Dean Ray Koontz (born July 9, 1945) is an American author best known for his novels, which can broadly be described as suspense thrillers, but also frequently incorporate elements of horror, science fiction, mystery, and satire. Several of his books have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List, 14 hardcovers and 14 paperbacks reached the number one position. Koontz wrote under a number of pen names earlier in his career, including 'David Axton', 'Leigh Nichols' and 'Brian Coffey'. Koontz was born on July 9, 1945, in Everett, Pennsylvania. He was regularly beaten and abused by his alcoholic father, which influenced his later writing, as also did the courage of his physically diminutive mother in standing up to her husband. 'In his senior year at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, he won a fiction competition sponsored by Atlantic Monthly magazine.
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