“Fiction is a dangerous art… creating new worlds populated by people as real as you can make them… involves risks. Not risks just to readers who may be influenced toward darkness instead of light, evil instead of good, despair instead of hope, but also to the author.”
There are a number of writers whose works linger in my imagination. James Lee Burke’s haunting stories of life in Louisiana reveal the complexity of human nature in a way I have rarely seen replicated. Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls) and Neil Gaiman (The Ocean At The End Of The Lane) write modern fairy tales that reach into my heart. Neil Shusterman (the Unwind Dystology) and Jonathan Mayberry (Rot and Ruin series) have been building quite a reputation in YA lit, and Brandon Sanderson could drop the literary mic right now and walk with his legacy of epic fantasy ensured.
Yet Dean Koontz stands out to me. From The Corner of His Eye was the first his books that really got my attention; The Taking was next, revealing how well he could write a story both grim and hopeful. The Odd Thomas series, though, turned me into a serious fan. Pretty much everything he has written since then has served to solidify my admiration.