Dean Koontz: ‘Life is one long suspense novel’

The author, 75, on escaping into books, becoming politicised as a teacher, and not knowing what will happen tomorrow

My first memory is of my mother having serious surgery. I would be about three or four at the time, and because my father was an alcoholic with many problems, including violence, I was sent to stay with a friend of my mother’s while she recovered. Our home was a chaotic house, but here things were totally different. Every night, when she put me to bed, she gave me a cherry ice-cream soda and read me a story. There were no books or storytelling in our house.

I associate books with stability and peace – all the right things in life

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