Frank Edward Peretti (born January 13, 1951) is a best-selling contemporary evangelical Christian fiction novelist with more than twelve million copies of his work in print. Best known for his supernatural thriller titles This Present Darkness and The Oath, he primarily focuses on Christian topics, especially those surrounding spiritual warfare. Born in Canada and raised in Seattle, Washington, Peretti has held ministry credentials with the Assemblies of God and now lives in northern Idaho with his wife Barbara. Frank also plays the banjo in a bluegrass band called Northern Cross. In 2004, Peretti was inducted into the Indiana Wesleyan University Society of World Changers and presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters. News and Events
This Present Darkness, released in 1986, remained on the Christian Booksellers Association's top ten best-sellers list for over 150 consecutive weeks; it told the story of a demonic struggle with the heavenly hosts for control of a small town. Its sequel, Piercing the Darkness, was also well-received, and, together, the two books have sold more than 3.5 million copies to date. He continued the children's series that The Door in the Dragon's Throat began during the late 80s, and also worked on Prophet, which he released in 1992. Prophet combined Peretti's now-signature focus on the spiritual realm with the issue of abortion.
Developing his craft
Peretti reportedly felt bad about his early books' success and insisted that he had not yet developed his craft as a writer sufficiently. He began working with secular publishers and editors in an attempt to improve his writing. The result, The Oath, published in 1995, has sold more than one million copies worldwide and was the recipient of the 1996 ECPA Gold Medallion Book Award for Best Fiction. The Oath left behind the world of angels and demons developed in his previous books but certainly didn't abandon the fantastic; the story centers around the siege of a fictional Washington mining town held by a vicious dragon.
In the mid-90s, Peretti picked up his children's series, the Cooper Kids Adventure series, publishing four more titles. He also wrote The Visitation, a story of a small wheat town in eastern Washington visited by a man who claims to be a Jesus reincarnate. The Visitation was released in 1999.
Change of focus
The turn of the millennium saw Peretti's departure from writing his popular novels. He dwellt on the subject of bullying in his non-fiction titles No More Victims (2001) and No More Bullies (2003), and in his 2000 autobiographical story of childhood struggles with physical disfigurement and an examination of how society emotionally abuses and scars children, The Wounded Spirit. He also wrote Hangman's Curse and Nightmare Academy, the only two books in the short-lived Veritas Project series for teenagers, which sold more than 500,000 copies according to Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Return to adult novels
Peretti's first novel after 2000 was the thriller, Monster. Starting with the legend of Bigfoot it is about a predator that terrorizes the woods of northern Idaho. The book explores issues surrounding the "survival of the fittest" and raises objections to evolution.
House was released in April 2006 and co-authored by Peretti with fellow supernatural author Ted Dekker. This latest novel follows in the footsteps of his 1990s works in its horror-based nature, but also incorporates the spiritual elements of his Darkness books.
Tilly was adapted into a short forty minute film by a pro-life group, Love Life America in 2002 and shown on both PAX TV and briefly on the EWTN show Defending Life before being released on DVD. Directed by Stephen Vidano and produced by IMS Productions.
Later, 2002 saw a movie based on Hangman's Curse in which Frank Peretti had a small role as an eccentric professor. It had a limited release in theaters but appears to have been successful enough to encourage film producers to continue developing Peretti's books into films. The Visitation was also made into a film by Twentieth Century Fox. House was released in select theaters on November 7, 2008.
Peretti's fictional portrayal of spiritual warfare reflects in part his background in the Assemblies of God and the contemporary focus of Pentecostal writings on the demonic. His concept of Territorial Spirits reigning over cities is paralleled in non-fiction works in theology and missions by Pentecostal writers such as C. Peter Wagner, Larry Lea, Ed Silvoso and Ed Murphy.
As his novels have been widely sold and read throughout Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal churches, Peretti's fiction has excited the imaginations of pastors and non-clergy alike on the subject of spiritual warfare. Michael Maudlin reports that some readers have been so enthused they have declared that This Present Darkness is the best book ever written after the Bible.
Some critical reservations have been expressed by a number of Evangelical and Pentecostal writers that many readers are using Peretti's novels as manuals on prayer, exorcism, spiritual warfare and as guidebooks about the New Age. For example, Kim Riddlebarger expresses alarm that many readers have "redefined their entire worldview based upon a novel" and insists that the Bible does not call upon Christians to "engage in spiritual warfare as a combat between angels and demons." ("This Present Paranoia", pp 278 and 279).
Irving Hexham rejects Peretti's depiction of the New Age as confirming a negative stereotype. Hexham observes that Peretti's novels reflect the anxieties that many fundamentalist and evangelical Christians have about secular society, the mass media, the social sciences and tertiary education. He is also disturbed "to see the way Frank Peretti has become a popular and oft-quoted authority on the New Age" because "his actual qualifications in religious matters are minimal". ("The Evangelical Response to the New Age", p. 157).
All Is Well: The Miracle of Christmas in July (1991)
Cooper Kids Adventure Series
The Door in the Dragon's Throat1985In the first book in the series, Dr. Jake Cooper and his two children arrive in the Middle-Eastern country of Nepur to help the president solve the mystery of the Dragon's Throat, a big hole in the desert. Deep inside is a massive door, but what is behind it? Treasure from a lost kingdom, or some ancient evil?
Escape from the Island of Aquarius1986The Cooper family go in search of a missing missionary who disappeared many years ago on a mysterious island.
The Tombs of Anak1987The Cooper's go to Gath and try to uncover the deadly secrets of a mysterious tomb.
Trapped at the Bottom of the Sea1988Lila boards the Mac 5302, only to find out the plane was being hijacked. She insisted on leaving her father's teaching expedition to go back to the United States to stay with her aunt. Now she is a prisoner in a locked, top secret weapons pod with no way of escape...
The Secret of the Desert Stone1996The Coopers try to work out the origin of a massive stone that has appeared overnight separating a native tribe from the country's capital.
The Deadly Curse of Toco-rey1996Lila and Jay Cooper have joined their dad on a mission to the jungles of Central America, where a group of American treasure hunters have already become victims of the deadly curse of Toco-Rey. Before Dr. Cooper can solve the mystery, his children are kidnapped and his integrity is put to the test. What price will he pay to get his children back? Is the treasure in the burial tomb of Kachi-Tochetin really worth more than gold?
The Legend of Annie Murphy1997In 1885, the Murphy mine struck gold. According to legend, Annie Murphy killed her husband out of greed. Just before she was to be hanged for the murder, she escaped. Now, a hundred years later, there have been sightings of Annie Murphy's "ghost." The Coopers unwittingly become involved in a mystery that finds them caught between the past and the present.
Mayday at Two Thousand Five Hundred Feet, aka Flying Blind1998Taking flying lessons with his uncle, Jay is forced to fly without sight when his uncle is knocked unconscious.
In addition to his appearance in Hangman's Curse, Peretti has had a voice role in Flo, the Lying Fly, the second computer animated entry in the Hermie and Friends series for children. He has also made a number of videos (and associated audio tapes and books) in which he takes on the persona of Mr. Henry, a slightly eccentric inventor and Bible teacher. While the format is unusual, it contains none of the controversial theology of his adults' books. House, a book he co-authored with Ted Dekker, has also been filmed.