The volume of hate was never so great that the postal service had to deliver it in eighteen-wheelers—a mere fifty letters—but it satisfied. The first few distressed me. I was dismayed that my book had offended. I am basically a mellow guy who hopes that his work will in some humble way have a positive effect on the lives of my readers—and that I will be allowed to conduct my life without the constant company of heavily armed bodyguards. By the time I received ten such missives, I realized that these hate letters were badges of honor.
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The volume of hate was never so great that the postal service had to deliver it in eighteen-wheelers—a mere fifty letters—but it satisfied. The first few distressed me.
I was dismayed that my book had offended. I am basically a mellow guy who hopes that his work will in some humble way have a positive effect on the lives of my readers—and that I will be allowed to conduct my life without the constant company of heavily armed bodyguards.
By the time I received ten such missives, I realized that these hate letters were badges of honor. I hasten to clarify that not all atheists are intolerant or cranks. Like believers, most just want to get along, to have their share of Starbucks cappuccinos and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, to know true love or at least true affection, to buy cool shoes, and to avoid being caught in the crossfire between rap stars at the Vibe Awards.
They accused me of corrupting the minds of innocent youth, of being a paid shill for the Vatican, and of being a moron. Before writing HIDEAWAY one of a small handful of my novels that deals with the genuine supernatural , I had noticed that it was common for such fiction to focus on, even to revel in, the dark side without ever suggesting—and certainly without depicting—the existence of a light side.
This was a shortcoming of most horror and a key reason why I found a lot of the genre unconvincing. Fantasy fiction does not make this mistake. In that genre, Good and Evil are reliably depicted as equally real. Try to imagine how The Fellowship of the Ring would read if Frodo and his friends were just other breeds of orcs, answering to a different dark god from the one that ruled Mordor.
Not exactly epic anymore, is it? Pornography is the raw mechanics of sex without the emotional context: lust ceaselessly indulged, love eternally unmentioned. That is also how novels of the supernatural read to me when they make much of otherworldly horror but say nothing of otherworldly redemption. So I wrote a novel that dealt with both sides of the equation, in the belief that the forces of darkness seem more real and scarier when they are one half of a balanced narrative equation that includes the forces of light—just as making love with a cherished partner is immeasurably better than finding satisfaction in a porn film.
This was a shocking and offensive point of view to my fifty correspondents, however, and thus I found myself the recipient of hate mail, none of it perfumed or decorated with stick-on yellow smily faces. Half a dozen of my pen pals wished me dead; one threatened to kill me if given a chance. But only three of the fifty letters were unsigned. Most of the writers had sufficient courage of their convictions to include their names and addresses.
Best wishes to your Holy Mom. These towers of moral enlightenment routinely did not sign their names; half of them wished me dead, and ten percent expressed a desire to be the agent of my demise. Some of the letters came on university letterheads, perhaps to impress me with the erudition of these venomous writers.
Recently as I write this , I received in excess of pieces of hate mail from a number of anarchists who did not like the fact that a serial killer in The Face was also an anarchist. You guessed it: Most of them wished me dead! One fellow wrote a polite letter about the same issue, but suggested that I was obliged to write an apology for an anarchist web site.
Any writer who felt so obliged would be a hack, and considering how easily most people take offense when one of their own sacred cows is pricked, no literature of any value would ever be written. An employee of a major national magazine has written dozens of anti-Catholic hate letters to me. They come on general-use magazine stationary, and the envelopes have been processed through postage meters registered to the magazine.
Twice this publication has given space to vicious attacks on me which featured phrases and even whole sentences from those hate letters. Indeed I sensed that they were perversely proud of their hatemongering scamp. In retrospect, it seems meaningful that the first hate mail I received should be in regard to HIDEAWAY, for that novel is in part about the power of hate and about the power of love to defeat it.
The power of love can never defeat Hollywood, however, which grinds forward in a relentless, fevered quest to destroy the story, characters, and meaning of every Koontz property on which it can lay its hands. I made the deal only after the head of the studio, at that time Mike Medavoy, gave me his home phone number and promised that if at any point I received a script that desecrated the novel, he would ensure the revisions I wanted would be executed; in an extreme situation, a new writer would be brought aboard to start over.
I accepted his guarantee, and he never disappointed me. The development executives brought in a writer about whom I was dubious; the writer produced a confused and blood-soaked script, and when I complained, Mike read the script, agreed with me, and ordered a fresh start with a new writer.
The second writer did a terrific job; the script had suspense, style, and heart. Then Mike Medavoy was deposed. Some said it was a palace coup, perpetrated by people who owed their careers to him. What I do know is that Mike was in my experience that rarest of individuals, a film executive who kept his word, acted honorably, and had taste. He became a successful independent producer after leaving Universal, so sometimes there is justice in Hollywood.
She is a symbol of innocence, of purity. The antagonist, Vassago, is actually Evil personified, and like most evil with a small e and like all Evil with a capital E, he is motivated more powerfully by the desire to destroy innocence and pollute purity than he is by anything else.
In a structural sense, therefore, Regina is the sun, while all the other characters are planets revolving around her. In their very unique genius, the director and the studio execs kept the name Regina, but changed her into a moody sixteen-year-old sexpot.
They wanted to cast a girl who had been identified by the very unique geniuses of Hollywood as the next megastar: Alicia Silverstone. She never became a megastar, but neither did the young director become the next Steven Spielberg—as both the studio and he himself, with singular arrogance, assured me that he would. I argued without effect that the new shooting script sucked. I offered to return the money they had paid for film rights if they would erase my name from their exercise in stupidity and tastelessness.
They refused. I wrote a cordial letter to Mr. Teriyaki not his real name , which my adviser edited, and I sent it air express to Tokyo. Teriyaki himself was not a Hollywood weasel, so no doubt he would be appalled to discover the studio had shredded the spirit of our agreement.
Then I had an inspiration. My letter of 10 November has not been answered. As I am certain you are an honorable and courteous man, I assume your silence results from the mistaken belief that World War II is still in progress and that citizens of your country and mine are forbidden to communicate.
I hope this clears up your confusion, and I look forward to your reply to my letter of 10 November. Last Night I saw The Bridge on the River Kwai, a moving film about a group of Allied prisoners of war used as slave labor by your countrymen during World War II—which, by the way, has been over for almost fifty years. Toshiro Mifune was marvelous as the cruel and unprincipled concentration-camp commandant, and one cannot watch his performance without thinking how well he could have played a modern-day corporate executive.
But the war, of course, is over, and I ask nothing but the courtesy of an answer to my letter of 10 November. Have you ever eaten at Benihana? I could treat you to lunch, and you could answer my letter conversationally, saving you the need to type a response. We could have a few saki and reminisce about the Bataan Death March. Teriyaki was obtuse or whether perhaps he wanted to see what I would write next. They repeatedly rebuild Tokyo even though they know it will only be destroyed again by Godzilla.
I believe we Americans have a lot to learn from you, and I look forward to your response to my letter of 10 November, last year. I am very excited to be having my novel filmed by an American studio owned by such an eminent Japanese entertainment entity as yours. And I am humbly aware that your Godzilla knocked the crap out of our King Kong—which is surprising, considering the outcome of World War II, which has been over for fifty years. I have been asked to write an article for a major American magazine to celebrate the legendary—nay, immortal?
Would you please assist me by sending a list of your favorite movies and the names of any starlets with whom you have done the funky monkey. Teriyaki contributed to the cause. The movie tanked, as it deserved to.
It was a ghost of a ghost of the book. After stripping story, character, and theme from the novel, the director and studio execs failed to replace them with anything, resulting in just a series of images and noises. I do not—and at the time did not—hate the director. Hating him, even going after him with a crow bar, could not have done the damage to him that he did to himself by abandoning the essential elements of the novel.
I never sent him hate mail, and I never will. Therefore, by air express, I sent this letter to Tokyo: Dear Mr. Teriyaki: My letter of 10 November has not been answered. When that letter received no response, I followed it with this: Dear Mr. Teriyaki: Last Night I saw The Bridge on the River Kwai, a moving film about a group of Allied prisoners of war used as slave labor by your countrymen during World War II—which, by the way, has been over for almost fifty years. Had I been Mr.
Teriyaki, I would have answered. He did not. So: Dear Mr. Teriyaki: Have you ever eaten at Benihana? Dear Mr. His silence resulted in a final letter. Teriyaki: I am very excited to be having my novel filmed by an American studio owned by such an eminent Japanese entertainment entity as yours. Tags anna anton yelchin ashley bell blog blog post brother odd dean dean koontz dean koontz books dean koontz novels dean koontz writing deeply odd dog ebook fantasy Fiction finale forever odd Frankenstein hollywood innocence koontz koontz books last light movies mystery new fiction odd apocalypse odd interlude oddkins odd thomas books odd thomas movie Odd Thomas Series preorder Prodigal Son RIP saint odd stephen sommers television series the city thriller trixie wilderness Willem Dafoe writing.
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HIDEAWAY From the Author
Strange visions plague a man after he survives a near-death experience in this chilling thriller from 1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz. Surviving a car accident on a snowy mountain road is miraculous for Lindsey Harrison, but even more so for her husband, Hatch, who was clinically dead for eighty minutes. After experimental procedures bring Hatch back to life, he awakens with the terrifying feeling that something is it out there. But it soon becomes apparent that the evil stalking Hatch is within him—a dark force of murderous rage that hides within us all…. Dean Koontz, the author of many 1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna. Hideaway is a novel of ideas. Taut…gripping…the ending is dead-solid perfect.
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