Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Margaret Millar, Author Biographies

Margaret Millar was born Margaret Ellis Sturm on February 5, 1915, in Kitchner, Ontario. She was educated there and in Toronto where she studied the classics.

Margaret met Kenneth Millar, another aspiring writer, while in high school. They reconnected In college and married in 1938. Their only daughter, Linda, died in 1970.

Margaret said she began publishing under her married name, Margaret Millar, because of the title of her first book (Worm, Sturm). While she was to become a prominent suspense writer, her books were never big sellers. She was a very private person and abhorred interviews.

After Margaret’s husband published a couple of books under his own name, he changed to the pseudonym, John Ross Macdonald then to

Ross Macdonald.

Margaret’s husband joined the U.S Navy during WWII and was stationed in the Pacific off the coast of southern California. When Margaret came to visit him, she fell in love with the area and they made the beautiful seaside town of Santa Barbara their home.

Santa Barbara shows up consistently in Margaret’s books, but is often named San Felicia or San Felice. Many years later another prominent mystery writer, Sue Grafton, did the same thing with her character, female private detective Kinsey Millhone, naming the town Santa Theresa.

Between 1945 and 1946, Margaret worked at Warner Brothers as a screenwriter. It was during this time that Warner Brothers bought the option on her book, ‘The Iron Gate,’ but it never was produced. During the 1960s, two of Margaret’s novels were adapted for the television series, ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents.’

It’s been said of Margaret’s work, “Her novels are prized for their psychological penetration of the hearts and minds of murderers.” Margaret also wrote a non fiction book about the birds and animals she observed. Along with her husband, she founded a chapter of the Audubon Society.

Margaret was presented the prestigious Edgar Award by the Mystery writers of America in1955 for Best Novel, for ‘A Beast in View.’ In 1965, she was named Woman of the Year by ‘Los Angeles Times.’ She was also awarded the Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1982 and the Derrick Murdoch Award in 1986.

Margaret died of a heart attack on March 26, 1994, at her home in Santa Barbara. One of her favorite quotes was, “Life is something that happens to you while you are making other plans.” Unfortunately, very few of her books are still in print.

Books by Margaret Millar:


The Invisible Worm (1941)

The Devil Loves Me (1942)

The Weak-Eyed Bat (1942)

Wall of Eyes (1943)


Taste of Fears (1945)

The Iron Gate (1945)

Experiment in Springtime (1947)

It’s All in the Family (1948)

The Cannibal Heart (1949)

Do Evil in Return (1950)

Rose’s Last Summer (1952)

Vanish in an Instant (1952)

Wives and Lovers (1954)

Beast in View (1955)

The Soft Talkers (1957)

The Listening Walls (1959)

A Stranger in My Grave (1969)


The Friend (1964)

Beyond This Point Are Monsters (1970)

The Friend (1974)

Ask For Me Tomorrow (1976)


Mermaid (1981)

Banshee (1983)

Spider Webs (1986)


An Air That Kills / Do Evil in Return (Stark House Mystery Classics) (2006)

Non Fiction:

The Birds and the Beasts Were There (1968)

Short Stories:

The Couple Next Door: Collected Short Mysteries (Lost Classics) (1954)

Radiant Flower of the Divine Heavens (1998)

The Couple Next Door: Collected Short Mysteries (2004)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dean Koontz, Author Biographies

Dean Ray Koontz came into this world on July 9, 1945, in Bedford, Pennsylvania. He says his family was very poor and his father was a mean drunk and womanizer. The home they lived in was a shack with four small rooms and a tar paper roof.

In 1967, Dean graduated from Shippensburg University with a degree in English. He married Gerda, his high school sweetheart the same year. They decided not to have children.

Dean took a job with the Appalachian Poverty Program, tutoring and counseling underprivileged children. His love of writing was always with him, so he continued to write after work and the weekends. His first published work, “Star Quest,” was a science fiction novel.

Dean had worked for about 18 months as a high school English teacher when his wife, Gerda, made him a proposition. She got a job in a shoe factory and offered to support the family for five years so that he could concentrate on his writing career. After the five years, Gerda quit her job and tends to the business side of Dean’s writing.

Dean has also written under these pseudonyms: W. H. Allan, David Axton, Brian Coffey, Deanna Dwyer, K.R. Dwyer, John Hill, Aaron Wolf, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Richard Paige and Owen West. He says he did this because publishers convinced him that because he was writing in different genres, he could wind up alienating his audience.

Dean had written several science fiction books before he tried his hand at suspense thrillers. He says, “...even the most beautifully decorated, serene welcoming room contains a stunning array of fearsome weapons if one has even the most latent talent for Homicide.” Dean has also written graphic novels, short stories, non fiction and picture books. Some of his books were inspired by his beloved golden retriever, Trixie.

Dean has been called ‘a masterful writer and a quirky character.’ He’s a writer who has the uncanny ability to turn a safe and comfortable world into one of pure horror.

Most of Dean’s novels are set in and around Los Angeles. Several of his books have been made into films, and there is talk of the novel, “Odd Thomas,” being made into a television mini series.

Dean, and Gerda, make their home in southern California.

Books by Dean Koontz:


Tucker: (as Brian Coffey)

Blood Risk (1973)

Surrounded (1974)

The Wall of Masks (1975)

Moonlight Bay:

Fear Nothing (1997)

Seize the Night (1998)

Odd Thomas:

Odd Thomas (2003)


Brother Odd (2006)

Odd Hours (2008)

In Odd We Trust (2008) (with Queenie Chan)

Stand Alone Novels:

Star Quest (1968)

The Fall of the Dream Machine (1969)

Fear That Man (1969)

Anti-man (1970)

Beastchild (1970)

The Dark Symphony (1970)

Hell’s Gate (1970)

The Crimson Witch (1971)

Demon Child (1971) (as Deanna Dwyer)

Legacy of Terror (1971) (as Deanna Dwyer)

A Darkness in My Soul (1972)

The Flesh in the Furnace (1972)

Starblood (1972)

Warlock (1972)

Children of the Storm (1972) (as Deanna Dwyer)

The Dark of the Summer (1972) (as Deanna Dwyer)

Chase (1972) (as KR Dwyer)

Dance With the Devil (1972) (as Deanna Dwyer)

The Haunted Earth (1973) (as Deanna Dwyer)

A Werewolf Among Us (1973)

Hanging on (1973)

Demon Seed (1973)

Shattered (1973)

After the Last Race (1974)

Dragonfly (1974) (as KR Dwyer)

Nightmare Journey (1975)

Invasion (1975) (as Aaron Wolfe)

The Long Sleep (1975) (as John Hill)

Night Chills (1976)

Prisoner of Ice (1976) (as David Axton)

Time Thieves (1977)

The Vision (1977)

The Face of Fear (1977) (as KR Dwyer)

The Key to Midnight (1979) (as Leigh Nichols)

Whispers (1980)

The Voice of the Night (1980) (as Brian Coffey)

The funhouse (1980) (as Owen West)

The Eyes of Darkness (1981) (as Leigh Nichols)

The Mask (1981) (Owen West)

The House of Thunder (1982) (as Leigh Nichols)

Darkness Comes (1983)

Phantoms (1983)

The Servants of Twilight (1984) (as Leigh Nichols)

The Door to September (1985) (as Richard Paige)


Strangers (1986)

Watchers (1987)

Shadow Fires (1987) (as Leigh Nichols)

Lightening (1988)

Oddkins (1988)

Midnight (1989)

The Bad Place (1989)

Cold Fire (1991)

Hideaway (1991)

Dragon Tears (1992)

Mr Murder (1993)

Winter Moon 1993)

Dark Rivers of the Heart (1994)

Intensity (1995)

Tick Tock (1995)

Santa's Twin(1996)

Sole Survivor (1997)

False Memory (1999)

From the Corner of His Eye (2000)

One Door Away From Heaven (2001)

By the Light of the Moon (2002)

The Face (2003)

Life Expectancy (2004)

The Taking (2004)

Robot Santa: The Further Adventures of Santa’s Twin (2004)

Velocity (2005)

The Husband (2006)

The Good Guy (2007)

The Darkest Evening of the Year (2007)

Your Heart Belongs to Me: A Novel (2008)
Relentless: A Novel (2009)


Picture Books:

Trixie, Who is Dragon (2009)

Trixie and Jinx (2010)

Graphic Novels:

Trapped (1993) (with Ed Gorman)

Nevermore (2009) (with Keith Champagne)

Non Fiction:

How to Write Best Selling Fiction (1981)

Writing Popular Fiction (1992)

Bliss to You: Trixie’s Guide to a Happy Life (2008) (with Trixie Koontz)

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog (2009)

Christmas Is Good: Trixie's Guide to a Happy Holiday

Friday, January 8, 2010

Faye Kellerman, Author Biographies

Dr. Faye Kellerman was born Faye Mauder, in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 31, 1952, the oldest of six children. Most of her childhood was spent in Sherman Oaks, California. Faye’s mother, Anne Steinberg, haled from a very prominent family in St. Louis, MO. Faye’s father, Oscar Mauder, was a U.S. Army veteran and served in World War II.

Faye says that as a young girl she mostly wrote plays even though she was slightly dyslexic. She attended UCLA and graduated with a B.A. in Theoretical Mathematics in 1974 and in 1978 received a Doctorate in Dental Surgery.

Faye married Jonathan Kellerman, a psychologist and suspense writer. They have four children, Jesse, Rachel, Ilana and Aliza. They make their homes in Los Angeles, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Faye has been a published novelist of mostly suspense and mystery since 1986. She has co-authored two books with her husband, Jonathan, and most recently a young adult novel with youngest daughter, Aliza. Her oldest son is also a published novelist.

The summer of 2009 was very busy. She, and Aliza, went on a book tour and signing together for their novel, “Prism.” Faye also had two other novels hit the book stores, “Mercedes Coffin,” in July and “Blindmans Bluff,” in August.

Faye says her favorite writers are, of course, her husband and son. She says she likes the old hard-boiled mystery writers, such as Ross MacDonald and Raymond Chandler. She also enjoys novels by Sue Grafton and Elmore Leonard, but her favorite is James Cain. Faye also loves to read biographies, non fiction and historical fiction.

Faye treats her writing as a job first. She says that for her writing is not a creative endeavor, but the act of writing brings out the creativity. She still has to juggle home and hearth just like any working woman.

Faye and her family are practicing Orthodox Jews. She brings to life all the challenges of an Orthodox Jew in modern society in her novels. She says that she enjoys writing about and sharing her culture.

Why does she write crime novels? Faye said in an interview, “There is nothing quite as compelling as murder. It addresses the darkest recesses of human nature much in the same way religion does. One deals with the corporeal, the other deals with the spiritual.”

Faye and Jonathan are the only couple thus far to have novels on the New York Times Best Seller list at the same time. Faye said it was through Jonathan’s patient encouragement, early on, that she became writer.


Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus:

The Ritual Bath (Peter Decker / Rina Lazarus) (1986)

Sacred and Profane (1987)

Milk and Honey (1990)

Day of Atonement (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Mysteries) (1991)

False Profit (1992)

Grievous Sin (1993)

Sanctuary (1994)

Justice (1995)

Prayers for the Dead (1996)


Jupiter's Bones: A Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus Novel (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus Novels) (1998)

Stalker (2000)

The Forgotten (2000)

Stone Kiss (2002)

Street Dreams (2003)


The Mercedes Coffin CD (2008)

Blindman's Bluff: A Decker and Lazarus Novel (2009)

Hangman (2010)

Stand Alone Novels:

The Quality of Mercy (1989)

Moon Music (Paperback) (1998)

Naked Came the Phoenix (2001) (with Nevada Barr, Mary Jane Clark, Diana Gabaldon, JA Jance, Anne Perry, Nanct Pickard, JD Robb, Lisa Scotoline, Marcia Talley)

Straight into Darkness (2005)

(2009) (with Aliza Kellerman)


Ritual Bath/Sacred Profane (2007)

Double Homicide (2004) (with Jonathan Kellerman)

Capital Crimes (2006) (with Jonathan Kellerman)

Short Story Collections:

The Garden of Eden and Other Criminal Delights (2006)

Anthologies Edited:

Women of Mystery (1992) (with Mary Higgins Clark and Cynthia Manson)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Stuart Woods, Author Biographies

Stuart Woods hales from Manchester, Georgia, being born on January 9, 1938. He says that his mother taught him to read before he ever entered school. He says he became a voracious reader and even tried writing a novel when he was nine. When he found out how hard it was, he gave up on the project.

Stuart graduated from the University of Georgia with a BA in sociology in 1959. He says he enlisted in the Air National Guard, jokingly calling it “the draft dodger program.” However, in the mid sixties, he was called to duty in Germany where he spent 10 months. He says the only thing he flew was a truck.

Moving to New York in1960, Stuart went to work in a job training program at an advertising agency. He says his secretary made more money than him. Then he spent three years in London working at various ad agencies.

In 1973, Stuart moved to Ireland ostensibly to write his first novel. He worked in an advertising agency in Dublin two days a week to support himself. It was during this time that he became interested in sailing, starting out by competing in dinghy racing against young local


The novel, “Chiefs,” got shelved for eight years and was finally published in 1981. The paperback established Stuart as a serious novelist. It was made into a three part television mini series starring Charleston Heston and Danny Glover in 1983. Stuart had a small part as an FBI agent in part three. He said the hardest part of writing the book, “Chiefs,” was finishing it. After all it was a story he wanted to tell since he was a youngster.

What was the delay you ask? Sailing is the answer. Stuart’s grandfather died leaving some money for him in his will. Stuart bought a boat! Actually, he had a yacht built and in 1975 he joined the Multihull Offshore Cruising and Racing Association Azores Race. Stuart published a book, in 1977, about his experiences in that race entitled, “Blue Water, Green Skipper.”

Stuart is known for his mastery of creating suspense in a novel. In an interview, Stuart admits that the only writing class he took was a correspondence course at the University of Georgia, to fill out his five credits to graduate, everything else he learned in the advertising business. Another of Stuarts novels, “Grass Roots,” was made into a television mini series in 1993.

Once Stuart started writing, he became quite prolific, sometimes producing two books a year; no great feat. Now at the request of his publisher, he has agreed to write three books per year. Some feel that Stuart Woods writing runs hot and cold, with “Chiefs” being his masterpiece. You will have to be the judge.

Stuart has been married twice but is a self proclaimed bachelor, again. Along with his black lab, Fred, (Stuart says he names all his dogs Fred) Stuart make his homes in Key West Florida, Maine and New York. These days, he says, he sails on other peoples’s boats.

Books by Stuart Woods:


Will Lee:

Chiefs (Will Lee Novel) (1981)

Run Before the Wind (1983)

Deep Lie (1986)

Grass Roots (1989)

The Run (2000)

Capital Crimes (2002)

Mounting Fears (2009)

Holly Barker:

Orchid Beach (1998)

Orchid Blues (2001)

Blood Orchid (Holly Barker) (2002)

Reckless Abandon (2004)

Iron Orchid (2005)


Stone Barrington:

New York Dead (1991)

Dirt (1996)

Dead in the Water (1997)

Swimming to Catalina (1998)

Worst Fears Realized (1999)

L.A. Dead (Stone Barrington) (2000)

Cold Paradise (2001)

The Short Forever (2002)

Dirty Work (2003)

Reckless Abandon (2004)

Two-Dollar Bill (2005)

Dark Harbor (2006)

Fresh Disasters (2007)

Shoot Him if He Runs (2007)

Hot Mahogany (2008)

Loitering With Intent (2009)


Lucid Intervals (2010)

Ed Eagle:


Short Straw (Ed Eagle Novel) (2006)

Santa Fe Dead (2008)

Rick Barron:

The Prince of Beverly Hills (2004)

Beverly Hills Dead (2008)

Stand Alone Novels:

Under The Lake (1986)

White Cargo (1988)

Palindrome (1991)

L.A. Times (1993)

Dead Eyes (1993)

Imperfect Strangers (1994)

Heat (1994)

Choke (1995)

Non Fiction:

Blue Water, Green Skipper (1977)

A Romantic Guide to the Country Inns of Britain and Ireland (1997)