It might seem strange for me to write about these two literary giants and fatherhood, especially when one isn’t even a father in the traditional sense. Not to me, since these two authors taught me about what it truly means to be a father.
I first discovered Koontz and King in high school, at least by reputation. I knew the kinds of books they wrote by watching and listening to other readers. To my adolescent brain, it all sounded like magic, monsters and mayhem, my nightmares manifested on the page.
Scary stuff, I thought. Maybe for me, maybe not.
The way my friends and family spoke about their stories needled my subconscious. I found myself unable to stop thinking about how those stories seemed to invoke fear and wonder and hope.
Strangely enough, I hated to read back then. Loathed it, actually.
Yet, slowly, those stories reeled me in, captured my imagination and, before I knew what had happened, I was completely hooked.
What does this have to do with fatherhood? To me: everything. Although I’ve always had an active imagination, it wasn’t until my daughter was born in 2006 that I truly understood the power of it.
Koontz and King showed me the way, provided the path, but it was my daughter who led me down it. In her bright eyes and around her bubbly personality, I found an even deeper reservoir of creativity, wonder and hope.
Novels explore and amplify anticipation and fear, but also hope and families and love. At their root, they speak of redemption, making choices and taking responsibility. They are about finding yourself and personal transformation. They are, in the end, stories about us.
When my daughter grabs my hand, embraces me in a hug or plants a kid-sized wet kiss on my check, I am reminded to be strong and loving and protective, to choose right over wrong, goodness over evil and find true pleasure in being simply her dad.
So, I celebrate these stories as I celebrate fatherhood, motherhood, parenthood and personhood. As inspiring as fictional characters can be, I am more inspired by the real life fathers and mothers who make their children a priority.
If you, too, believe in the magic of imagination and storytelling, I invite you to check out my novel, Dark Halo. It is free to download from Amazon.com Sept 3rd – 5th. Enjoy!
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