Tag Archive: Odd Thomas



41ViDwUfFlL._AA160_One of my favorite book series is the Odd Thomas stories by Dean Koontz. Although these books are more in the horror/thriller category and not something I typically read (I prefer spooky/scary), I just fell in love with Odd. So much so that I named my strange little kitten Odd as well. The name totally fits him. So anyway, I’ve always thought they should make a movie on these books and it seems that one did get done! One movie made and probably the last (bummer, that).  I was recently contacted by another Odd Thomas fan, Spencer Blohm, who wanted to share with us what he knows about this interesting and disappointing development.

Spencer likes doing guest posts on other blogs so if you are interested in him doing one for you, leave a comment and let him know! I’m sure he’d be happy to contact you and discuss it. He is a freelance blogger/copywriter who generally specializes in entertainment, culture, music, fashion, and lifestyle topics. He lives and works in Chicago and you can follow him on Twitter under @bspencerblohm.

So, read on, Odd fans (and those who might BECOME Odd fans), and see what the fuss is all about!

The Battle Behind Odd Thomas

by Spencer Blohm

 

91XzqrcEIXL._SL1500_The new film Odd Thomas is based on the book series of the same name by bestselling author Dean Koontz, which has been discussed on this site before. What makes this film stand out from other Dean Koontz adaptations is the controversy and legal disputes surrounding its creation. Despite filming in 2011 and a predicted fall 2013 release, the film will likely never see U.S. theaters. Fighting between the producers and financial benefactors of the film led to the film being shelved for months, and only recently has the film become available solely through DirecTV (see Direct-Ticket.net for details). The lawsuit in question alleged that the film’s financiers failed to provide $35 million to help pay back production loans and marketing and distribution fees. As a result, the film received zero promotion and advertising; only a small amount of word of mouth hype via the internet was passed around.

Still, for those looking for an interesting watch, Odd Thomas should be considered despite the initial issues following its creation. What makes Odd Thomas an interesting film is its unique paranormal aspect: the film follows main character Odd as he struggles with his ability to communicate with the dead and see demonic ghostly figures known as Bordachs, who only appear when death, disaster, and suffering are imminent. Most of the film is spent detailing Odd’s investigation into why a large swarm of Bordachs would be following a regular customer of the restaurant Odd works in, a man he dubs, simply, “Fungus Bob.”

The film itself has more of a sci-fi quality to it, as opposed to a paranormal/horror feel that one might expect from such a plot. It’s an interesting yet expected approach taken by director Stephen Sommers, who gained fame by directing sci-fi/action films like The Mummy, Van Helsing, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Perhaps due to a lack of experience in the strictly paranormal film genre, the eerie quality of the book becomes a bit lost in the shuffle of the film. In addition to that, the deeply thought out characters and plotline of the novel appear slightly staggered on screen, and as a result never fully allow viewers to understand the complexities of the individual characters.

The star of the film, Anton Yelchin (best known for his role as the titular character in Charlie Bartlett), does emerge as a quirky, alternative dream boat for the younger generations and shows promise for future roles. Anton has obvious on screen charisma and agility within some of the rapid fire dialogue and plotlines, but gets shortchanged. The film clocks in at only 95 minutes, which is hardly enough time to fully understand any of the characters, especially the secondary characters. The editing also left a few holes in the plotline in addition to the character development issues, possibly a result of the post production problems that plagued the entire project.

All in all, the film shows promise for what could have been, but will likely never come to be. The Odd Thomas series has produced some of Koontz’s best-selling novels and boasts millions of fans worldwide who would undoubtedly embrace a film series chronicling the adventures of Odd. However, due to the post production issues and the VOD release of the film in the U.S. it’s unlikely that a sequel will ever see the light of day, let alone the entire series. If you are a fan of the book series or of Dean Koontz give the film a shot, but chances are this will be the first, and last, Odd Thomas movie to be made.

Thanks, Spencer, for sharing this with us! I was bumming that I don’t have Direct TV and then I discovered that you can now purchase the movie on Amazon here!

If you are curious to see the movie trailer, then click here and if you would like to check out all the Odd Thomas novels, you can find them all listed on Amazon if you click here.

Have any of you seen the film? If so, what are your thoughts on it? Please share! As for me, I’m definitely going to check it out and I’ll hold out hope that a miracle will happen for future movies to be made on this series!

Once again, I would like to express my thanks to Spencer Blohm for guesting on my blog. Until next time…many blessings to all and Peace Out!


For those interested or curious about the supernatural, writers of such books are some of the best people in which to engage a conversation!  If they aren’t reading about it or writing about it they are thinking about it!  At least they are in context of how it applies or factors in to their stories.  To write supernatural thrillers, you have to have a pretty good imagination.  Okay, okay, to write ANYTHING, you have to have a good imagination but when it comes to writing stories that include supernatural elements, you have to let that imagination take you places that might feel uncomfortable.  You have to unleash your creativity, really let it go, and set your logical reasoning aside (you know, the “this is impossible” kind of thoughts).  Writers of such books are also READERS of such books and I don’t think you’ll find a writer in existence (not a really good one anyway!) who isn’t a voracious reader.  Jeff Bennington does it all.  He writes books, he reads books, he maintains a very active, popular blog about those things and he is the founder of The Kindle Book Review which helps authors, especially INDIE authors (individuals who are publishing on their own).  As promised, here is Part II of my interview with the very cool, very imaginative Jeff Bennington!

Questions for Jeff are in Bold print and any comments I made to his answers are in Bold Italics.

You obviously write what you like to read…so what other books have you particularly enjoyed that are similar to your own stories?

Not many actually. I’ve always been a non-fiction reader. Fiction had always come in second place for me until the last few years. I’ve read a little Stephen King, a little Koontz, a couple of Scott Nicholson books. I think those authors have influenced me some, but I haven’t read enough of any of their works to have adopted their styles. I think my writing style has been influenced more by classic authors like Charlotte Bronte and Robert Louis Stevenson. The more I write, the more I desire to get to the heart of the character.

Stephen King had quite an impact on me as well.  His book “The Shining” really got my imagination going.  As for Dean Koontz, I love his Odd Thomas series in which the main character can see ghosts. But the book that really fired up my imagination was “Audrey Rose“.  That story has actually had the biggest impact on my own writing interests.  I think the books that attract and influence writers can tell readers a lot about the kind of stories you are going to get from them.

Can you share a little about how Twisted Vengeance came to be? Is there a sequel in the future? (I’m hoping!)

YES, I’d love to! Twisted Vengeance was the result of one of those WOW moments when I was driving. I remember driving with my wife into town and for no apparent reason the concept just hit me: a creepy kid haunts a cop who’s already struggling with life and as he investigates several unsolved murders, the boy leads him to the killer… but then there’s the TWIST and the MYSTERY, the WHO DUN IT and the WHY OH WHY ending. That hit me all at once and I practically crashed the car! I had to write the story line down… on anything. I think I used a napkin from the glove compartment.

I’m excited to say that there is a sequel. I’m on chapter 5 right now and plugging along nicely. I think Detective Rick Burns has a lot of potential for an extended series. The sequel is going to take Rick out of Indianapolis and bring him into New York City — Hell’s Kitchen to be exact… a place I’ve visited often and plan to revisit this summer/fall.

I’m excited you are writing a sequel to this book!  I am very intrigued with Detective Rick Burns and I can’t wait to see how his gift to see ghosts influences his work and his life!

Your book Reunion was obviously prompted from your curiosity to how victims of a school shooting would respond (with a paranormal twist to make it even more interesting), can you share how this book made you feel once you completed it?  Did you learn anything from the writing of it (exercise any “ghosts” sort of speak)?

How I felt was not what you’d think. My first book was a flop and I thought it was perfect when I published it. But Reunion was a totally different story. I knew my writing had improved significantly, but I was so scared to hit the publish button. I felt like Reunion would either propel my writing career forward or it would crush me, killing my career. I was very worried that readers would think it was offensive, that I wasn’t sensitive enough, or that the reading public was not ready for fiction surrounding a school shooting.

I was wrong. Reunion has sold tens of thousands of copies and was an Amazon bestseller, hitting #55 in Amazon’s Top 100 and #1 in Ghosts, Occult and Suspense categories. The reviews have been phenomenal and I have gained a lot of fans. THANK GOD!

Tell us a little about “Creepy“… are these stories inspired from a desire to “creep out” and scare your readers?  Why do you think people like to read or watch something that scares them?

Creepy is a collection of scary stories. Again, I’m not as much into creeping people out as the title implies. This collection includes my three supernatural experiences in detail and two of my short suspense. I didn’t think this book would go that far either, but it has been in Amazon’s top 20-40 in the ghost/occult categories for several months now. I’m surprised, but not really. The stories are real and a little creepy. But what I’m really excited about is that I am publishing CREEPY II in October 2012. CREEPY II is a collection of true ghost stories that I have been collecting from my fans and many other people from around the United States. And if I’m lucky, I might convince you and/or some of your readers to submit their stories to me as well. If you or anyone reading this would like to submit a real life supernatural experience, please contact me on Twitter @TweetTheBook or by email at jeffbennington@ymail.com.

Well, here ya go all of you folks out there who have had brushes with the supernatural!  Jeff is a willing and eager audience!

Do you believe in supernatural evil? Do you think it can be overcome (is there a defense to it)?

Yes. Evil was a choice from the beginning and I believe that evil persists today in the spirit realm as much as it did from the beginning. Although I do not desire to dabble in the dark side, I am not afraid of it because I trust in the one who created all things, and He has ultimate power over evil and my soul, so I’m not worried about supernatural evil effecting my eternal position. However, because we live in a broken world, where sin and death are part of our reality, I know that I have to keep my guard up and be careful to not give evil a foothold … that’s why I’d rather stay away from the line instead of walking on it.

Have you ever been on a ghost hunt?

I have not. But I’ve been invited by an online ghost-hunting program to be a guest.

Any future projects in the works? Can you share anything with us concerning them?

I plan to publish Twisted Vengeance II, CREEPY II by October 2012, and then I’d like to continue working on the two non-fiction books I want to write before I die … Spiritually Self-Medicating and Jesus was an Alien.

You are an Indie writer, what have you liked best about being the master of your own publications?

Everything. Sounds like a great topic for my blog, The Writing Bomb.

Do you believe other writers who have yet to make the plunge, should give Indie publishing (going it on their own) a try?  You’ve written a book to help Indie authors (The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe) on their publication journey, do you truly believe it’s worth all the effort that’s involved to self-publish or do you think it’s more for certain writers?  (a particular genre for instance)

I think Indie publishing is the best way to start your writing career no matter who you are. You’ll discover many things about yourself, your talent, your business savvy, your marketing abilities and you will test your time management skills. Then if you can succeed at this level, I think you can probably do anything, including attract the attention of national book store chains, agents and publishers. I know that’s possible because it’s happening to Indie authors already. Think of Indie publishing as the new minor leagues; some authors rise to the big leagues, some start their own team, some experience mid-level success and some get the first ticket home after publishing their first book.

Do you believe in Karma?  How can you apply that belief to your writing and publishing goals?

I believe you get what you give. Like I said earlier, my writing goals revolve around a greater purpose for me. It’s not the other way around. I feel like I was fortunate enough to discover my purpose and I don’t have any plans to abandon my post. The Indie Author’s Guide to the Universe is the result of my desire to help other authors figure this business out … right along side of me. My writing is my way of connecting with people, touching nerves, impacting thoughts, and maybe changing the way people perceive themselves and the world around them. That’s a tall order, but the last thing I want from life is to die with regrets, walking through the gray matter haunted by a wasted life.

Will you ever write anything (besides publication and writing tips!) that is in a genre other than thriller/suspense?

Yes. I already eluded to the non-fiction titles that are in the works. But I also want to write a couple literary fiction titles. One that is dear to my heart is a book called Henry Brooks and another called Martin and Me.

What sort of readers would like your books?  Who do you write for?  Why should they buy your books particularly?

The readers that love my fiction are looking for more than just a rush. They want to read stories that get to the heart of humanity and our struggles, but they don’t want to be bored either. I write for me and my family and for the God who gifted me, but I also write for readers who want to read a book sprinkled with lots of salt and hot peppers.

This concludes my interview with Jeff.  I can’t thank him enough for agreeing to “chat” with me.  I know he’s a busy man and his taking the time to answer all my questions was very generous of him.  Links to all his books can be found in Part One of this interview.  I think authors will find his blog “The Writing Bomb” a helpful and informative one that they’ll want to visit often!  His blog “The Kindle Book Review” will interest authors and readers alike!  I know he’s running a very cool contest right now for Indie authors so if you fall into this category, I highly encourage you to check it out!

Until next time … Many blessings to you and Peace out!!


Cover of "Brother Odd (Odd Thomas Novels)...

Cover of Brother Odd (Odd Thomas Novels)

I love books involving supernatural elements and paranormal activity.  Dean Koontz delivers those elements in all of his books…he’s a master of the macabre after all.  The thing is, for all my fascination with the paranormal, I’m really not into spine-crawling, OMG, hands to the eyes, heart pounding fear that most horror works initiate.  There’s usually just too much evil involved for me to enjoy it.  Honestly, I find horror way too horrifying.  Yeah, I know, that’s so cliche a statement but there it is.  That’s how I feel.  Thankfully (for horror writers and movie makers), there are a ton of other people who don’t share my sentiment.

I do, however, like spooky, scary stuff.  For me…unseen entities up to who knows what or when is more spine-chillingly captivating than evil gore, blood, guts, and over-the-top horror.  For make no mistake, almost anything in the horror genre includes death and blood.  Usually lots of both.  I’m not so much into blood.  As for death…I prefer dealing with those who are already dead rather than watching the gruesome process people often go through (especially in horror novels!) to enter that state.

Yeah, I’m a ghost/spirit fanatic.  Angels fascinate me too.  Spirit activity never fails to captivate my attention and curiosity.  I’m all agog about the idea of dead people interacting with our world.  And I’m most curious as to what takes place in the afterlife.  After all…each and every one of us will enter it someday.  No exceptions!  It’s perfectly understandable that I’d like to understand my ultimate destination.  It’s also quite understandable that, as a writer, I would enjoy writing books involving those interests.  And, of course, I love reading other people’s books involving them too!

One book series I’ve come to enjoy is Dean Koontz’ Odd Thomas series.  Koontz is a great writer.  He really is.  I respect and admire his skillful handling of the writing craft.  But, that doesn’t mean I like ALL of his books.  Some of them are a little too out of the ballpark for me.  Either that or the subject matter just doesn’t interest me.  The same goes for Stephen King.  He’s another master of the macabre and one of my favorites.  Even so, I don’t particularly care for ALL of his books either.  But you know, that’s okay.  A great writer often appeals to a broad audience.  Those guys have my attention with certain books and other people’s attention with other books.  That is a true master story teller…one who can appeal to a broad spectrum of personal story taste!

The character Koontz has created, Odd Thomas, is an interesting one.  He can see dead people.  He can’t hear them though.  Bummer on that one…it would make things so much easier if the ghosts who appear to him could say, “That guy you just passed? Yeah, he’s about to destroy the town.”  A quick 911 call, a police raid and the story is over.  Town elimination averted.  And what a conundrum that would be, for we now have no story!  Thomas has another interesting ability…if he just goes with the flow, wherever the moment takes him, he is led right to where he needs to be to garnish clues involving the disaster about to unfold.  Like it or not, Odd is tossed into the role of amateur private investigator, despite the fact that he regards himself as nothing more or less than a short-order cook.

Odd has, however, taken on other odd (pun intended) jobs since the first book “Odd Thomas“.  Although he was quite content to be the short-order cook for the Pico Mundo Grill, things didn’t go well for him in that first book.  He suffered a loss that sets him on a course that leads to lives-depend-on-it adventures in  “Odd Hours“, “Forever Odd” and “Brother Odd” (new book “Odd Apocalypse” due out in July!).   Odd is at once, from the very first introduction, a likable guy.  He’s very respectful, neat, polite, caring … and he has the support of Pico Mundo’s police chief to boot!  A good thing since he’s pulled into future tragic disasters in the making!

Poor Odd doesn’t quite know what to think of his gift, he even wonders if maybe he’s cursed.  Some people might see it that way…having dead people show up at all hours seeking help or hoping to offer it.  Regardless how Odd feels about spirits seeking him out, he does his best to help them.  What’s really cool about the Odd books is that all the action takes place within a couple days at most!  And man, are those hours filled with suspense, drama, mystery and thrill-building excitement.

I think one of the things I found particularly amusing about these books is Odd’s sidekick ghost.  Who isn’t going to like a guy who has attracted the King of Rock and Roll himself?  Yes, Elvis Presley puts in a regular appearance, at least for a time.  So, guess that solves that little mystery…yes, folks, Elvis Presley really is dead (a moment here of respectful silence).  Sadly, the beloved King does eventually move on…to where, who knows, and although I miss him, other spirits come along that are interesting enough to fill the void.

What Koontz has done is create an endearing character with some very interesting supernatural abilities.  This intriguing character, who is as odd as his name, befriends an assortment of supportive characters and the catastrophe’s Odd must somehow prevent from happening (hopefully!) keeps us enthralled until the nail-biting end.  As soon as I finish a book, I’m on line looking for when the next one will be out.  It’s a bummer to have to wait until July…I’ve been waiting a long time already, but I will.  I’m that devoted.  And that’s the kind of following I hope to have someday!  I hope people will like my stories and characters enough that they can’t wait for more, no matter how long the wait!

I’m hoping my Tess Schafer character (introduced in “Be Still, My Love“) will be one of those endearing characters people will look forward to following in future books.  Tess is a medium, she speaks to the dead, she regularly communicates with her spirit guide Sheila and she channels stories that give clues to the mystery she’s trying to solve (involving a restless spirit … or two…of course!).  I’m really liking the second book in the “Tess Scafer – Medium” series because she’s becoming more and more a real person to me and I’m learning things about her as I go that make me vastly intrigued with each word.  I never thought I’d be writing paranormal mystery novels.  I’ve always been a big-time romance fanatic (still am!) but that seems to be the way I’m going.  Besides, who is to say this young 25 year old widow won’t find love again?  After all, Kade Sinclair – a Marine whose career ended with injuries he sustained while on tour in Afghanistan – is definitely in the picture.  The two make an unlikely pairing and who knows where it will lead…if it leads to anything.  But I’m sure going to enjoy the evolution of their story as it filters through my brain onto the keyboard!

So, if you are a fan of the supernatural, if you like paranormal elements in a book’s story, you should give the Odd Thomas books a try.  If you have already…do you agree with my assessment?  Aren’t they great books?

Until next time, my friends, blessings and Peace Out!!

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