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Dean Koontz

When he was a senior in college, Dean Koontz won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition, and he has been writing ever since. His books are published in 38 languages; worldwide sales are nearly 200 million copies, and that figure currently increases more than 17 million copies per year.

Seven of his novels have risen to number one on the New York Times' hardcover bestseller list (Lightning, Midnight, Cold Fire, Hideaway, Dragon Tears, Intensity, Sole Survivor), making him one of only ten writers ever to have achieved that milestone. Eleven 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.

Along with PHANTOMS, Koontz has written a screenplay for the film adaptation of his novel Cold Fire; and he wrote and executive produced The Face of Fear for Warner Brothers­CBS Television.

Intensity, which went to number one on the New York Times bestseller list, was filmed by Peter Gruber's Mandalay as a miniseries for the Fox Network, and aired initially in August 1997. Mandalay is also developing a miniseries based on one of the author's most recent works of fiction, Sole Survivor, currently scheduled for a Fall 1998 premiere. Meanwhile, ABC is developing a miniseries of Mr. Murder.

The author signed a three­book deal with Bantam Books, the first of which is Fear Nothing, on sale January 14, 1998.

The New York Times has called Koontz's writing psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying. The New Orleans Times­Picayune said Koontz is "at times lyrical without ever being naive or romantic. [He creates] a grotesque world, much like that of Flannery O'Connor or Walker Percy... scary, worthwhile reading." Of Cold Fire, a worldwide #1 bestseller, the United Press International said, "an extraordinary piece of fiction. It will be a classic."

Koontz was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He 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 under-privileged children on a one­to-one basis. His first day on the job, he discovered that the previous occupant 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 challenges 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 he had been 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. Dean and Gerda Koontz live in southern California.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Dean Koontz Facts

OccupationWriter, Producer
BirthdayJuly 9, 1945 (76)

Selected Filmography

Dean Koontz's Sole Survivor
Dean Koontz S Mr. Murder
Odd Thomas
Frankenstein 2004
Watchers / Watchers II
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