Simply Held October Authors: William Johnstone and Dean Koontz

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New month means new highlighted authors from Simply Held. October’s authors are William Johnstone for fiction and Dean Koontz for horror.


Our October fiction author is William Johnstone. Johnstone is known as a writer of western thrillers, and is most known for writing horror, western, and survivalist novels. He passed away in 2004, but his nephew J.A. Johnstone has kept up his work by continuing writing under his name and his uncle’s name. William was born in 1938 and held a wide variety of jobs before he started writing in 1970. He quit school when he was fifteen, then was in the French Foreign Legion until he was kicked out for being underage. William then joined the carnival, went back to school, worked as a deputy sheriff, joined the army, and then started a career in radio broadcasting. He was on air for sixteen years. Although William started writing in 1970, he didn’t become a full-time writer until late 1979. In his career, he has written over four hundred books spanning many genres: action, suspense, western, science fiction, and horror.

Johnstone’s newest book is Desolation Creekto be published in March 2023. This is book five in the Smoke Jensen series written with J.A. Johnstone.

Curious what this book is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

Legendary national bestselling Western authors William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone return with the latest gun-blazing installment in their newest Smoke Jensen series.


Building a ranch takes heart and grit. Smoke and Sally Jensen are more than capable of meeting the challenges of shaping the land, raising the livestock, and establishing their brand. But Smoke wasn’t always an entrepreneur. He’s more apt to settle accounts with a fast draw than a checkbook. And when he learns his old friend Preacher has been ambushed by outlaws, he wastes no time saddling up and hitting the vengeance trail with his fellow mountain men Audie and Nighthawk.

Preacher’s attackers have taken over the town of Desolation Creek deep in Montana Territory. Their scurrilous leader, Vernon “Venom” McFadden, has his men harrassing terrified homesteaders and townsfolk to get his hands on nearby property that’s rumored to be rich with gold. Smoke and his helpmates drift into town one by one with a plan to root out Venom’s gang of prairie rats and put the big blast on each and every one.


Our October horror author is Dean Koontz. Koontz has written under many pseudonyms and has covered a wide variety of genres: horror, science fiction, thriller, mysteries, and even children’s fiction. He has sold over 500 million copies of his books to date. They have been published in 38 languages. Fourteen of his novels have been number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list, an honor very few authors have achieved. Meanwhile sixteen of his books made it to number one in paperback. Koontz was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition his senior year of college, that fueled his desire to continue writing. After landing a job at the Appalachian Poverty Program, Koontz was even more motivated to start a career as a writer, writing nights and weekends. When he left that job, he worked as an English teacher in a suburban school district. While working there, his wife offered to support him for five years so he could dedicate himself to his writing career. At the end of those five years, she quit her job to help him manage his writing career. Koontz now lives in Southern California with his wife.

Koontz’s newest book is The House at the End of the World which is to be published in January 2023.

Curious what this book is about? Below is a description provided by the publisher.

Soon no one on Earth will have a place to hide in this novel about fears known and unknown by #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense Dean Koontz.

In retreat from a devastating loss and crushing injustice, Katie lives alone in a fortresslike stone house on Jacob’s Ladder island. Once a rising star in the art world, she finds refuge in her painting.

The neighboring island of Ringrock houses a secret: a government research facility. And now two agents have arrived on Jacob’s Ladder in search of someone—or something—they refuse to identify. Although an air of menace hangs over these men, an infinitely greater threat has arrived, one so strange even the island animals are in a state of high alarm.

Katie soon finds herself in an epic and terrifying battle with a mysterious enemy. But Katie’s not alone after all: a brave young girl appears out of the violent squall. As Katie and her companion struggle across a dark and eerie landscape, against them is an omnipresent terror that could bring about the end of the world.

This book is also available in the following format: