Bio: I'm the author of the New York Times bestselling Dexter novels, which debuted in 2004 with Darkly Dreaming Dexter. These books are the basis of the hit Showtime and CBS series, Dexter. The latest book in the series, Dexter's Final Cut, came out last week.

I'll start answering questions at 1pm today (9/25).

EDIT 1:10pm: Technical difficulties... please stand by.

EDIT 2:22pm: That's all for now. Thanks everyone! The new Dexter book is here: http://dexter-books.com/

Proof, with picture: https://twitter.com/dexterjeff/status/382898734150860801

Comments: 538 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

EESkimo607 karma

Did you approve Showtime's finale of Dexter?

Jeff_Lindsay1326 karma

no.

The_Fig170 karma

Why and where did you come up with the idea for Dexter?

Jeff_Lindsay662 karma

watching a group of businessmen eat lunch. it occurred to me that serial murder wasn't always a bad thing....

Jeff_Lindsay140 karma

yikes. Took me 40 minutes to log on -- and 3 computers. isnt technology great? anyway, I am here! and ready to answer questions. banzai!

drowningfish136 karma

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.

Jeff_Lindsay471 karma

a) didn't want to b) neither did they c) I cost too much -- without me, they could hire TWO caterers!

whocanIbe119 karma

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?

Jeff_Lindsay285 karma

Michael Hall is terrific. i personally don't take any TV show over a book -- except maybe NFL....

twotonedtriplet109 karma

Are you happy with the shows take on your character? Storylines and character changes?

Jeff_Lindsay190 karma

sometimes i like what they do, sometimes i don't. wha ya gonna do? it's TV. very diferent beast, lots of different writers and show runners.

gcta33396 karma

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?

Jeff_Lindsay167 karma

he was always likeable. so man of them are...

AhhBisto91 karma

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.

Jeff_Lindsay230 karma

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.

Slevo87 karma

What did you think of the final episode?

Jeff_Lindsay145 karma

Haven't seen it yet

Sagittariidae80 karma

Were you first approached by the film industry before a tv station like George RR Martin?

Jeff_Lindsay102 karma

yes

lightsbane72 karma

[deleted]

Jeff_Lindsay134 karma

"unfair" is nicest word i've heard about finale so far... IN DARK was an experiment. I moved on.

Jeff_Lindsay66 karma

i think that's it... follow me on Twitter at #dexterjeff and don't forget to buy many copies of DEXTER'S FINAL CUT! Available in fine bookstores everywhere -- and even in some really crappy bookstores somewhere! Cheers!

happysrooner61 karma

Which was one aspect of the show that was the closest to how you envisioned in Darkly Dreaming Dexter?

Jeff_Lindsay124 karma

well, it wasn't the Cuban accents. I got beat up for that.... Hmmm.... Maybe Harry, per James Remar?

Redzdaz53 karma

Did you base Dexter on some known serial killer?

Jeff_Lindsay62 karma

nope

Volcanobis48 karma

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.

Jeff_Lindsay89 karma

approve, disapprove.... Feh. It's not up to me. I left Hollywood a long time ago and dont wanna get yanked back in.

86it35 karma

The last season was an embarrassment, IMO. The acting and plot were awful.

Jeff_Lindsay63 karma

Que sera.

dirtmound45 karma

Did Marvel Comics give you any restrictions on the Dexter comic book series, or were you free to do anything and everything you wanted?

Jeff_Lindsay109 karma

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.

rebelphoenix8345 karma

Was there a particular person you pictured in your head when you wrote Dexter? As far as looks and personality goes?

Jeff_Lindsay139 karma

Of COurse! like everybody else in the world, i pictured Johnny Depp! (of course, that was Pre- Tonto)

DoohickeyJones44 karma

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?

Jeff_Lindsay93 karma

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.

16tmorgan37 karma

Can I get a shout out to my mom, Debbie Morgan? :D

Jeff_Lindsay86 karma

hi mom.

OL8835 karma

No questions, just wanted to say hi and looking forward to reading your newest novel

Jeff_Lindsay172 karma

fine -- no answer

Andrea197331 karma

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?

Jeff_Lindsay111 karma

i think its overdone -- sociopaths cannot grow a soul.

goodguy2631 karma

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?

Jeff_Lindsay64 karma

I was "consulted." on the whole, i approve of the casting.

ME2460124 karma

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?

Jeff_Lindsay51 karma

characters just Different on TV... I was very disappointed that my character (season 3, episode 10) didn't get a spin-off ....

6epp23 karma

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.

Jeff_Lindsay29 karma

Thinking of a Lyly Lovett song...? "God will, but I wont't..." don't get vindictive -- just dig in to the books. i havent had any input on the show since season 2

jumpen21 karma

Is there a body in that body bag behind you?

Jeff_Lindsay47 karma

you mean only one? ha.....

jcaezar20 karma

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. :)

Jeff_Lindsay98 karma

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?

Brett_Favre_418 karma

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.)

Jeff_Lindsay99 karma

if you mean favorite character on the show that i didn't create.... i loved Lithgow.

tquiz14 karma

Who is your favorite contemporary novelist? Who is your favorite musical artist?

Jeff_Lindsay30 karma

favorite novelist is Patrick O'Brian. Music...? I listen to almost everything. you'd have to pick a genre.

86it12 karma

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".

Thanks for the AMA and great reads!

Jeff_Lindsay41 karma

inspired the Passenger? I dunno... A little voice in my head whispered it to me, i guess...

Renegade_Meister11 karma

If just one of your other books could be adapted for television, what would it be and why?

Jeff_Lindsay31 karma

FINAL CUT. I like it a lot, and it's very dramatic. maybe i feel that way because it's new, but....

karan_bigbass11 karma

If you could have written the entire eight season, how would you have chosen to end it?

Jeff_Lindsay84 karma

A meteor hits Miami

queenieweenie11 karma

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!

Jeff_Lindsay26 karma

Dexter is a very funny guy in the books. inspiration answered above

agvkrioni11 karma

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?

Jeff_Lindsay37 karma

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.

Darth_Diclonius6 karma

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.

Jeff_Lindsay15 karma

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...

marqattack6 karma

Why did you decide to retcon Dexter's dark passenger?

Jeff_Lindsay19 karma

dont know what "retcon" means....

ienjoymen5 karma

Are you happy with the finale?

Jeff_Lindsay19 karma

havent seen it

Baby_Cum_Angels4 karma

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.

Jeff_Lindsay11 karma

naturally, season 1 was the best. don't know how many more books there are. stay tuned

pinballwizardsg3 karma

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?

Jeff_Lindsay7 karma

nt involved. Always something different, and most "different" doesn't fit.

oreo_for_president2 karma

Do you regret that Doctor Danco didn't appear in the show?

Jeff_Lindsay1 karma

Naw. who'd play him?

leatherf7ce2 karma

I love your Books! My favorite aspect to the Dexter series was the Dark Passenger. Any more ideas springing from that area? I am always enthralled by those passages and the television shows voice overs just didnt suffice to me. Your words have meant much and I just wanted to use this oppurtunity to say thanks! Cant wait to read whats coming next! (Also- loving the Marvel book!!) Be well!

Jeff_Lindsay7 karma

thqnks! uh -- what was the questions...?

[deleted]2 karma

[deleted]

Jeff_Lindsay13 karma

keep smiling -- it confuses people....

Daysian2 karma

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?

Jeff_Lindsay9 karma

there's lots i would have done differently. in fact, i kind of did, in the books. i didnt hate it at all.

laurenheck2 karma

If you could write future episodes featuring Dexter's life (post finale), what direction would you have the storyline take?

Jeff_Lindsay35 karma

gives up lumberjack. sells insurance in Van Nuys.

karen682 karma

I love the books & the show... adore Michael C Hall, but was not happy with last episode. what were thoughts on the ending?

Jeff_Lindsay6 karma

havent seen it

MikeSorrentino1 karma

I grew up in Southwest Florida and found it pretty miserable. What's your favorite place in the area?

Jeff_Lindsay21 karma

Trader Joe's in Naples.

xzamin1 karma

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?

Jeff_Lindsay6 karma

not to my knowledge

Atlare1 karma

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?

Jeff_Lindsay7 karma

i LOVE Oz. will come back in a heartbeat -- the minute somebody sends me a ticket.

Addyct1 karma

If you didn't approve of the finale, would you tell us?

Jeff_Lindsay3 karma

sure. i havent seen it.

Man_Of_Action1 karma

My Favorite character not named Dexter show or books is Dr. Danco. What was the inspiration for his story and twisted game ?

Jeff_Lindsay2 karma

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. wouldnt let me use "Dr. Ronco."