The following is an excerpt from io9.com, a chunk of the interview is about Dean Koontz’s upcoming movie adaptation revolving around the world of Odd Thomas (one of my favourite literary characters), but towards the end he dishes out some advice on what to write if you want to succeed in the supernatural fiction scene, or at least shows a rational point of view on the matter. The full article is linked after the quote!
We asked Koontz the biggest mistake people make in trying to break into supernatural fiction or other speculative fiction, and he responded: “The biggest one is probably looking around and scoping the market. Don’t think about what’s selling.” People see vampire books selling like hotcakes and think the way to become successful is to write yet another vampire book. “Vampires have always been hot. But that doesn’t mean you have to write vampires. I would always take it to believe that if I started writing about vampires, that’s exactly when they would go cold.”
Horror fiction, in general, has never come back from its peak, because publishers put out so many horror books in such a short time. “When something becomes very popular, you get just a huge amount of it. And any time you get a huge amount of anything, a huge amount of the huge amount isn’t great.” And that turns people off, sometimes forever.
Instead, Koontz advises writers: “Think about what you can do that’s different, and yet is within those genres. That takes a little more effort… trying to come up with ideas that nobody’s done before. Or if they’ve done them, they haven’t done them in the same way.” You’ll know you’ve succeeded when you get the kind of letters Koontz receives in the mail, saying things like, “‘You must have a freaky weird interior mind.’ I’m about as cuddly and normal as you can get. But yeah, just letting the mind go, sometimes you can be stunned at what comes into it.”