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Dean Koontz – A Short Biography

9 Apr
dean koontz

Photo credits to horrornovelreviews.wordpress.com

Dean Koontz is an American author who became famous for writing suspense thrillers that have elements of horror, mystery, and science fiction in it. Some of his most famous works are Frankenstein, Sole Survivor, Watchers, and The Funhouse which all had film adaptations. Most of his books made it to the New York Times Bestseller List with 14 hardcovers and 14 paperbacks reaching the number one spot.

With over 450 million copies of his work sold and books published in 38 languages, it is appropriate for us to get to know more about this phenomenal fiction writer as he continues to captivate his readers’ hearts and minds through his work.

Where It Started

Born on July 9, 1945 at Everett, Pennsylvania, Dean Koontz suffered a difficult childhood as he was known to be beaten frequently by his alcoholic father. This, along with his mother’s courage, is said to have influenced him to write as early as his senior year at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania where he won a fiction competition by Atlantic Monthly Magazine. He never stopped writing from here on.

However, after graduating, Dean Koontz worked as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg High School in Pennsylvania where the experience opened up his eyes to the reality that those children do not receive the proper funding and the proper help they need to make it in this hard life. This honed his political outlook.

Despite being an English teacher, he was still able to write and published his first novel, the Star Quest in 1968. From here on, he published over a dozen science fiction novels. Catholic faith also influenced his works though it showed a great contrast to what he had witnessed in his own family. This is reflected in his works as most of the characters depict a struggle in faith and were noted as fallen souls.

The Supportive Wife

Writing has always been Dean Koontz’s passion. His wife, Gerda, knows this and so after witnessing Koontz struggle from his teaching work and after spending numerous sleepless days writing, she made an offer that was too hard to resist. She offered to support Koontz for five years just so he can write novels and fiction books full time. His wife also said that if in the span of five years he could not make it big, then he will probably never make it.

Luckily enough, Dean Koontz made it big with most of his novels turned into films. After the five-year mark that his wife gave, his wife quit her job to run and support his writing business.

Because of Dean Koontz interesting background and prolific writing, a psychologist named Katherine Ramsland published an extensive biography of him. By 2008, Dean Koontz was the world’s sixth most highly paid author tied with another famous author, John Grisham. They are believed to make $25 million annually.

Today, Dean Koontz lives with his wife and their golden retriever named Anna in Southern California.

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Sandol Stoddard Warburg – A Short Biography

17 Feb

On December 16, 1927, Sandol Stoddard was born to parents, Carlos French and Caroline (Harris) Stoddard. She took up and finished a Bachelor of Arts degree at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She went on to do her graduate work at San Francisco State College.

At 22 years old, she married Felix M. Warburg. They had five sons and were married for 17 years. She was married to Peter R. Goethals from 1984 until his death in 2000.

She was known as a contemporary author. Let’s get to know her more through some of her works:

A Child’s First Bible (1990)

This is a book for children. She tells the forty well-loved stories from Protestant, Catholic and Jewish traditions. She writes it a clear manner and condenses it effectively. This book of hers also has full page illustrations that are beautifully made.

God’s Little House (1984)

This is another juvenile fiction that she wrote to encourage children to develop the love for biblical stories. This was published by Paulist Press.

The Hospice Movement (1978)

This is the book she wrote in New York about the way terminally ill people should be treated. It’s about the alternative options to the high technology nightmare that was once a practice in caring for the terminally ill.

On the Way Home (1973)

This is her book about the adventures of a boy with his companion that is a bear. Another fiction but surely, written with passion and tells a moral lesson.

sandol stoddard warburg

Photo credits to moreart4all.wordpress.com

Curl Up Small (1964)

This is a charming book about the relationship between mothers and babies in the animal kingdom. It ends with the very touching illustrations of the human mother and baby that everyone can truly relate.

These are just some of her written work. Though she was more well known for her best-selling book that is still in print today, I Like You.

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William Butler Yeats – A Short Biography

20 Oct
william butler yeats

photo credit to cloudfront.net

Many of us who are studying in-depth European poetry would surely be familiar with the name William Butler Yeats. This is due to the fact that he is one of the biggest names in poetry who is also a recipient of the much coveted Nobel Prize. It was in June 13, 1865 when he was born in one of the well-off areas of Dublin. Nothing much was being mentioned in history books about his mother but it is a very clear thing that his father worked as an attorney. His father was also a talented painter of portraits. These things that his father did apparently had a significant impact on what he would do later in life.

William’s siblings were all into art. This would also explain why there is so much influence of art of the poetry works that he was able to create. During his early years, it was very obvious that he showed a great interest in poetry. In fact, he was involved actively in London’s fin de siècle. It has been noted that during those times, he was also a part of this very intriguing society that has the ultimate aim of giving life back to the literary world of Ireland.

William Butler Yeats was able to put together the Irish Theatre with help coming from Lady Gregory. This would later become known as the Abbey Theatre. For a couple of years, Yeats acted as the playwright of this theater until the arrival of John Synge. It is very notable in the acts that Yeats was able to produce that he gave much value to spiritualism. Some of his finest masterpieces were seen in the years 1892, 1894, 1902, 1904, and 1907.

The works of Yeats took a significant transformation towards poetry in 1910. Plays that he created were mostly aimed for small numbers of viewers and there were lots of experiments on many new elements.  His early poetry works were full of emotion and antagonism towards the Nationalist Movement. His works of poetry continued until he was put on a senate chair for the government of Ireland. He received the Nobel Prize afterwards and this is for poetry that is described by many as full of inspiration.

Even though the 1923 Nobel Prize was already granted to him, he continued his works in poetry and some of his greatest masterpieces followed. The masterpiece called as “The Tower” is just one of the many examples we could see. William Butler Yeats passed away on January 28, 1939 and he left as one of the heroes of Irish poetry.