David Morrell

David Morrell is the award-winning author of First Blood, the 1972 novel in which Rambo was created. He was born in 1943 in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. In 1960, at the age of seventeen, he became a fan of the classic television series, route 66 (the title did not have a capital letter), about two young men in a Corvette convertible traveling the United States in search of America and themselves. The scripts by Stirling Silliphant so impressed Morrell that he decided to become a writer. In 1966, the work of another writer (Hemingway scholar Philip Young) prompted Morrell to move to the United States, where he studied with Young at the Pennsylvania State University and received his M.A. and Ph. D. in American literature. There, he also met the esteemed science-fiction writer William Tenn (real name Philip Klass), who taught Morrell the basics of fiction writing. The result was First Blood, a novel about a returned Vietnam veteran suffering from post-trauma stress disorder who comes into conflict with a small-town police chief and fights his own version of the Vietnam War. That “father” of modern action novels was published in 1972 while Morrell was a professor in the English department at the University of Iowa. He taught there from 1970 to 1986, simultaneously writing other novels, many of them national bestsellers, including the classic spy trilogy, The Brotherhood of the Rose (the basis for a top-rated NBC miniseries broadcast after the Super Bowl), The Fraternity of the Stone, and The League of Night and Fog. Eventually wearying of two professions, Morrell gave up his tenure in order to write full time. Shortly afterward, his fifteen-year-old son Matthew was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and died in 1987, a loss that haunts not only Morrell’s life but his work, as in his memoir about Matthew, Fireflies, and his novel Desperate Measures, whose main character has lost a son. “The mild-mannered professor with the bloody-minded visions,” as one reviewer called him, Morrell is the author of thirty books, including such high-action thrillers as The Fifth Profession, Assumed Identity, and Extreme Denial (set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he now lives with his wife, Donna). Always interested in different ways to tell a story, he wrote the six-part illustrated narrative, Captain America: The Chosen. His The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing analyzes what he has learned during his thirty-six years as an author. Morrell is the co-founder of the International Thriller Writers organization. Noted for his research, he is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School for wilderness survival as well as the G. Gordon Liddy Academy of Corporate Security. He is also an honorary lifetime member of the Special Operations Association and the Association of Intelligence Officers. He has been trained in firearms, hostage negotiation, assuming identities, executive protection, and tactical driving, among numerous other action skills that he describes in his novels. With eighteen million copies in print, his work has been translated into twenty-six languages. Morrell is a three-time recipient of the distinguished Bram Stoker Award, the latest for his novel, Creepers. Comic-Con International honored him with its legendary Inkpot Award for his contributions to popular culture. Previous recipients include Ray Bradbury, Chuck Jones, George Lucas, Frank Miller, Steven Spielberg, Harlan Ellison, Matt Groening, Gahan Wilson, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, Francis Ford Coppola, Mickey Spillane, and Rod Serling. You can visit him at www.davidmorrell.net.