Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sydney Sheldon Author Biographies

Sidney Sheldon was born Sidney Schechtel on February 11, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois. His mother was Natalie Marcus, a Russian Jewish immigrant with no formal education, but loved books and classical music. His father, Ascher (Otto), a dreamer, took many different jobs as he moved the family from town to town. He bragged that he had never read a book in his life.

Sydney was married to Jorja Curtright, an on stage and film actress and later an interior decorator for over 30 years. They had a daughter, Mary, who also became a published novelist. Jorja died in 1985. Sydney married former child actress, Alexandra Kostoff in 1989.

Even as he was growing up, Sidney loved to read and spent a lot of time at the library. He says he always knew he wanted to be a writer. When he was 10, he wrote and submitted a poem to the popular children’s magazine, “Wee Wisdom”, in a poetry contest, and won $5. When he was 12, he wrote and put on a play for his English class, his favorite subject.

He attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he took a full load of classes, joined the debating team, worked as a busboy in the cafeteria and took a job at the college newspaper, doing minor celebrity interviews. This was the height of the depression and money was tight and jobs were scarce. So Sydney left college to seek more work.

He moved to Hollywood, California in 1937 and took a job as a reader for movie studios along with various other jobs. Sidney did a stint in the Army Air Corp and served as a pilot, during WWII. When he left the military he headed for New York where he worked as a songwriter and a Broadway Playwright. He wrote 25 films and had three musical hits.

He moved back to California and as television became a hot commodity in the 1960’s, Sidney wrote and produced the sitcom, “The Patty Duke Show”, starring young Patty Duke. He also created, wrote and produced the “I Dream of Jeannie”, starring Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman, and “Hart to Hart”, starring Stefanie Powers and Robert Wagner.

Sydney went from screenwriter to author when he was 50 years old. His first novel, “The Naked Face”, was published in 1970 after being turned down by five publishers. The novel became a best seller and won an “Edgar Allan Poe Award.” He went on to write many best selling novels. So far twenty six of his novels were turned into movies.

When Sydney was 85, he published his autobiography, “The Other Side of Me.” He opened the book with the story of his attempted suicide when he was 17. Sidney’s father walked in on him. His father, forever a salesman, talked him out of it.

Sidney Sheldon died on January 30, 2007 in Rancho Mirage, California at the age of 89. He has been called a humble man, warm, gracious and one of the most prolific writers of his time.


The Naked Face (1970)
A Stranger in the Mirror (1976)
Bloodline (1978)
Rage of Angels (1980)
Master of the Game (1982)
If Tomorrow Comes (1985)
Windmills of the Gods (1987)
The Sands of Times (1988)
The Doomsday Conspiracy (1991)
The Stars Shine Down (1992)
Nothing Lasts Forever (1994)
Morning, Noon and Night (1995)
The Best Laid Plans (1997)
Tell Me Your Dreams (1998)
The Sky is Falling (2000)
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (2004)
Mistress of the Game (2009) (with Tilly Bagshawe)

The Other Side of Midnight (1974)
Memories of Midnight (1990)

Bloodline/A Stranger in the Mirror/Naked Face (1992)
The Dark Side of Midnight (2007)

Roman Candle (1960)
The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer (1961)

Childrens Books:
Adventures of Drippy: The Runaway Raindrop (1995)
Fun With Drippy Activity Book (1996)
Fun With Drippy the Runaway Raindrop (2004)

The Other Side of Me (2005)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Leon Uris Author Biographies

Leon Marcus Uris was born August 3, 1924 in Baltimore Maryland. His parents were Wolf William Uris, a Polish immigrant, a paper hanger and later became a shop owner, and Anna Uris, a first generation American. Leon did poorly in school and never graduated high school. He joined the United States Marine Corp when he was only 17, serving from 1942 until 1945. He met and married Marine Sergeant, Betty Beck, in 1945.

Leon started writing stories as a child but remained unpublished until 1950, when an article he wrote was bought by Esquire Magazine. That started him writing full time. His first novel was published in 1953 an after being rejected nine times, became a best seller.

Leon worked as a war correspondent in 1956, covering the Arab-Israeli fighting. The book Exodus, published in 1958, came about from these events. The book was made into a movie and later a musical. He also authored several screen plays during his career.

Leon and Betty divorced in 1965. He was remarried in 1968 to Margery Edwards, but she died a year later. In 1970 he married photographer, Jill Peabody. They had two children, but divorced in 1989.

Leon Uris became a prolific public speaker and from1959-1993 spoke mostly on Jewish causes at on University campuses.

Leon died on June 21, 2003.

Books by Leon Uris: Novels:
Battle Cry(1953)
The Angry Hills (1955)
Exodus (1958)
Exodus Revisited (1960)
Mila 18 (1961)
Armageddon (1963)
Topaz (1967)
The Third Temple (1967)
QB VII (1970)
Trinity (1976)
The Haj(1984)
Mitla Pass (1988)
Redemption (1995)
A God in Ruins(1999)
O’Hara’s Choice (2003)

Three Great Novels of World II(1996) (Thomas Heggen, James A Michener)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Danielle Steel Author Biographies

Danielle Steel was born Danielle Fernandes Schuelein on August 14, 1947 in New York City, New York. Her parents, John Schlein, a descendant from the Lowenbrau Beer founders, and Norma da Camara Stone Reis, the daughter of a Portuguese diplomat. They divorced when Danielle was only seven years old and she was raised mostly by her German born father.

Danielle loved to write stories and poetry even as a child. She graduated from Lycee Francais de New York in 1965 and studied literature and fashion design at Parson School of Design and New York University.

Danielle started her business career in PR work before she settled down to writing manuscripts in the seventies. First published in 1973, she now has more than 350 million books in print. According to The Guinness Book of World Records, she has been on the New York Times Best seller List for 381 consecutive weeks.

Danielle Steel has been married five times. She married Claude-Eric Lazard, a French banker, when she was eighteen. The marriage lasted nine years and produced a daughter. She had a son, Nick by her third husband.

In 1981, her fourth husband, John Traina, brought two sons into their marriage and adopted Danielle’s son and Danielle adopted John’s two sons. They had five more children together. Danielle says the children are the most important thing in her life. John Traina and Danielle later divorced.

Danielle married a financier, Tom Perkins, but divorced two years later. Her later wrote a novel and dedicated it to Danielle.

Danielle started and runs the Nick Traina Foundation in memory of her son who committed suicide in 1997. Nick suffered from bipolar disorder and drug abuse. She is active in lobbying for children with mental health disorders.

Her children’s book series, Martha and Max, and later the Freddie series are geared to help children deal with real life problems.

Today Danielle Steel is a single woman and divides her time between her homes in San Francisco and in France. And, yes, she is still writing novels.


Max and Martha Series:
Martin’s Best Friend (1989)
Martha’s New Daddy (1989)
Martha’s New School (1989)
Max and the Babysitter (1989)
Max’s Daddy Goes to the Hospital (1989)
Martha’s New Puppy (1990)
Max Runs Away (1990)
Max’s New Baby (1990)
Martha and Hilary and the Stranger (1991)
Ma and Granma and Grandpa Winky (1991)
Freddie Series:
Freddie and the Doctor (1992)
Freddie’s Accident (1992)
Freddie’s First Night Away (1992)
Freddie’s Trip (1992)

Going Home (1973)
Passion’s Promise (1976)
The Promise (1978)
Now and Forever (1978)
Season of Passion (1978)
Golden Moments (1979)
Summer’s End (1979)
Loving (1980)
The Ring (1980)
To Love Again (1980)
A Perfect Stranger (1981)
Remembrance (1981)
Palomino (1981)
Once in a Lifetime (1982)
Crossings (1982)
Changes (1983)
Thurston House (1983)
Full Circle (1984)
Family Album (1985)
Secrets (1985)
Wanderlust (1986)
Kaleidoscope (1987)
Fine Things (1987)
Zoya (1988)
Star (1989)
Daddy (1989)
Message From Nam (1990)
Heartbeat (1991)
No Greater Love (1991)
Jewels (1992)
Mixed Blessings (1992)
Vanished (1993)
Wings (1994)
The Gift (1994)
Accident (1994)
Five Days in Paris (1995)
Lightning (1995)
Silent Honor (1996)
Malice (1996)
The Ghost (1997)
Special Delivery (1997)
The Ranch (1997)
The Klone and I (1998)
The Long Road Home (1998)
Mirror Image (1998)
The Wedding (1998)
Bittersweet (1999)
Irresistible Forces (1999)
Granny Dan (1999)
Journey (2000)
The House on Hope Street (2000)
The Kiss (2001)
Leap of Faith (2001)
Lone Eagle (2001)
Answered Prayers (2002)
The Cottage (2002)
Sunset in St Tropez (2002)
Johnny Angel (2003)
Safe Harbor (2003)
Dating Game (2003)
Miracle (2004)
Ransom (2004)
Second Chance (2004)
Echoes (2004)
Impossible (2005)
Toxic Bachelors (2006)
Coming Out (2006)
H.R.H. (2006)
Bungalow Two (2006)
The House (2006)
Sisters (2007)
Amazing Grace (2007)
Honor Thyself (2008)
Rogue (2008)
A Good Woman (2008)
One Day at a Time (2009)
Matters of the Heart (2009)
Southern Lights (2009)
Family Ties (2010)
First Sight (2010)
Big Girl (2010)

Other Works:
Love: Poems (1981)
The Happiest Hippo in the World (2009)

His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina(1998)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Paul Martini Author Biographies

Steve Paul Martini was born in 1946 in San Francisco, California and grew up there and in southern California. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz and started his career as a newspaper reporter in Los Angeles.

Steve was also worked as a capital correspondent for the state house in Sacramento, California. He covered both State and Federal courts and has written extensively on law and politics.

Paul returned to college and received his law degree at the University of Pacific’s McGeorge school of Law. He went into private practice in 1974.

As a representative of the State Bar Association of California, Steve regularly appeared before the State Legislature. Steve has served as Director of the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Steve has also been an administrative judge and has served as special council on assignment to the California Victims of Violent Crimes Program.

Steve Martini published his first book in 1988. He has been called a master of legal thrillers. He has received international acclaim. A few years later he started writing full time. In 1992 he published the first of his Paul Madriani series.

These days Steve Martini and family reside in the Pacific Northwest.

Books by Steve Martini:

The Paul Madriani Series:
Compelling Evidence (1992)
Prime Witness (A Paul Madriani Novel)(1993)
Undue Influence (1994)
The Judge (1995)
The Attorney (1999)
The Jury (2001)
The Arraignment (2002)
Double Tap (2005)
Shadow of Power: A Paul Madriani Novel (Paul Madriani Novels)(2008 )
Guardian of Lies (2009)

Stand Alone Novels:
The Simeon Chamber(1988)
The List (1997)
Critical Mass(1998)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Scott Turow Author Biographies

Scott Turow was born on April 12, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois. He said that he had wanted to write since he was 17 years old. He attended Amherst College where he graduated in 1970. Scott won a scholarship to attend Stanford College Writing Center where he graduated and began teaching creative writing from 1972 to 1975. From 1975 to 1978 he attended Harvard Law School.

He says that he wanted to write and practice law when he realized he was not going to be able to support himself as a writer. During his first year at Harvard, he was commissioned to write a book on his experiences as a first year law student. One L is the published outcome.

Scott married Annette, a painter, in 1971. They have three children. Scott and Annette divorced in 2008.

From 1978 to 1986, Scott Turow was an Assistant US Attorney in Chicago where he prosecuted several high profile cases.

Besides his books, Scott has published many articles including book reviews and a treatise on why he does not believe in the death penalty. In 2003 his book, Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer’s Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty, was published.

Scott Turow is a partner in a large national law firm, Sonnenshein, Nath and Rosenthal. He has worked pro bono cases especially for those wrongfully convicted, such as Alejandro Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez was accused and convicted of a murder and spent 11 years on death row before Scott won his release in 1996. He was also appointed, by then Governor George Ryan, to the commission of capital punishment reform.

Scott is a trustee at Amherst College. He was also the president of the Author’s Guild for a year and still serves on the board. He is very active in charitable causes.

So far three of Scott Turow’s books have been made into Movies: Presumed Innocent (1990), The Burden of Proof (1992) and Reversible Errors (2004).

Scott Turow Books:
Presumed Innocent(1987)
The Burden of Proof (1990)
Pleading Guilty (1993)
The Laws of Our Fathers (1996)
Personal Injuries (1999)
Reversible Errors (2002)
Ordinary Heroes (2005)

One L (1977)
Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty(2003)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jeffrey Archer Author Biographies

Jeffrey Howard Archer was born on April 15, 1940 in London and raised in Somerset, England. His parents were William, a printer, and Lola Archer, a journalist. He gained his education at Wellington and Brasenose College, Oxford. There he earned the position of President of University Athletic Club. He met his future wife, Mary Doreen Weeden at Oxford where she was studying chemistry. They married in 1966 and have remained married. They have two sons, William and James.

Jeffrey won a position on the Greater London Council. In 1969, at the age of 29, he became a Member of Parliament for Louth. He resigned from the House of Commons in 1974 after he suffered near bankruptcy behind some bad investments. He turned his attention to writing and his first novels became best sellers. Still today, he says he likes politics more than writing.
From 1985 to 1986 Jeffrey was Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party. In 1986 he sued a publication for falsely accusing him of paying for sex with a prostitute. He won the case and was awarded an astounding 500,000 lira in damages.

He ran for Mayor of London, but in 1999, he withdrew his nomination. He had been charged with five counts including perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. It seems a friend finally admitted that he lied for Jeffrey on the witness stand. Jeffrey Archer was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.

Jeffrey spent two years of his term in prison. His time in prison brought about three nonfiction books known as the Prison Diaries.

There seems to be mixed feelings toward Jeffrey Archer. He has been called a controversial character, a rogue, humorless, charming, a liar, a cad, charismatic, funny, and a man lacking self introspection. One thing we do know for sure; he is a brilliant writer of novels and short stories. He is also a playwright.

He says he usually starts writing from 6AM for two hours then takes a break for two hours. This continues through the day until 8PM. He writes in long hand with a felt tip pen. He says that writing is serious business and not easy. You must be dedicated. He says, “A good novel combines good story telling with good writing.”

Books by Jeffrey Archer:

Shall We Tell the President? (1977)
Kane and Abel(1979)
The Prodigal Daughter (1982)
Kane and Abel 30th Anniversary Edition (2009)

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less (1976)
First Among Equals (1984)
A Matter of Honour (1986)
As the Crow Flies (1991)
Honour Among Thieves (1993)
The Proprietors (1995)
The Fourth Estate(1996)
The Eleventh Commandment (1998)
Sons of Fortune (2002)
False Impression (2006)
A Prisoner of Birth (2008)
Paths of Glory (2009)

A Quiver Full of Arrows (1980)
A Twist in the Tale (1988)
The Play’s the Thing (1990)
Twelve Red Herrings (1994)
The Collected Short Stories (1997)
To Cut a Long Story Short (2000)
A Collection of Short Stories (2000)
The Expert Witness and Other Stories (2000)
The Grass is Always Greener and Other Stories (2000)
Cat O'Nine Tales: And Other Stories(2006)
Word Play (The Jeffrey Archer Collection (2007)
And Thereby Hangs a Tale (2010)

Willy and the Killer Kipper (1981)
Beyond Reasonable Doubt (1989)
The Perfect Murder (2001)
The Accused (2001)

Nonfiction Series:
Hell (2002) (writing as FF8282)
Purgatory (2003)
Heaven: A Prison Diary Volume 3(2004)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sue Grafton Author Biographies

Sue Grafton was born on April 24, 1940 in Louisville, Kentucky where she and her sister were also raised. Her parents were Attorney C.W. Grafton and Vivian Harnsberger Grafton. Her father also wrote in his spare time had four mysteries published.

After graduating with a BA in English Literature from the University of Louisville in 1961, Sue worked in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara, California, as cashier, medical secretary and hospital admissions clerk. Although she started writing when she was 18 years old, she wasn’t published until 1967. She started writing screenplays, television movies, television pilots and episodes.

Sue was in the middle of a divorce in the 1980’s when she started writing her Kinsey Millhone books. She joking says, “Your homicidal urges can be turned to good in this world. Don’t let that ex-husband get you down! Just start a new job.” Sue and Steve divide their time between Santa Barbara California and Louisville, Kentucky.

Sue is married to Steven F. Humphrey and has three children from previous marriages.

Sue says that when she first did her book signings, most of the people in line were women, but now there are at least as many men if not more. She is not a gender neutral writer.

Sue was writing one book a year but decided that was too much, so now she publishes a book about every eighteen months. She says that when she dies, she will leave all of her papers to Boston University. She absolutely refuses to let Hollywood get hold of Kinsey Millhone.

Books by Sue Grafton:

Kinsey Millhone Series:
"A" is for Alibi (The Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries)(1982)
B is for Burglar (1985)
C is for Corpse (1986)
D is for Deadbeat (1987)
E is for Evidence (1988)
F is for Fugitive (1989)
G is for Gumshoe (1990)
H is for Homicide (1991)
I is for Innocent (1992)
J is for Judgment (1993)
K is for Killer (1994)
L is for Lawless (1995)
M is for Malice (1996)
N is for Noose (1998)
O is for Outlaw (1999)
P is for Peril (2000)
Q is for Quarry (2002)
R is for Ricochet (2004)
S is for Silence (2005)
T is for Trespass (2007)
U is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone Mysteries)(2009)

Kinsey Millhone Omnibus:
Three Complete Novels 1: A, B and C (1990)
The Omnibus: "D is for Deadbeat", "E is for Evidence", "F is for Fugitive"(2001)
Three Complete Novels 3: G, H and I (2002)
Three Complete Novels 4: J, K and L (2007)
Three Complete Novels 5: M, N and O (2008)

Keziah Dane (1967)
The Lolly-Madonna War (1998)

Anthologies Edited:
The Best American Mystery Stories: 1998 (1998) with Otto Penzler

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Alice Walker Author Biographies

Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944 near Eatonton in White Chapel, Georgia. Her parents, Willie Lee Walker and Minnie Lou Tallulah Grant Walker, were impoverished sharecroppers and raised eight children, Alice being the youngest. Later on Alice changed her Middle name to Tallulah-Kate in honor of her mother and paternal grandmother.

In high school, Alice was voted “Most Popular Student”. She was also Prom Queen and graduated Class Valedictorian. She attended Spelman College and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College on scholarships graduating in 1965.

Alice and attorney Mel Levanthal entered into an interracial marriage in 1967 when it was still illegal in some states. They had a daughter Rebecca in 1970 and divorced in 1976.

While in college Alice became an activist and a feminist (she calls herself a womanist) and still is active as reflected in her books and poetry. It is also apparent in her children's books. Alice teaches peace and equality.

Alice Walker became well known for her Pulitzer Prize winning book, “The Color Purple”. Many of us could not wait for the subsequent movie directed by Steven Spielberg and starring, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg.

Books By Alice Walker:

The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970)
In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women (1973)
Meridian (1976)
You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down: Stories (1981)
The Temple of My Familiar (1989)
Possessing the Secret of Joy: A Novel(1992)
The Complete Stories (1994)
By the Light of My Father’s Smile (1998)
The Way Forward is With a Broken Heart (2000)
Now is the Times to Open Your Heart (2005)

In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose(резрепреорей)
Living by the Word (1989)
Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Binding of Women (1993)
The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult (1996)
Anything We Love Can Be Saved (1997)
Sent by Earth: A Message from the Grandmother Spirit After the Burning of the World
Trade Center and the Pentagon (2001)
Langston Hughes, American Poet (2002)
We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Light in a Time of Darkness(2006)

Once: Poems (1968)
Revolutionary Petunias and Other Poems (1973)
Good Night Willie Lee. I’ll See You in the Morning (1979)
Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful(1988)
Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 91991)
Absolute Trust in the Goddess of the Earth (2003)
A Poem Traveled Down My Arm (2003)

Children’s Books:
To Hell with Dying (1988)
Finding the Green Stone (1991)
There Is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me(2006)