There are books, there are great books…and then there are great authors. You know, the author who bangs out one best seller after another, who makes you think, “Gosh, I wish I could write like that.”
For me that author is Dean Koontz. If you haven’t yet encountered the name you need to look him up. His writing is kind of like Stephen King—but not. His novels are not quite as graphic as King which is a big deal for me. There are some King novels I simply can’t read because of the violence.
But that’s not the reason I want to be like Dean Koontz.
I love his words, his phrasing, the melody and the pictures they make in my mind as I read. One of my favorites is this quote from Odd Thomas:
“Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton.”
Can you see it? Odd Thomas in full regalia, prancing down the street like the infamous unclothed emperor and followed by a bunch of blithering idiots.
How about this one?
“Nothing is worse than being alone on the evening of the day when one’s cow has exploded.” (Odd Thomas)
But it’s more than his humorous observations. He has a unique style for description, comes up with metaphors that are both strange and spot on:
“The goblin night still appeared to stream with Christmas tinsel.” (The Taking)
“Once glass-smooth, the lake below lay stippled with white, a breeze scaling it as if it were a great serpent slumbering in the shadow of the pending storm.” (The Silent Corner)
…and when I read a sentence or paragraph like these I wish I could be inside his head because it must be working overtime.
With practice my writing has improved a lot. I am better at finding unique ways to describe ordinary things. But I’m no Dean Koontz. Unless…
Surely Mr. Koontz could lend me one or two of his brain cells? I promise not to despoil them too much.
*featured image from https://pennbookcenter.com/best-dean-koontz-books/