When he was a senior in college, Dean Koontz won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition and has been writing ever since. His books are published in 38 languages, a figure that currently increases more than 17 million copies per year.
Eight of his novels have risen to number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list (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. 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.
He has written a screenplay for the film adaptation of his novel Cold Fire; he wrote and executive produced The Face of Fear for Warner Brothers CBS Television. Phantoms, based on the author's screenplay, starring Peter O'Toole and Joanna Going, was released by Miramax/Dimension in January 1998. Intensity, which went to number one on the New York Times bestseller list, was filmed by Peter Guber's Mandalay as a miniseries for the Fox Network, and aired initially in August 1997. Mandalay also produced a miniseries based on the novel Sole Survivor while ABC has produced a miniseries of the author's novel, Mr. Murder.
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." Of Cold Fire, a worldwide #1 bestseller, the United Press International said, "An extraordinary piece of fiction. It will be a classic."
Dean 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 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. Dean and Gerda Koontz live in southern California.
"Black River" (2001) (mini) TV Series (novella) (as Dean Koontz)
"Sole Survivor" (2000) (mini) TV Series (novel) (as Dean Koontz)
Mr. Murder (1998) (TV) (novel) (as Dean Koontz)
Watchers Reborn (1998) (novel Watchers)
Phantoms (1998) (novel Phantoms) (as Dean Koontz) (screenplay) (as Dean Koontz)
Intensity (1997) (TV) (novel) (as Dean Koontz)
Hideaway (1995) (novel) (as Dean Koontz)
Watchers III (1994) (novel Watchers)
Servants of Twilight, The (1991) (novel)
Watchers II (1990) (novel)
Face of Fear, The (1990/I) (TV) (novel) (teleplay)
Whispers (1989/I) (novel)
Watchers (1988) (novel)
Demon Seed (1977) (novel)
"CHiPs" (1977) TV Series (writer) (episode "Counterfeit" as Brian Coffey)
Passagers, Les (1977) (novel Shattered) (as K.R. Dwyer)