Over at Novel Journey yesterday, they interviewed master storyteller Dean Koontz.
I’ve been a fan of Koontz for years. Not only is he prolific, he has an amazing voice and the way he says things is almost as important as the story itself–except you don’t lose yourself in the words to the detriment of the story. He often inserts dogs in his books, and WATCHERS is probably one of my all-time favorite books. However, THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR may come up there because it’s another dog book, this one the protagonist rescues golden retrievers.
Ironically, I hadn’t read anything about this book until this morning, but yesterday Karin and I (with the help of Officer Friendly) worked through a story-essential plot point (one of those plot points you need to know before you start . . . though already I’m starting to change some things. I just needed to know that my “what if” worked. If does, so I can play around 🙂 . . . anyway, Karin and I were chatting about Claire O’Brien, my heroine, and what type of person she would be. Her father murdered her mother (she believes) while her mother was in bed with a lover. Claire knew about the affair and feels guilty because she told her dad about it. She blames herself–and her mother for sleeping around and her father for losing his temper–and grows up bitter and lost–a lost soul, Karin says. We figured out she’s a fraud investigator because she assumes everyone is lying and she can dig out the truth. And it popped into my head: she loves animals. Humans, she can’t trust–they lie, commit adultery, kill–but animals, particularly dogs, inspire trust and love unconditionally. So she has a houseful of animals she’s rescued and is trying to find homes for–which I hope will redeem her for some of the not-so-heroic things she does.
Anyway, Koontz doesn’t plot and I thought the interview was fascinating on many levels. Enjoy!