American author and king of the suspense thriller Dean Koontz was born in 1945 in Everett, Pennsylvania. Koontz grew up in a tumultuous childhood at the hands of an abusive alcoholic father. He sought an opportunity to express himself through his writing, and by the time he was a senior in high school he’d already started winning competitions, including a notable fiction competition through the prestigious Atlantic Monthly magazine.
After graduating from the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Dean Koontz spent a few years teaching high school English in Mechanicsburg. In the evenings and on weekends, Koontz began work on his first novel, Star Quest. Star Quest found its way to publication in 1968, and for a number of years, Dean found significant success with the science-fiction genre. In the 1970’s, he switched to horror fiction and suspense novels, often writing both under pseudonyms but also crafting a few works under his own name.
But it wasn’t until 1980 that Koontz experienced his real breakthrough, with the novel Whispers. Since that time, Dean Koontz has published more than ten New York Times Best Sellers and multiple books which have been adapted into screenplays, including: The Passengers (1977), Whispers (1990), Hideaway (1995), Intensity (1997), Watchers (1998), Phantoms (1998), Mr. Murder (1998), Sole Survivor (2000), Black River (2001), Frankenstein (2004), and Odd Thomas (2013.)
Today, Dean Koontz continues to write from his home in Newport Coast, California, where he lives with his wife. Currently, Koontz is tied with John Grisham as the world’s sixth most highly paid author.