven him to such careful work. It apparently works, he has released over 80 titles and sold over 375 million copies. According to Forbes magazine, he is tied with John Grisham as the sixth best-paid author, earning $25 million (1 June 2007 - 1 June 2008).
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Dean Koontz quotes:
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- A fanatic is a nut who has something to believe in. permalink
- A politician's goal is always to manipulate public debate. I think there are some politicians with higher goals. But all of them get corrupted by power. permalink
- Although I've said a million times that I'm not a horror writer, I do like horror. permalink
- Because people see violence on the movie screen, they're not going to go out and hold up a liquor store and kill somebody. It really doesn't correlate. permalink
- Blizzards, floods, volcanos, hurricanes, earthquakes: They fascinate because they nakedly reveal that Mother Nature, afflicted with bipolar disorder, is as likely to snuff us as she is to succor us. permalink
The Taking (2004)
- Books were this wonderful escape for me because I could open a book and disappear into it, and that was the only way out of that house when I was a kid. permalink
- Civilization rests on the fact that most people do the right thing most of the time. permalink
- Each reader needs to bring his or her own mind and heart to the text. permalink
- Eventually, as my books became best-sellers, the nickels pile up and one day I was offered a substantial four-book deal that was lucrative as any airliner hijacking in history. Though writing those four books was hard work, at least I didn't have to wear Kevlar body armor, carry heavy bandoliers of spare ammunition, or work with associates named Mad Dog. permalink
- Experts must read the patterns and judge their usefulness as evidence. Under any of numerous pressures, an expert may wish to misread a pattern or even to alter it. Americans had a touching trust in "experts". permalink
The Good Guy (2007)
- Fear is a hammer, and when the people are beaten finally to the conviction that their existence hangs by a frayed thread, they will be led where they need to go. permalink
The Good Guy (2007)
- Human beings can always be relied upon to exert, with vigor, their God-given right to be stupid. permalink
- I began this ceaseless polishing out of self-doubt, as a way of preventing self-doubt from turning into writer's block: by doing something with the unsatisfactory page, I wasn't just sitting there brooding about it. permalink
- I believe that I was a dog in a past life. That's the only thing that would explain why I like to snack on Purina Dog Chow. permalink
- I do give books as gifts sometimes, when people would rather have one than a new Ferrari. permalink
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