Author profiles contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library

 

Jonathan Kellerman was born in 1949, in York City to an aerospace engineer/inventor father and a dancer/office manager mother. When he was still young the family moved to LA where he grew up. He worked his way through college as a cartoonist, illustrator, journalist, editor, and guitar instructor until he received his BA in psychology from UCLA in 1971. He enrolled in a PhD program in clinical psychology at the University of Southern California and received his PhD in 1974 at the age of twenty-four. His doctoral research was on attribution of blame for childhood psychopathology and he published a scientific paper on that topic at the age of twenty-two. In 1975, Jonathan was asked by the USC hospital to research the psychological effects of extreme isolation on children with cancer and to coordinate the care of the children and their families. From this research the hospital established the Psychosocial Program, a Division of Oncology in 1977. It was the first in the world that approached the emotional aspects of pediatric cancer. He was a practicing psychologist until he gave up his practice in 1987 to focus on his writing career.

 

Jonathan Kellerman currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife of close to forty years Faye Kellerman also a bestselling crime writer. She has a degree in theoretical math and a doctorate in dentistry.   He is currently a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine. The have four children with the oldest, Jesse Kellerman, a bestselling novelist and an award-winning playwright. Their youngest, Aliza Kellerman, co-wrote a young adult novel “Prism” with Faye in 2009.

 

Jonathan’s first book was published in 1980 and was a nonfiction book titled “Psychological Aspects of Childhood Cancer.” It was an accumulation of his experiences from his cancer research and working with the children at the hospital. He also published a book for parents in 1981, “Helping the Fearful Child.” His first novel was published in 1985 called “When the Bough Breaks” and it's the first in his bestselling series based on the character Alex Delaware, a child psychologist who consults for the police and is assisted in his investigations by LAPD detective Milo Sturgis. Milo is unique because he was one of the first openly gay characters to be featured in a crime fiction series. “When the Bough Breaks” was adapted into a very successful TV movie starring Ted Danson in1986. Kellerman has gone on to write twenty-nine more books in the Delaware series with the latest “Motive” published in 2015. “Motive” follows Delaware and Milo track down a possible serial killer that might be linked to an unsolved murder from Milo's past. Jonathan has written several standalone novels including several with his wife and one with his son. He has written and illustrated two children books and has written several other nonfiction books including one about guitars, which he collects and loves to play. He draws and paints in his spare time and is an advocate for mentally ill patients and that released patients should not only receive medication, but counseling and psychotherapy as well.

 

Jonathan Kellerman has been writing since he was nine years old. He used it as a form of expression early on and did not really fully embrace it as a career until after his third novel was published in 1987 when he gave up his psychology practice to pursue it full time. His books are crime fiction with an element of mystery. This combination keeps readers' noses glued to the pages to find out what happens next. He adds life and death situations to his novels to add intensity to his stories and to keep the reader engaged and on the edge of their seat. His novels do contain elements of complicated forensic science, but the characters themselves are down to earth and everyday people that readers can easily relate to.

 

If you like Jonathan Kellerman you may also like Faye Kellerman, Linda Fairstein, John Lescroart, John Sandford, Michael Palmer, Steve Martini, Nevada Barr, or Tami Hoag.

If you find yourself in the mood for a good book that is gripping, filled with intrigue and relentless characters that will go the end of earth to find the bad guys while using the latest in forensic science you should give Jonathan Kellerman a try. His books will give you an inside look at how good police work and doggedly determination can bring evil to justice and peace to the unfortunate victims and their families.