I remember we were sitting in class, in a particularly boring lesson, when my then best friend told me about this awesome book she was reading – Dean Koontz' Lightning. It didn't take too long before I headed to a bookstore myself to get my hands on the book and it was a small step from devouring this engrossing novel to hunting down every available book by the author shortly after that. He's one of the rare authors who got me hooked in no time, and if I may say so, he also influenced me, if only a bit, in my own writing.
Up to this day Dean Koontz is one of my all time favorite authors and I've followed his writing career ever since that fateful day in high school. If you haven't heard about this author yet and asked me what kind of books he's writing I couldn't answer that in just two words. He certainly doesn't fit into just one particular genre. His work is often classified as suspense thrillers, though he usually mixes horror, science fiction, mystery or fantasy elements into his stories. Early on in his career he was seen as a horror author because of that, but if you know his books you also know that they defy such categorizations, because he is adventurous enough to dip into different genres in all of his books. Though, interestingly enough, Koontz has been using quite a number of pen names in his early career, because publishers didn't want readers to be confused by his books spanning different genres.
If you asked me for a recommendation I'd urge you to read Odd Thomas. While Koontz wrote a lot of great books, this must be one of his best. And unfortunately it was more or less downhill after that. That's not an easy thing to say about ones favorite author, but it's the truth. Recent novels were everything between average, such as The Taking, or disappointing, such as Breathless, or plain awful, as is the case of Your Heart Belongs To Me. But I'm far from giving up hope and look forward to his latest book What The Night Knows which will soon be available in paperback.
As a true fan I also watched some of the movie adaptations of Koontz' books. Frankly, they come nowhere near the actual books and even if judged only as movies they are at best ok. I guess Stephen King got the better deal out of his movie adaptations compared to Dean Koontz. Though, and a friend just recently asked me this, I never really liked King's books. I wouldn't go so far as to say you can't like both authors, plus it's been a while since I read a Stephen King novel, but well, my heart belongs to Koontz and in this case that is not awful.