Dean Ray Koontz

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Born: 9 July 1945, Everett, Pennsylvania

Koontz grew up in a home marred by poverty and violence from an alcoholic father, his parents actually discouraged him from reading to no avail; he found it to be the only way to escape from his situation. He won an Atlantic Monthly fiction contest in his senior year at Shippensburg University, he graduated in 1967. During college he adopted the Catholic faith, seeing in it an intellectual rigor and sense of mystery that contrasted with the chaos of his home experience. He spent a year with the Appalachian Poverty Program as a tutor, learning on his first day that his predecessor had quit because he had been beat up by students. He taught high school English for two years at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Having sold Star Quest in 1968 he chose to devote full time to writing fiction. His first works were science fiction but he worked in different genres under ten different names. His first bestseller under his own name was Whispers (1980), the previous two novels also each sold a million copies but under pen names. It wasn't until his 51st book, Strangers (1986), that he had a hard-cover best seller. Since then, ten hardcovers and thirteen paperbacks have reached the top of the New York Time Bestseller list. He writes for seven to ten hours a day, averaging three pages a day, by meticulously working on each page until it's in final form. He asserts that doubt of his own talents have driven him to such careful work. It apparently works, he has released over 80 titles and sold over 375 million copies. According to Forbes magazine, he is tied with John Grisham as the sixth best-paid author, earning $25 million (1 June 2007 - 1 June 2008).

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