Now I know how Bryan Smith felt.
When Bryan Smith published his first horror novel, House of Blood, many people were convinced that he was really just a pseudonym for Stephen King. One London-based newspaper even ran an editorial speculating as much.
One of my publishers says there’s a new rumor going around. According to the rumor, ‘Brian Keene’ is a pseudonym for Dean Koontz. Apparently, because we both come from Central Pennsylvania, we are one and the same.
Well, hell. If we apply this logic, then Stephen King can’t be Bryan Smith, because he is actually Rick Hautala (they both come from Maine). Nick Mamatas must be Harlan Ellison, because neither of them suffer fools gladly. It also means that Joe R. Lansdale and Bev Vincent are one and the same (they come from Texas) and Tim Lebbon is really Simon Clark (both are Welsh, talk funny and have very little hair on top of their heads. Or maybe Simon isn’t Welsh. Who know? They all talk funny over there. They say, “Cheers” but it sounds like “Chairs.” “Logger” means “Lager”). Brian Hodge plus Tom Piccirilli equals Barry Hoffman (all from Colorado). And… ready for this? Jeff Strand. Jeff Vandermeer. Same first name. Both of them reside in Florida. Obviously, they are the same person.
I am not Dean Koontz. I did, in fact, take his dog, Trixie, for a walk once. Coop was with me. We tried to pick up girls with the dog.
Us: “Hey, you know who we got here? Dean Koontz’s dog.”
California Girl: “Who?”
Us: “Dean Koontz! Twilight Eyes? Strangers? Motherfucking Watchers?”
California Girl: “Are those movies or bands?”
Us: “Neither. They’re books.”
California Girl: “Oh, I don’t read books. Nobody does anymore.”
Us: “Well, then get the hell out of here with your illiterate self.”
Needless to say, our efforts were less than successful. In the end, we returned Trixie to the Laymon household. End of story.
But I am not Dean Koontz. If I was Dean Koontz, then that means that I would have written Star Quest (published in 1968) at the age of one.
So stop being silly.
Note #1: I’m kidding about the Welsh, of course. I love the Welsh. One of my best friends is Welsh. And they gave us Arthur Machen, for which we should all be grateful.
Note #2: Let’s not have a bunch of comments from Dean Koontz detractors, either. Yes, I know it’s a popular pastime to slag his books, but I happen to enjoy them, as does my wife, and he’s been very supportive to several friends of mine. So if you want to do that, do it elsewhere.