A while back I worked on a list of my Top 10 favorite authors. I had a hard time picking the ten; there have been so many enjoyable reads. For the most part I chose those that had a big or lasting impact on my life.
Encyclopedia Brown and Wayside School got me interested in reading. They were the first books I did for book reports–much to the mocking of my classmates. Ironically, I would later figure out that they probably didn’t even read a book. I also got some grief from my teachers who saw pop culture literature as “low.” They also didn’t like sci-fi or fantasy, not even the classic fantasy or science fiction. That left the classics. Frankly, they were boring.
It wasn’t until the Wishbone series that I started enjoying the classics. The series made the classics more interesting, relatable, and understandable.
Then when Wishbone and Animorphs ended, I had to look for something else to read. I did read books based on DC and Marvel characters; but since the authors for those change with each book, I couldn’t find any more.
Eventually, I wondered the aisles looking for something (that couldn’t be found). Later, a made-for-TV movie aired called Sole Survivor. I watched and found it interesting. Soon, I learned that the movie was based on a book by Dean Koontz. As soon as possible, I headed to the bookstore. I found another book by Koontz called Odd Thomas. I tried it out; found it great; and wanted more. Too bad there weren’t any more at our local bookstore.
Seemed like my adventure was over.
Enter the library book sale. I found some other books by Dean Koontz. But it was one book that interested me in particular: Mr. Murder. I knew of this one. As I looked at the other Koontz books, I learned that I’d read others of his and enjoyed them. I’d been a fan before I knew it.
The trouble was Koontz was still a contemporary author. According to pretty much everyone I knew, if it wasn’t a classic…it wasn’t good. Or if it wasn’t some deep-thought story or some story that could make you look good by reading it, it wasn’t “proper.” So in the beginning, I kept my interest secret; but eventually, I said, “I like what I like. Get over it.” You can like the classics or the philosophy stories if you want, but I liked these.
I find it funny to this day that while growing up when I told people I liked stories with werewolves, vampires, wizards, and zombies, they would laugh at me or call me a loser. They would again say that I wasn’t spectacular like them because I read the “low forms of writing.” Then, one day…Harry Potter. Everyone loved wizards and then vampires and zombies. Science fiction and fantasy became popular.
So, I had to give Dean Koontz the top spot on my list because if I hadn’t found any of his books, I probably would have given up on reading. It is really difficult to find a new book to read when you don’t know any author names or don’t know what kind of genre you like. Or in my case, everyone telling you that the genres you like are “not good enough” or “lowbrow.” It really doesn’t encourages people to read when you tell them the stuff they like is uncouth and silly.
Until the next wormhole…thanks for reading!
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