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Dean Koontz on Reading Great and Lousy Writers

From Anne Mulligan’s October 2007 interview with Dean Koontz:

You seem to be the writer other writers look up to. I know novelist Alton Gansky has made small references to your work in his own, and James Scott Bell holds up your work as a great example in his book Plot and Structure. Who do you look up to?

Among writers, Dickens, T.S. Eliot, the late suspense novelist John D. MacDonald, who at his best was a wizard at character, Flannery O’Conner, the cultural theorist Philip Rieff, G.K. Chesteron, C.S. Lewis, Walker Percy….

Koontz also offers the following reflection about failing to sell his first four novels:

What kept me going was reading fiction that I admired, that filled me with wonder and inspiration. But in truth, I also at times took consolation from reading bad fiction that offered ham-fisted prose, paper-thin characters, bad research, and muddy thinking. I would finish such a book and tell myself, If that can be published and succeed, surely there’s a market for something that strives to avoid all those faults.

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