Dean R. Koontz

From Academic Kids

Dean Ray Koontz (born July 9, 1945 in Everett, Pennsylvania) is a prolific and best-selling fiction author known primarily for his popular suspense novels.

Contents

Biography

He grew up in desperate poverty under the tyranny of a violent alcoholic father (Koontz's father served time in prison for trying to murder him). Despite his traumatic childhood, Koontz put himself through Shippensburg University (then known as Shippensburg State College), and in 1967 went to work as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg High School. In his spare time he wrote his first novel, Star Quest, which was published in 1968. From there he went on to write over a dozen more science fiction novels.

In the 1970s, he began publishing mainstream suspense and horror fiction, under his own name as well as under several pseudonyms; Koontz has stated he used pen names after several editors convinced him that authors who switched genre fell victim to "negative crossover": alienating established fans, while simultaneously not picking up any new fans. Known pseudonyms include Deanna Dwyer, K. R. Dwyer, Aaron Wolfe, David Axton, Brian Coffey, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Owen West, and Richard Paige. Currently some of those novels are sold under Koontz's real name.

Koontz's breakthrough novel was Whispers (1980). Several of his books have reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

He is renowned for his skill at writing suspenseful page-turners. His strengths also include memorable characters, original ideas, and ability to blend horror, fantasy and humour. Koontz has been criticized for his tendency to include too many similes and therefore to drag out descriptions, his frequent use of similar plotting structures, and a tendency to moralize heavily.

Arguably, most of Koontz' work can still be classified science fiction, as he tries to create plausible, consistent explanations for the unusual, fantastic events featured in most of his novels.

Koontz also has a very interesting way of adding his own little quirks to his novels, such as adding simple quotes from a book by the name of The Book of Counted Sorrows. Counted Sorrows was originally a hoax, like the nonexistent Keener's Manual Richard Condon cited for epigraphs he wrote himself. Eventually Koontz put together a poetry collection of that name, using all the epigraphs; it was printed as a limited edition in 2003 by Charnel House (http://www.charnelhouse.com/sorrows.html) and as an eBook by Barnes & Noble. His more recent novels, starting with The Taking, have no verse by Koontz; rather, they have quotes by other authors (in particular, The Taking uses quotes from T. S. Eliot, whose works figure in the plot of the novel.

Koontz has long been a fan of Art Bell's radio program. He appeared as a guest after a fan reported to Bell that one of Koontz' novels featured a character describing a paranormal event as an "Art Bell moment."

Koontz currently resides in Southern California (where most of his novels are set) with his wife Gerda and their dog Trixie Koontz.

Bibliography (incomplete)

Novels

  • Forever Odd (November 29, 2005)
  • Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, Book Two: City of Night w/ Ed Gorman (July 26, 2005)
  • Velocity (May 24, 2005)
  • Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, Book One: Prodigal Son w/ Kevin J. Anderson (January 25, 2005)
  • Life Expectancy (December 7, 2004)
  • Life is Good! Lessons in Joyful Living w/ Trixie Koontz (October 31, 2004)
  • Robot Santa: The Further Adventures of Santa's Twin (October 1, 2004)
  • The Taking (2004)
  • Odd Thomas (US 2003/UK 2004)
  • Every Day's a Holiday : Amusing Rhymes for Happy Times (October 1, 2003)
  • Love Heels: Tales from Canine Companions for Independence (October 1, 2003)
  • The Face (May 27, 2003)
  • The Book of Counted Sorrows (2003)
  • By the Light of the Moon (December 24, 2002)
  • One Door Away from Heaven (US December 26, 2001/UK 2002)
  • The Paper Doorway : Funny Verse and Nothing Worse (October 1, 2001)
  • From the Corner of His Eye (December 26, 2000)
  • False Memory (December 28, 1999)
  • Seize the Night (December 29, 1998)
  • Fear Nothing (January 14, 1998)
  • Sole Survivor (January 29, 1997)
  • Santa's Twin (November 1, 1996)
  • Tick-Tock (October 1, 1996)
  • Intensity (1996)
  • Strange Highways (1994, short story collection)
  • Dark Rivers of the Heart (1994)
  • The Door to December (1994)
  • Dragon Tears (1993)
  • Mr. Murder (1993)
  • Trapped (1993, Graphic Novel)
  • The Funhouse (1992)
  • Hideaway (1992)
  • Cold Fire (1991)
  • The Bad Place (1990)
  • Shadowfires (1990)
  • The Eyes of Darkness (1989)
  • Midnight (1989)
  • Lightning (1988)
  • Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages (1988)
  • The Servants of Twilight (1988, as Leigh Nichols)
  • The Shadow Sea (1988)
  • The Voice of the Night (1988)
  • Shadowfires (1987, as Leigh Nichols)
  • Watchers (1987)
  • Strangers (1986)
  • The Door to December (1985, as Richard Paige)
  • Twilight Eyes (1985)
  • Darkfall (1984)
  • Twilight (1984, as Leigh Nichols)
  • Phantoms (1983)
  • The House of Thunder (1982, as Leigh Nichols)
  • The Eyes of Darkness (1981, as Leigh Nichols)
  • The Mask (1981, as Owen West)
  • The Funhouse (1980, as Owen West)
  • The Voice of Night (1980, as Brian Coffey)
  • Whispers (1980)
  • The Key to Midnight (1979, as Leigh Nichols)
  • The Face of Fear (1977, as Brian Coffey)
  • The Vision (1977)
  • Night Chills (1976)
  • Prison of Ice (1976, as David Axton), reissued as Icebound (1995)
  • Dragonfly (1975, as K. R. Dwyer)
  • Invasion (1975, as Aaron Wolfe), reissued as Winter Moon (1994)
  • The Long Sleep (1975, as John Hill)
  • Nightmare Journey (1975)
  • Wall of Masks (1975, as Brian Coffey)
  • After the Last Race (1974)
  • Surrounded (1974, as Brian Coffey)
  • Blood Risk (1973, as Brian Coffey)
  • Dance with the Devil (1973, as Deanna Dwyer)
  • Demon Seed (1973)
  • Hanging On (1973)
  • The Haunted Earth (1973)
  • Shattered (1973, as K. R. Dwyer)
  • A Werewolf Among Us (1973)
  • Chase (1972, as K. R. Dwyer)
  • Children of the Storm (1972, as Deanna Dwyer)
  • Dance With The Devil (1972)
  • The Dark of Summer (1972, as Deanna Dwyer)
  • A Darkness in My Soul (1972)
  • Demon Child (1972, as Deanna Dwyer)
  • The Flesh in the Furnace (1972)
  • Starblood (1972)
  • Time Thieves (1972)
  • Warlock! (1972)
  • The Crimson Witch (1971)
  • Legacy of Terror (1971, as Deanna Dwyer)
  • Anti-Man (1970)
  • Beastchild (1970)
  • Dark of the Woods (1970)
  • Dark Symphony (1970)
  • Hell's Gate (1970)
  • The Fall of the Dream Machine (1969)
  • Fear That Man (1969)
  • Star Quest (1968)

Non-Fiction

  • How To Write Best-Selling Fiction (1981)
  • Writing Popular Fiction (1972)
  • The Pig Society w/ Gerda Koontz (1970)
  • The Underground Lifestyles Handbook w/ Gerda Koontz (1970)

Essays & Introductions

  • Introduction to Great Escapes: New Designs for Home Theaters by Theo Kalomirakis (October 15, 2003)
  • "Ibsen's Dream" (Reflector, 1966)
  • "Of Childhood" (Reflector, 1966)

Short Fiction

  • "Black River" (1999)
  • "Pinkie" (1998)
  • "Trapped" (1989) {re-issued as a graphic novel in 1992}
  • "Graveyard Highway" (1987)
  • "Twilight of the Dawn" (1987)
  • "Miss Atilla the Hun" (1987)
  • "Hardshell" (1987)
  • "The Interrogation" (1987)
  • "The Black Pumpkin" (1986)
  • "The Monitors of Providence {collaboration}" (1986)
  • "Snatcher" (1986)
  • "Weird World" (1986)
  • "Down in the Darkness" (1986)
  • "Night of the Storm" (1974) {re-issued as a graphic novel in 1976}
  • "We Three" (1974)
  • "The Undercity" (1973)
  • "Terra Phobia" (1973)
  • "Wake Up To Thunder" (1973)
  • "The Sinless Child" (1973)
  • "Grayworld" (1973)
  • "A Mouse in the Walls of the Global Village" (1972)
  • "Ollie's Hands" (1972) {revised and re-issued in 1987}
  • "Altarboy" (1972)
  • "Cosmic Sin" (1972)
  • "The Terrible Weapon" (1972)
  • "Bruno" (1971)
  • "Unseen Warriors" (1970)
  • "Shambolain" (1970)
  • "The Crimson Witch {novel}" (1970)
  • "Beastchild" (1970)
  • "Emanations" (1970)
  • "The Mystery of His Flesh" (1970)
  • "The Good Ship Lookoutworld" (1970)
  • "Nightmare Gang" (1970)
  • "A Third Hand" (1970)
  • "Muse" (1969)
  • "The Face in His Belly" Part Two" (1969)
  • "Dragon In the Land" (1969)
  • "The Face in His Belly" Part One (1969)
  • "Where the Beast Runs" (1969)
  • "Killerbot" (1969) {revised and re-issued in 1977 as "A Season for Freedom"}
  • "Temple of Sorrow" (1969)
  • "In the Shield" (1969)
  • "Dreambird" (1968)
  • "The Twelfth Bed" (1968)
  • "The Psychedelic Children" (1968)
  • "To Behold the Sun" (1967)
  • "Love 2005" (1967)
  • "Soft Come the Dragons" (1967)
  • "A Miracle is Anything" (1966)
  • "Some Disputed Barricade" (1966)
  • "This Fence" (1965)
  • "The Kittens" (1965)

Poetry

Every Day's a Holiday: Amusing Rhymes for Happy Times (2003)

  • "Holiday Gifts"
  • "Stop The World! It's Your Birthday!"
  • "Holiday Data Glitch"
  • "New Year's Eve"
  • "New Year's Day"
  • "Appropriate Holiday Entertainment"
  • "Carnival!"
  • "Gravity Day"
  • "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day"
  • "Snow Day"
  • "Valentine's Day"
  • "Abraham Lincoln's Birthday"
  • "George Washington's Birthday"
  • "Saint Patrick's Day"
  • "The First Day of Spring"
  • "Every Day's A Holiday"
  • "Easter: The Danger of Improving Holiday Traditions"
  • "April Fool's Day"
  • "Sakura Matsuki (Cherry Blossom Festival)"
  • "Dino Day"
  • "Cinco de Mayo"
  • "Teacher's Day"
  • "Annual Animals' Day in Court"
  • "Mother's Day Is Every Day, Thanks to Us"
  • "Cat Day"
  • "Memorial Day"
  • "Things That Can Spoil a Good Holiday"
  • "Father's Day"
  • "The Eighteen Acceptable Excuses Not to Celebrate a Holiday"
  • "Toad Day"
  • "The Last Day of School, the Saddest Day of the Year"
  • "Graduation Day"
  • "The First Day of Summer"
  • "Me Day"
  • "Independence Day: Free to Be Ignorant Old Me"
  • "Dog Day"
  • "Friendship Day"
  • "Holidays on Other Planets"
  • "Labor Day"
  • "Grandfather's Day"
  • "Grandma's Day or Why One Day There Will Be Good Cookies on the Moon"
  • "The First Day of Autumn"
  • "Lost-Tooth Day"
  • "Rosh Hashanah"
  • "Troll Day, Whether You Like IT of Not"
  • "Yom Kippur"
  • "Holiday Dinner"
  • "Columbus Day"
  • "How to Get to Sleep Before a Holiday"
  • "Mr. Halloween"
  • "What Should Go into a Holiday Pie"
  • "Dνa de los Muertos"
  • "Praise the Chicken Day - or Else"
  • "Diwali by Golly"
  • "National Book Week: Why Paper Tigers Are the Preferred Breed"
  • "Holiday, Holinight"
  • "Thanksgiving Turkey Dresses in Hand-Me-Downs"
  • "The First Day of Winter"
  • "The Shortest Day of the Year"
  • "Christmas Eve"
  • "Christmas Day"
  • "Up-Is-Down Day"
  • "Kwanzaa"
  • "Not the Stuff of Holidays"

The Paper Doorway : Funny Verse and Nothing Worse (2001)

  • "A Bad Cat"
  • "A Beverage with Antlers"
  • "A Cure for Ugly"
  • "A Long Day of Rhyming"
  • "A Short Trip"
  • "A Skeleton's Hotel"
  • "A Strange Day on the Farm"
  • "Advice"
  • "Ages of a Toad"
  • "All Families Are Not the Same"
  • "An Accident at the Pole"
  • "An Angry Poem by a Dragon's Mother"
  • "An Interesting Fact About Dogs"
  • "At War with Wood"
  • "Auntie"
  • "Balance"
  • "Baseball is Safer"
  • "Being Me"
  • "Better Than Money"
  • "Boogeyman"
  • "Cats in Spats"
  • "Crime and Punishment"
  • "Dangerous Music"
  • "Dinner with Jilly"
  • "Do Trees Sneeze?"
  • "Dogs and Hogs"
  • "Fashion-Plate Fido"
  • "Food Psychos"
  • "Frankenbunny"
  • "Handyman"
  • "Head Number Two"
  • "Horse Thief"
  • "I Don't Share"
  • "If I Were a Potato"
  • "Insults"
  • "Listen to the Wind"
  • "Lucky Skunk"
  • "Mary Thinks She Wants a Puppy"
  • "My Words"
  • "Peace Through Hopping"
  • "Peg-Leg Zeg"
  • "Plurals"
  • "Poem by My Dog"
  • "Princess with a Tail"
  • "Rain"
  • "Red Hair"
  • "Rocks"
  • "Rumor"
  • "Safe Household Accidents"
  • "Sick"
  • "Silly"
  • "Snowland"
  • "So There"
  • "Stars, Mars, and Chocolate Bars"
  • "The Bear with One Green Ear"
  • "The Cabbage Feels No Pain"
  • "The Fearful Bee"
  • "The Man With Four Eyes"
  • "The Monstrous Broccoli Excuse"
  • "The Paper Doorway"
  • "The Pig with Pride"
  • "The Prettiest Butterfly I Will Ever See"
  • "The Reliable Bunny"
  • "The Seasons of a Toad"
  • "The Shark in the Park"
  • "The Threat"
  • "The Wart"
  • "The Woggle Wrangler"
  • "The Young Musician - Or Maybe Thug"
  • "Them and Us"
  • "Thinking About Me"
  • "Those Weird Guys in Nursery Rhymes"
  • "Toast and Jam"
  • "Up"
  • "Wally the Werewolf"
  • "What I Like"
  • "What Will We Do, What Will We Do?"
  • "Why Good Manners Matter"
  • "Why I Find It So Hard to Learn"
  • "Why Most People Prefer Cats and Dogs"
  • "Why?"
  • "Wishes"
  • "You Get the Pickle You Ask For"

The Reflector (1965-67)

  • "The Day"
  • "Growing Pains"
  • "Sing A Song Of Sixpence"
  • "This Fence"
  • "Cellars"
  • "Cloistered Walls"
  • "Flesh"
  • "For A Breath I Tarry"
  • "Hey, Good Christian"
  • "Holes"
  • "It"
  • "I've Met One"
  • "Mold In The Jungle"
  • "Once"
  • "The Rats Run"
  • "Sam: the Adventurous, Exciting, Well-Traveled Man"
  • "Something About This City"
  • "The Standard Unusual"
  • "A Trio Of Possible Futures"
  • "You Dirty Jap, Said The Jap"
  • "Where No One Fell"

Film & Television Adaptations

Not all of these films are approved of by Mr. Koontz. Specifically Watchers II, Watchers III, Watchers Reborn, and Haute Tension (http://www.newscoast.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050603/COLUMNIST49/506030658). Most of the rest of them he's just not happy with the result.

  • Frankenstein (2004) - USA
  • Haute Tension / High Tension / Switchblade Romance (2003)
  • Black River (2001) - USA
  • Sole Survivor (2000) – Billy Zane
  • Phantoms (1998) – Dimension – Ben Affleck, Peter O'Toole
  • Watchers Reborn (1998) – New Horizon – Mark Hamill, Lisa Wilcox
  • Mr. Murder (1998) – ABC – Stephen Baldwin, James Colburn
  • Intensity (1997) – ABC – John McGinley, Piper Laurie
  • Hideaway (1995) – Tristar – Jeff Goldbloom, Christine Lahti
  • Watchers III (1994) – New Horizons – Wings Hauser, Lolita Ronalos
  • The Servants of Twilight (1992) – Trimark – Bruce Greenwood, Belinda Bauer
  • The Face of Fear (1990) – CBS – Pam Dawber, Lee Horsley
  • Whispers (1990) Cinepix – Victoria Tennant, Jean LeClere
  • Watchers II (1990) Concord – Marc Singer, Tracy Scroggins
  • Watchers (1988) – Concord - Corey Haim, Barbara Williams
  • The Funhouse (1981) [Movie first then book – Movie written by Larry Block] Universal – Elizabeth Berridge, Cooper Huckabee
  • The Intruder (circa 1979) - MGM - Jean-Louis Trintignant (French film of Shattered)
  • Demon Seed (1977) - MGM - Julie Christie, Fritz Weaver
  • CHiPs episode 306: Counterfeit (20 October 1979) – as by Brian Coffey

Books about Dean Koontz

  • A Collector's Guide to Dean Koontz by Michael Sauers (2006)
  • Dean Koontz: A Reader's Checklist and Reference Guide (October 1, 1999)
  • Dean Koontz: A Writer's Biography by Katherine Ramsland (August 1, 1998)
  • Dean Koontz: A Critical Companion by Joan G. Kotker (August 30, 1996)
  • The Dean Koontz Companion by Martin H. Greenberg, Ed Gorman, Bill Munster (March 1, 1994)
  • Sudden Fear: The Horror and Dark Suspense Fiction of Dean R. Koontz (Starmont Studies in Literary Criticism, # 24) by Bill Munster (June 1, 1988)

Common Collecting Errors

These titles/authors are not Mr. Koontz

  • Heartbeeps by John Hill
  • Stolen Thunder and Sharkman Six by David Axton
  • anything by Owen Brookes
  • anything by Frank Coffey
  • anything by the Irish poet Brian Coffey

External links

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