Happy Birthday, Dean Koontz, born 9 July 1945
Dean Koontz: 20 Quotes
- I found my own way by doing two things. First, I read 150 books a year, sometimes more, (very little TV, later no blogging, no e-mail, that’s how), fiction in all genres, contemporary novels but also the classics, poetry, and a variety of nonfiction. Second, I revise every page of a novel twenty or thirty times, whatever it takes, before moving on to the next page. This line-by-line immersion focuses me intently on language, character, and theme.
- I sold the first short story I wrote. Then I received over 75 rejections before making another sale. My first four novels were never published.
- If something in your writing gives support to people in their lives, that’s more than just entertainment-which is what we writers all struggle to do, to touch people.
- I am enchanted by the English language, by its beauty and flexibility, also by the power of storytelling to expand the mind and lift the heart. Language and story offer possibilities –intriguing challenges–that I couldn’t exhaust in many lifetimes. The work is joy when it’s going well, even when it isn’t.
- I believe that talent is a gift and that it comes with the sacred obligation to polish and grow it.
- I work 10- and 11-hour days because in long sessions I fall away more completely into story and characters than I would in, say, a six-hour day. On good days, I might wind up with five or six pages of finished work; on bad days, a third of a page.
- Literary fiction, as a strict genre, is all but dead. Meanwhile, most genres flourish.
- A body of work, therefore, reveals the intellectual and emotional progress of the writer, and is a map of his soul. It’s both terrifying and liberating to consider this aspect of being a novelist.
- I never discuss a novel while I’m writing it, for fear that talking about it will diminish my desire to write it.
- I receive about 10,000 letters a year from readers, and in the first year after a book is published, perhaps 5,000 letters will deal specifically with that piece of work.
- I think it’s the people who have no doubt that every word they put down is gold that probably don’t write very well.
- Human beings can always be relied upon to exert, with vigour, their God-given right to be stupid.
- I really believe that everyone has a talent, ability, or skill that he can mine to support himself and to succeed in life.
- 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.
- No one can genuinely love the world, which is too large to love entire. To love all the world at once is pretense or dangerous self-delusion. Loving the world is like loving the idea of love, which is perilous because, feeling virtuous about this grand affection, you are freed from the struggles and the duties that come with loving people as individuals.
- Please, don’t torture me with cliches. If you’re going to try to intimidate me, have the courtesy to go away for a while, acquire a better education, improve your vocabulary, and come back with some fresh metaphors.
- She was fascinated with words. To her, words were things of beauty, each like a magical powder or potion that could be combined with other words to create powerful spells.
- Six billion of us walking the planet, six billion smaller worlds on the bigger one. Shoe salesmen and short-order cooks who look boring from the outside – some have weirder lives than you. Six billion stories, every one an epic, full of tragedy and triumph, good and evil, despair and hope. You and me – we aren’t so special, bro.
- I have learned a great deal from novels. Some of it is even true.
- Loss is the hardest thing, I said. But it’s also the teacher that’s the most difficult to ignore.
Dean Koontz is an American author of more than 80 best-sellers. His novels incorporate elements of horror, science fiction, mystery, and satire. He has an estimated 400 million books sold and his work has been published in more than 38 languages. He is the author of the Odd Thomas books. Read more about his writing on The Write Stuff.
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