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Dean Koontz

Dean KoontzDean Koontz was born and raised in Pennsylvania. When he was a senior in college, he won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition and has been writing ever since.

Koontz graduated from Shippensburg State College (now Shippensburg University), and his first job after graduation was with the Appalachian Poverty Program, where he was expected to counsel and tutor underprivileged children on a one-to-one basis. His first day on the job, he discovered that the previous occupier of his position had been beaten up by the very kids he had been trying to help and had landed in the hospital for several weeks. The following year was filled with challenge but also tension, and Koontz was more highly motivated than ever to build a career as a writer. He wrote nights and weekends, which he continued to do after leaving the poverty program and going to work as an English teacher in a suburban school district outside Harrisburg. After a year and a half in that position, his wife, Gerda, made him an offer he couldn't refuse: "I'll support you for five years," she said, "and if you can't make it as a writer in that time, you'll never make it." By the end of those five years, Gerda had quit her job to run the business end of her husband's writing career.

Eleven of his novels have risen to number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list (By the Light of the Moon, One Door Away From Heaven, From the Corner of His Eye, Lightning, Midnight, Cold Fire, Hideaway, Dragon Tears, Intensity, and Sole Survivor), making him one of only a dozen writers ever to have achieved that milestone. Twelve of his books have risen to the number one position in paperback. His books have also been major bestsellers in countries as diverse as Japan and Sweden. His books arepublished in 38 languages. He has sold 375,000,000 copies, a figure that currently increases by more than 17 million copies per year.

The New York Times has called his writing "psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying." The New Orleans Times-Picayune said Koontz is, "at times lyrical without ever being naive or romantic. [He creates] a grotesque world, much like that of Flannery O'Conner or Walker Percy ... scary, worthwhile reading." Rolling Stone has hailed him as "America's most popular suspense novelist."

Koontz lives with his wife, Gerda, and the enduring spirit of their golden retriever, Trixie, in southern California.