Michael Koryta (pronounced Ko-ree-ta) is the New York Times-bestselling author of 11 suspense novels. His work has been praised by Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Dennis Lehane, Daniel Woodrell, Ron Rash, and Scott Smith among many others, and has been translated into more than 20 languages. His books have won or been nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Edgar® Award, Shamus Award, Barry Award, Quill Award, International Thriller Writers Award, and the Golden Dagger. They’ve been selected as “best books of the year” by publications as diverse as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com, O the Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, People, Reader’s Digest, iBooks, and Kirkus Reviews.
His recent thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead was named the summer’s best thriller by both Amazon and Entertainment Weekly, and was selected as one of the year’s best books by more than 10 publications. The audio version was named one of the best audio books of the year, as well, the second time that Robert Petkoff’s narration of Michael’s work has earned such an honor. The novel is currently being adapted as a major motion picture by 20th Century Fox.
Michael’s previous work ranges from a trio of supernatural novels—So Cold the River, The Cypress House, and The Ridge, which were all named New York Times notable books of the year and earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly—to stand-alone crime novels such as The Prophet (A New York Times bestseller) and Envy the Night (selected as a Reader’s Digest condensed book), to a series of award-winning novels featuring private investigator Lincoln Perry—Tonight I Said Goodbye, Sorrow’s Anthem, A Welcome Grave, and The Silent Hour.
Various film and television adaptations of the books are underway, with The Prophet, So Cold the River, The Cypress House, and Those Who Wish Me Dead all optioned as feature films, and the Lincoln Perry series and The Ridge being developed for television. Michael has written for the screen in both feature film and television. Oscar and Emmy winners are attached to every project.
Before turning to writing full-time, Michael worked as a private investigator and as a newspaper reporter, and taught at the Indiana University School of Journalism. He began working for a private investigator as an intern while in high school, turned it into his day job in the early stages of his writing career, and still maintains an interest in the firm. As a journalist, he won numerous awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Michael’s first novel, the Edgar-nominated Tonight I Said Goodbye was accepted for publication when he was 20 years old. He wrote his first two published novels before graduating from college, and was published in nearly 10 languages before he fulfilled the “writing requirement” classes required for his diploma.
Michael was raised in Bloomington, Indiana, where he graduated from Bloomington North High School in 2001, and later graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. In 2008 he was honored as a “distinguished young alumni” by Indiana University, and in 2010 he was named “distinguished alumni’ by the criminal justice department.
Michael’s passions outside of writing and reading involve a variety of outdoor pursuits – hiking, camping, boating, and fishing are all likely to occupy his free time when he’s not working on a new book. Some of his favorite spots in the world are the Beartooth Mountains, the setting of Those Who Wish Me Dead and a place to which he returns at least twice a year; the flowages of the Northwoods in Wisconsin, where he began fishing with his father as a child and still returns each fall; St. Petersburg, FL, where he lived part-time for 8 years, and southern Maine. Although he loves to travel, he stills claims his native Bloomington, Indiana as home and has a great love of the area, its diversity and culture, and the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside. He lives in Bloomington with his wife, Christine, a cranky cat named Marlowe, an emotionally disturbed cat named John Pryor (long story on that name), and an exceedingly athletic dog of unknown heritage named Lola.
Research has always been a driving passion of Michael’s approach, leading him from big-cat rescues with the Exotic Feline Rescue Center (www.exoticfelinerescuecenter.org) to wilderness survival schools and caving trips. His research efforts and writing method can be followed via his blog, twitter @mjkoryta, and the Michael Koryta Books page on Facebook.