M.J. Fievre: Dean Koontz, I’m a big fan. I love your work for its unabashed brand of storytelling, the Odd Thomas series particularly, pushing well beyond the boundaries of the expected, into intricately designed worlds with bodachs and silent ghosts, and even elements of science fiction. In an interview with Publishers Weekly, you mentioned that you give your characters free will, “just as God gave it to us.” Are there really no limitations you place on your work and the places you’re willing to go?
Dean Koontz: When a story suddenly takes an astonishing turn that I never anticipated, I sometimes pause to consider whether the twist is over the top or in some other way damaging to the narrative. If it isn’t just a gee-whiz-this-would-be-cool idea, if it comes out of giving the characters free will and letting them evolve, it is in my experience always a good direction to follow, even though I may be wary about where it will lead. Recently I finished a novel that had an experimental structure, an unusual first-person voice, a philosophical point of view contrary to that found in most of the pop culture, and some surprises of an epic nature that required careful preparation to sell to the reader. I expected pushback from some editors and publishers here and/or in other countries, but the book has been received with unalloyed enthusiasm everywhere, as one of the best things I’ve ever done. If I’d kept the characters on a tight leash and been timid about letting the story expanded to the farthest corners of its potential, editors might have liked it, but not as much, and it would have been a lesser piece. The biggest rewards, creatively and even financially, require risk, sometimes a lot of risk.
Read the full interview @ SliverOfStoneMagazine.com.