ODDKINS: A Fable for All Ages by Dean Koontz

Over twenty-five years ago, when I worked at Warner Books, I was the lucky recipient of a manuscript box from Dean Koontz’s literary agent. In those pre-digital days, manuscripts were sent in glossy boxes, which gave them a gift-like quality–although of course, not all manuscripts were gifts, as most editors know.

But in this case the book was ODDKINS: A Fable for All Ages, which was Dean’s first book for young readers, and was in fact a gift—one of the most charming and captivating books that had ever crossed my desk.

Nonetheless, ODDKINS was an unlikely submission for me. I had come to Warner Books to run their paperback business, and was widely known as an editor of thrillers and men’s adventure, having just arrived as the editor who acquired The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy for the Berkley Publishing Group. Despite the bestselling credentials of Dean Koontz, how was I going to present a book to my new Warner colleagues about the adventures of a group of magical toys, the Oddkins?

But as it turned out, Dean had written a book that was for him a labor of love, and I knew it would resonate for readers.

In essence, ODDKINS is the story of a group of good toys that come magically to life, having been created to help and give comfort to children who are going through difficult times—but who must now defend themselves against the bad toys who have come up from the basement to destroy them. Yes, this was essentially a book for kids, but for me it was also a page-turner for adults who are kids at heart.

We decided to publish ODDKINS, it sold very well, and long after I left Warner the rights had reverted to the author, and it lay dormant as an out-of-print used book, though to this day it’s an Amazon crowd-pleaser, with nearly 50 five-star reviews.

That’s when I decided to approach Dean about bringing the book back as an ebook. He agreed, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

Judging now by how beautiful this lavishly illustrated ebook edition of ODDKINS looks as it finds its way, in a new format, to a new generation of readers–young and old–we hope the rest will be history (repeated).

And so far, so good. As I write this, Oddkins is the #1 Bestseller in Children’s Activity and Toy Books on Amazon.

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