My friends know that I'm obsessed with Dean Koontz. I eagerly wait twice a year for his new novels since I have read all of the currently published books. Don't misunderstand me. I'm not the sort of raving fan found in Stephen King's Misery. I would never harm Mr. Koontz, and this blog should in no way lead you to believe I would keep him tied up in my basement. Or any basement.
I know you're wondering what all of this has to do with the Hollow. It simply comes from a love of books and a simpler time when they occupied so much more of our lives. This was back when there were only three channels available on our television. My parents did not have the time or desire to read novels for pleasure. So, I have to wonder how the shelves in the den of our home became filled with so many books. As a child I would gaze up at them and just know wonderful things must be contained in such beautiful covers. I don't remember looking thru books at the pictures. I remember looking thru them and wanting to be able to read. Mom read to me a lot. I know she had to be so very tired of The Little Engine That Could.
I have a very vivid memory of the first book I brought home from our little school library - Casper. I never wanted to give it back.
We would have book fairs at school and I would always look thru them wishing I could buy one. One year I won a contest and received a free book at the fair. I don't remember what I did in class to win, but I do remember the book. It was a little book called The Empty Grave
and wasn't nearly as scary as it sounded. I was about 8 or 9 years old then. The first novel I ever read was The Black Stallion by Walter Farley.
After that, I found a way to buy every Walter Farley book I could find. Then came Barbara Cartland romance novels. A friend gave me The Thornbirds to read around that time. Let's just say I couldn't go back to Barbara after that and moved on to Harlequin Romances. Another friend loaned me The Shining by Stephen King. After that I read every Stephen King novel I could get my hands on. I still do, but he scares me sometimes. Definitely not the kind of books to read when you are alone in the house late at night. And, of course, I love reading Nora Roberts!
Years ago, my dear friend Sally, was reading Lightening by Dean Koontz. She was so excited every day telling me parts of the book, but not enough to give away the part. When she finally gave it to me, she would ask every day where I was in the book and we'd talk about it. Lightening is such a wonderful book and still one of my favorites. If you've never read a Koontz novel, I recommend Lightening or Life Expectancy to start.
During a difficult time in my life, I wrote to Mr. Koontz. I wanted to tell him about Sally and how much joy his books had brought to us both over the years. I don't remember everything I put in that letter. I do remember telling him that I didn't know what had happened in his life to be able to write such wonderful novels or such strong women characters, but I was glad for the impact it had on my life. An amazing thing happened. Not only did Mr. Koontz personally write back, he sent me one of Trixie's (his beloved dog, inspiration and author in her own right) books. As if I wasn't a big enough fan before! So, you see, I could never keep him in my basement.
I bought his latest novel, Relentless, the day it was released. I told myself to read it slowly, maybe a chapter a night. I didn't even make it a week before I had to finish it. If you love reading books, you know what I mean. So, as you're looking for something new to read this summer, consider one of his books. Most often, you are assured of a happy ending. It may not be the ending you want, expect or need, but it will be happy. Isn't it that way in life too?