Yesterday, Dexter‘s author Jeff Lindsay answered a couple of questions on Reddit, regarding the Showtime series and his novels. Check out part of the interview below.
Did you approve Showtime’s finale of Dexter? – EESkimo
Are you happy with the shows take on your character? Storylines and character changes? – twotonedtriplet
Sometimes I like what they do, sometimes I don’t. Wha ya gonna do? It’s TV. Very different beast, lots of different writers and show runners.
Where did you get the idea for a likable serial killer in the first place? Or was Dexter ever supposed to be a likeable guy? – gcta333
He was always likeable. so man of them are…
What is your favourite thing about the Dexter TV show and what is the one thing that hasn’t worked? I love the show and your books, you’re an awesome writer, but I feel like the show missed out on some great stuff by not following your story to some extent. – AhhBisto
Michael Hall is great. For the show itself, they never got the sense of humor that’s so important in the books — it’s one big thing that makes them different.
Why and where did you come up with the idea for Dexter? – The_Fig
Watching a group of businessmen eat lunch. It occurred to me that serial murder wasn’t always a bad thing….
Were you first approached by the film industry before a tv station like George RR Martin? – Sagittariidae
You worked as a Consultant on the 1st Season of Dexter. I’m curious as to why you did not continue consulting for the show. – drowningfish
a) didn’t want to b) neither did they c) I cost too much — without me, they could hire TWO caterers!
Do you feel like TV show Dexter lives up to the book’s Dexter? Michael C. Hall doing it the way you envisioned? Anything that bothers you on the TV show plot? – whocanIbe
Michael Hall is terrific. i personally don’t take any TV show over a book — except maybe NFL….
Which was one aspect of the show that was the closest to how you envisioned in “Darkly Dreaming Dexter”? – happysrooner
Well, it wasn’t the Cuban accents. I got beat up for that…. Hmmm…. Maybe Harry, per James Remar?
Did you approve of the show taking your series in such a different direction? Personally I loved your books and the TV show seemed very….lacking in comparison. – Volcanobis
Approve, disapprove…. Feh. It’s not up to me. I left Hollywood a long time ago and dont wanna get yanked back in.
The last season was an embarrassment, IMO. The acting and plot were awful. – 86it
Did you base Dexter on some known serial killer? – Redzdaz
Was there a particular person you pictured in your head when you wrote Dexter? As far as looks and personality goes? – rebelphoenix83
Of course! Like everybody else in the world, I pictured Johnny Depp! (of course, that was Pre- Tonto)
What did you think of the final episode? – Slevo
Haven’t seen it yet.
Did Marvel Comics give you any restrictions on the Dexter comic book series, or were you free to do anything and everything you wanted? – dirtmound
I LOVE working with Marvel — as much as I loved reading them! (and still do, but that’s a secret). No restrictions, total support, really good, smart, fun people. BTW — we’ve just agreed to do a Second series with Marvel. No dates on that yet.
Mr. Lindsay, I love the books, they’re a beacon of hope after the darkness of the finale. But what exactly was up with the Dexter in the Dark? It’s so radically different than the others. Would you be willing to give us a true finale in your books someday? Please? The TV series ending was just…unfair, to be honest. – lightsbane
“Unfair” is nicest word I’ve heard about finale so far… IN DARK was an experiment. I moved on.
How much of a role did you have in the development in the show? Also, what did you think of the casting choices; did they live up to the characters you envisioned? – goodguy26
I was “consulted.” On the whole, i approve of the casting.
Seeing as the shows are so different compared to your novels, is there a character that you think was better suited to the television series? Or any character that you were disappointed in how the show used them? – ME24601
Characters just Different on TV… I was very disappointed that my character (season 3, episode 10) didn’t get a spin-off ….
Did the possibility that Dexter’s character would ‘inspire’ a real-life “serial-killer-killer” cross your mind? If yes, did it affect your writing? PS: Great fan of the series! Book and TV alike. Can’t wait to read Final Cut when it arrives on the local book stores. 🙂 – jcaezar
Serial killers can’t be “inspired.” They are born that way. They may choose a method of expression, but they either got it or don’t. How many people saw or read Harry Potter? How many of them got magical powers?
If just one of your other books could be adapted for television, what would it be and why? – Renegade_Meister
FINAL CUT. I like it a lot, and it’s very dramatic. Maybe I feel that way because it’s new, but….
Who is your favorite contemporary novelist? Who is your favorite musical artist? – tquiz
Favorite novelist is Patrick O’Brian. Music…? I listen to almost everything. You’d have to pick a genre.
Loved the first and second book, but honestly, you lost me on the third. I didn’t even know there were more books after, because the third book left me with such a bad taste, I quit paying attention. So…should I revisit the books and see what happened after? And why did you feel the need to bring a supernatural element to it? – DoohickeyJones
Of course you should go buy the other books. Now, because you waited, and lost faith, you must buy multiple copies. The third was an experiment. Editor wanted a bigger book, with shifting perspective and stuff. I was never comfy with it — we went right back to Me being Me.
I absolutely love your novels. The first one was a gift and I’d gobbled up the second before I ever watched the show. I loved the way they made an alternate storyline but stayed true to the major plot points from the novels [Edit: But the entire last season was pretty awful, sorry they did that to your story]. I’m curious what inspired the “dark passenger”. – 86it
Inspired the Passenger? I dunno… A little voice in my head whispered it to me, I guess…
At the end of the TV show Dexter is almost human but I think they went to far in giving him emotions, realising there is no ”dark passenger” and even feeling guilt. In the books he is a much darker person and more a true serial-killer even tough there is some progress there as well regarding his feelings. Have they overdone the human part or do you agree with the writers on the show? – Andrea1973
I think its overdone — sociopaths cannot grow a soul.
Hi Jeff, I’ve only just started watching Dexter, and once I’ve finished I look forward to reading the books! What is the main difference between the two that you like the least?And also what was your inspiration for the series/the character of Dexter? Thanks in advance! – queenieweenie
Dexter is a very funny guy in the books. inspiration answered above.
Hi Jeff! I was totally unaware until seeing this AMA that Dexter was based on a series of novels! If the general rule stands, and the books are better than the show – I don’t know how they could not be… – then I will definitely have to check them out! As for my question, on the show, Deb ends up telling Dexter that she ‘love, loves’ him. Whatever happened to that? Did you have any input on the show? If you didn’t I apologize, and hope that god forgives them for fucking butchering the shit out of it. – 6epp
Thinking of a Lyle Lovett song…? “God will, but I wont’t…” don’t get vindictive — just dig in to the books. I haven’t had any input on the show since season 2.
Did you always intend for Dexter’s character to shift so dramatically after having a family? What do you say for us readers who can’t quite relate to that bit yet, being single and or childless? – agvkrioni
The books actually do the relating for you! Dex is all about faking the family ties, because he doesn’t feel them — or anything else.
I had no idea there were books and am now very excited to read them! One simple question: Who was your favorite character on Dexter and why? (Personally mine was Rita. She was so sweet and innocent surrounded by a world of darkness.) – Brett_Favre_4
If you mean favorite character on the show that I didn’t create…. I loved Lithgow.
The beginning to the 4th novel, when Rita and Dex are at the mutilation art exhibit on their honeymoon. Something about that scene made me get a bit light headed from he sheer visual impact I imagined. Admittedly I haven’t finished the next 3 novels, so maybe there are more shocking scenes, but I found this one most troubling. Anyway, my question is what inspires the creation of such scenarios? This avant-garde isn’t the first piece of macabre “art” throughout the series; all the books depict some unique or disturbing presentation of the main antagonist’s victims. How do you create these murderers and their motivation?
And if I may ask one last question: If Dexter was a real person, and you discovered his secret would you turn him in or do you view his motivations as just? After all, we, as readers and supporters of Dex, are rooting for a psychopathic serial killer. – Darth_Diclonius
I don’t know where that stuff comes from. In Oz they just tell me, “sick bastard, eh mate?” I would not turn in a real Dexter. Not the kind of thing that makes them look favorably on your continued existence…
If you could have written the entire eighth season, how would you have chosen to end it? – karan_bigbass
A meteor hits Miami.
How involved are you in the writing of the tv show? Were there certain parts in the show that, as the creator, you felt weren’t fitting? – pinballwizardsg
Not involved. Always something different, and most “different” doesn’t fit.
Are you happy with the finale? – ienjoymen
Haven’t seen it.
If you could write future episodes featuring Dexter’s life (post finale), what direction would you have the storyline take? – laurenheck
Gives up lumberjack. Sells insurance in Van Nuys.
I grew up in Southwest Florida and found it pretty miserable. What’s your favorite place in the area? – MikeSorrentino
Trader Joe’s in Naples.
I feel like you are gonna get a lot of questions about the series finale, so…If you were to rate each season from 1 – 10 how would you rate them? And how many more Dexter books do you think you will write before blowing Showtimes finale out of the water with a real ending. – Baby_Cum_Angels
Naturally, season 1 was the best. Don’t know how many more books there are. Stay tuned.
No question; just wanted to say that I really love your books (waiting to pick up Final Cut!) – nothing makes me laugh out loud like Dexter’s snarky comments do. – ryadasu
Hi Jeff, when you last came to Canberra Australia (in around 2010-2011) my family and I was kind enough to meet you. Would just like to say thanks for being so nice and patient with everyone talking to you despite tons of people being at the event. Any chance at coming back Australia? – Atlare
I LOVE Oz. Will come back in a heartbeat — the minute somebody sends me a ticket.
Huge Fan of the Showtime series. Season 1, 2 and 4 are some of he best seasons to any show EVER!! I know a lot of writers hate the adaptations of their work, Stephen King especially, where you happy with how the show turned out overall? Did the finale meet your expectations? Is there anything you would have changed? – Daysian
There’s lots I would have done differently. In fact, I kind of did, in the books. I didn’t hate it at all.
My Favorite character not named Dexter show or books is Dr. Danco. What was the inspiration for his story and twisted game? – Man_Of_Action
I have been told that people like that actually existed in the cold war. Probably all re-employed by now, middle east? Africa? New Jersey? The name came because Legal Dept. Wouldn’t let me use “Dr. Ronco.”
Do you regret that Doctor Danco didn’t appear in the show? – oreo_for_president
Naw. Who’d play him?
I’ve read the Dexter novels and I’m wanting to know, did you agree with how Showtime portrayed Dexter? In the books he seemed to be more dark and brutal, but in the show he was a bit “lighter” than that. – AsajjVentress
Sociopaths don’t change. Can’t happen — they can’t start suddenly feeling empathy and stuff.
How much of the show do you like? – IncidentOn57thStreet
Some of it!
Thank you so much for Dexter, it really has been an amazing series.Question is, any chance you are going to be doing anything similar with any of the cast from Dexter any time soon? – xzamin
Not to my knowledge.
If you didn’t approve of the finale, would you tell us? – Addyct
Sure. I haven’t seen it.
Hey Jeff, first of all thanks for the AMA! I didn’t knew you were on twitter too lol so now expect lot of tweets too 😛 😀 I have a few questions if you be kind to answer: -After Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the show went on it’s own direction standing on it’s own, how did you feel about it? Were you consulted on it or you felt that was for good/bad? Could they have made good for the show, what do you have to say?
-Do you have a plan how more you are going to write? Or are you going with the flow? I’m a big fan of your works, I started reading your books after watching the first few seasons since the show aired, though not updated off lately (yet to read Double Dexter and now Dexter’s Final Cut)
-There is a new comic book series published by Marvel based on (the book version) Dexter, how much involved were you in it? Speaking of which, will you ever make a graphic novel of Dexter? (that would be totally awesome)
-I remember reading long back that initially you didn’t approve of Michael C. Hall, but after his performance he practically blew everyone away. But this made me think, if not him who would have you chosen for the now iconic role?
-Pretty much everyone is going to ask you about your opinion on the finale, so let me put it differently – how would you have ended the show (if you had your say or so) And does it serve justice to the character and story? (Personally while the final season wasn’t much up to the mark, I quite liked it, it was well done, though could have been better)
Thank you for taking your time for this. I hope you reply, and I stay awake by then to see (and ask more) 😛 Big fan from India. – adityadragoniyer
Take a deep breath, maybe sit down, get some water….? I was only consulted in beginning. don’t know if/how many more Dex books. Stay tuned. Gee I heard about the Marvel thing. In fact I WROTE IT!! HELLO, McFLY?!?! I wanted Johnny Depp at first. Duh. Not thinking about endings…. India! Did you see my piece in VOGUE India that hasn’t come out yet?
How much of a say do you have in the shows storyline? How much of a say did you specifically have in season 8? Anything that you are unsatisfied with? – subpubescenthair
No say at all. unsatisfied with fresh fruit — it’s lost all flavor lately…
Hey Jeff, awesome book series. One thing I was curious about, especially with the adaptation into the Showtime series, do you think the show was made any better or worse by not incorporating some of the more “mythical” aspects of Dexter’s story (ie the dark passenger and it’s history of being an actual entity)? I enjoy both the books and the movie, but after the first book/season, they feel so different that to me they were different stories. – badfan
I don’t know how TV could have done that stuff without turning into a totally different show…
Do you think they captured your Dexter good in the series? In the first seasons he is ice cold, but later on he becomes more of a family man and his dark side isn’t as interesting as it previously were. – wursttenmuss
I wouldn’t have done it. Sociopaths can’t change.
I haven’t read the newest Dexter book, but are there going to be more to follow or was this planned for both series to end at the same time? – icedteabottle
Naw, I’m not that organized. Don’t know how many if any more books stay tuned will definitely announce it on Twitter — follow me at @dexterjeff
How many books are you planning to have in your series? What is your view on Dexter? Is he a good person doing evil things? Or an evil person doing good things? Thanks for the AMA! – DexterousSlunk
Don’t know how many books he is an evil person doing evil things for (someone else’s) good reasons.
Mr Lindsay, as a fan of the darkly, demented, deadly Dexter. I just wanted to thank you for these fantastic novels. I consume them with vigor (much like Dexter and his Cuban sandwiches). Just wanted to tell you that. My only question has been asked here already…Was book three an experiment in format? And are you saddened that it wasn’t as well received by the fans. – Pecanflower
Not saddened, everybody gets an opinion/ I’ve moved on, and hope readers have too.