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Author Profiles Contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library

 

Jackie Collins was born in Hampstead, London in 1937. Her father was a famous theatrical agent whose clients included Shirley Bassey, The Beatles and Tom Jones. Jackie’s older sister is the actress Joan Collins and she also has a younger brother, Bill. Jackie attended the all girls’ school Francis Holland School in London, but she was expelled from the school at age 15 for truancy, smoking, and selling copies of her own book of dirty limericks. For a short time Jackie was a stage singer before following her sister to acting roles in a series of British B movies in the 1950s. She gave up her acting career after appearing in the 1960’s ITC television series “Danger Man” and “The Saint."

Category: Book Reviews

Author profiles contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library

 

Sebastian Junger was born in Belmont, Massachusetts in January 1962. His father was a painter and his mother a physicist. His father was born in Germany and migrated to the United States during World War II because his own father had been Jewish. As a child Junger grew up in the neighborhood of the Boston Strangler, which later in life influenced him into writing one of his books specifically about the Boston Strangler and suggest it's possible the wrong man was convicted of the crimes. Also as a child Junger was interested in dangerous situations where people lived and worked. Later in life this led Junger to pursue the profession as a high-climber for tree removal companies. But after a chainsaw injury he thought better of it and instead decided to focus on journalism and telling stories about people with dangerous jobs.

Category: Book Reviews

Author profiles contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library

 

Judith Ann Jance (JA Jance) was born in South Dakota in 1944 and raised in Bisbee, AZ. As a second-grader Jance was introduced to Frank Baum’s “Wizard of Oz” series and from that moment on she knew she wanted to be a writer. She graduated from Bisbee High School in 1962, and received an academic scholarship that made her the first person in her family to attend a four year college. She graduated in 1966 with a degree in English and Secondary Education from the University of Arizona. While in college she tried to pursue her writing career by taking a creative writing class, but the professor refused her entry into the class due to her gender because women weren't writers, they were “teachers or nurses.” While in college she married an alcoholic and in 1968 he forbade her from writing because there was only room for one writer in the family and that would be him. In the end nothing he ever wrote was published. However, she continued to write poetry in secret, but never seriously perused a writing career until much later in life.

Category: Book Reviews

Author profiles contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library

 

Robert Anthony Salvatore (pen name RA Salvatore) was born in January 1959 in Leominster, Massachusetts. He is the youngest of five children and a graduate of Leominster High School. After graduating he went to Fitchburg State College in MA where he planned on studying computer science. But, after receiving the book “Lord of the Rings” as a Christmas present his sophomore year he switched majors and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications/Media from Fitchburg in 1981. He went back the following year and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. Before taking up writing full-time in 1982, he worked as a bouncer and contributes his fierce and vividly described battle scenes to his time as a bouncer.

Category: Book Reviews

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.

Category: Book Reviews

Author profiles contributed by Chris Bacon, Mason County District Library

 

Jeffrey Deaver was born outside in Glen Ellyn, Illinois near Chicago in May 1950. He has a bachelor degree with a major in journalism from the University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University. During his life he has worked as a journalist, a folksinger, and a corporate attorney before becoming a bestselling author. He has a sister who is also an author of young adult novels, Julie Reece Deaver. In his free time Jeff likes to speak at conferences and festivals about books, literacy, and writing in general. He is also a cook and loves to have dinner parties with some unusual themes, such as Roman medieval.

 

Jeff has said he has always wanted to be an author and even wrote his first book at age eleven. He has written over thirty novels, three short story collections, and a nonfiction law book. Jeff's novels are suspense filled fast paced stories that usual only cover a very short time frame of only hours or days. Even though most of his stories are plot driven, he is able to present the human side of his characters and include human issues into the stories. The stories feature strong and sometimes flawed heroes, deranged bad guys and are full of surprising twists and turns with oodles of cliffhangers. His books explore the psychology of crime and crime detection with insights into not only the hero’s minds, but the villains as well. There is also a great deal of forensics and standard police work that go into his books to make thrilling crime stories that you just can't put down.

 

To come up with ideas for his novels Jeff does not peruse the news headlines. Instead he spends his time in a dark room thinking of stories and characters that would fit into a typical Jeffrey Deaver novel. After coming up with a story he likes he then spends about eight months researching and outlining his book. When he is ready to begin writing he will sit in a dark room and picture the scene he is about to write. Once he has it, he closes his eyes and begins touch typing the scene. He then goes on to revise his novels twenty to thirty times before he even sends in his manuscript to his publisher. He has never taken any writing classes and believes the best way to learn to write is to study the work of other writers that you like.

 

Jeffrey primarily writes two thriller series. The first and most popular series is the “Lincoln Rhyme” series featuring a quadriplegic New York detective and the other “Kathryn Dance” series featuring Dance as an agent with the California Bureau of Investigation. His latest novel “Solitude Creek” released in May 2015 is the fourth in the Dance series and has Dance investigating a possible serial killer that uses panic and the chaos it creates to kill people.

 

If you are a fan of any of these thrilling crime writing authors Jonathon Kellerman, Boris Starling, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Tess Gerritsen, Karin Slaughter, or Jefferson Bass you should give Jeffrey Deaver a try. His psychologically in depth novels with plenty of plot twists and carnage will provide you with a roller coaster thrill ride where you aren't quite sure who you are rooting for in the end, the hero or the villain.

Category: Book Reviews