Sorry I missed this one yesterday... twas quite the busy day for me!
July 9th, 1945 On this day in horror history, science fiction/ suspense/ horror fiction author Dean Ray Koontz was born.
Growing up in Everret, Pennsylvania, Dean gained much inspiration for his novels through his own life experiences, being beaten and abused by his alcoholic father as well as watching his small but courageous mother standing up to such a monster, in defense. While in college at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Dean was seeking answers to his questions about life and found the Catholic faith to be quite the contrast to his own chaotic family and experiences. His new found faith would later be reflected in is writings, as spirituality and religion permits a view of life that sees mystery, grace and wonder in all things. Throughout college and during his time as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg High School, Koontz would develop his political views/ distrust and future inspiration for more of his writings while working for a federally funded program designed to help poverty stricken children. He had said that the program had sounded noble and wonderful but only turned out to be a dumping ground for violent children as well as a cover for misappropriated and disappearing funding.
This did not however, make him loose faith in all charitable organizations as in the 90's and early 2000's he had donated substantial amounts to the Canine Companions for Independence after being taken aback by the charity while doing research for his novel "Midnight." As a thanks to him for all his contributions, the CCI had gifted Dean "Trixie," a golden retriever, who would end up being inspiration/ one of Koontz's pen names (Trixie Koonts) as can be seen in many of his book-jacket photos. Deans books "Life Is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living" (2004) and "Christmas Is Good" (2005) are written from a supposed canine perspective on the joys of life.The royalties of the books are designated for donations to CCI.
One would wonder if such meaningful inspiration went into every pseudonym Koontz used (Deanna Dwyer, K. R. Dwyer, Aaron Wolfe, David Axton, Brian Coffey, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Owen West, Richard Paige and Anthony North) while publishing books, sometimes up to 8 times per year, in multiple genres of reading entertainment. There are conspiracy theories however, to several publishing/ novels that are traced back to Koontz in the "erotica" genre. While he states that the identity thief's name (who had been a previous writing partner) would be revealed in his memoirs after receiving a written admission of guilt in 1991, some theories from book sellers and fanatics would cite several coincidences and similarities between his other works and that of the erotica that is alleged to be published by someone else using his name.
Over the years, Dean Koontz has pumped out 14 hardcovers and 14 paperbacks that have reached the number one position on the New York Times Bestseller List and has the title of the worlds "6th highest paid author" (2008) bringing in an annual income of $25 Million. He currently lives in Orange County, California, where most of his novels are set in and around, with his wife Gerda and newly adopted dog, Anna. We can only hope to see many more fantastic novels produced by such an inspirational author, to come! Happy birthday Dean Koontz, may you see many more in the future! ~~~Horror Central
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