Ted Dekker is a New York Times best-selling author best known for suspense and thriller novels, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans. Early in his career he wrote a number of books with Christian themes that would best be categorized as religious fiction. His later works are a mix of mainstream novels such as Adam, Thr3e, Skin, Obsessed and BoneMan’s Daughters; and fantasy thrillers that metaphorically explore faith. Best known among these are his Circle Series (Black, Red, White, Green), The Lost Books (Chosen, Infidel, Renegade, Chaos, Lunatic, Elyon), and The Paradise Books (Showdown, Saint, and Sinner), as well as House (with Frank Peretti), Skin, and Immanuel's Veins.
Dekker was born to Christian missionaries who lived among the headhunter tribes of Indonesia. "Throw a pair of shorts on, no shoes, no shirt and take off into the jungle,” he told The 700 Club in 2007. “That’s how I grew up. It was a completely different culture.” As a result his parents’ work often included extended periods of time away from their children.
After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States to study Philosophy and Religion at Evangel University. After obtaining a Bachelor's Degree, he entered the corporate world. But his personal drive left him restless and, after many successful years, he traded corporate life for wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits.
In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before scrapping both and starting from scratch and rewriting both. It was then that Dekker realized that storytelling was what satisfied him.
He sold his business, moved his family to the mountains of Western Colorado and began writing full-time on his third novel.
Early writing career
His first four offerings to publishers were dark and edgy, which were all rejected (Including his now bestselling novel, Black). Ted announced a few of these titles at "The Gathering 2.0" in Dallas on April 24, 2010. 3 of the 4 were called Earthfall, Genesis and To Kill With Reason. Later Dekker penned Heaven’s Wager, which he described as being a more "Christian book." Four offers came in and Dekker attained a three book deal with Thomas Nelson for similar books.
Dekker proceeded to write 6 more supernatural thrillers and quickly rose to the top of the bestsellers lists, dubbed the new master of Christian Thrillers. These titles included: Heaven’s Wager,When Heaven Weeps,Thunder of Heaven,Blessed Child,A Man Called Blessed, and Blink which title was later changed to In The Blink of an Eye.
Later writing career
He then turned back to his roots and penned Thr3e, his first mainstream novel which included some strong spiritual themes. The book won several awards and landed at the top of several bestseller’s lists.
Since then Dekker has written in two primary genres, mainstream serial killer novels and fantasy. As of 2009 his Mainstream novels include Thr3e, Obsessed, Skin, Adam, and BoneMan’s Daughters,and his latest novel " The Bride Collector" the first of what he calls his ‘New York’ novels, published by Hachette.
His fantasy novels include: Black, Red, White, Green (Circle Series), Showdown, Saint, Sinner, and House, co-authored with Frank Peretti. He has also penned 6 young adult novels in the Lost Book series, a spin off of the Circle Series.
Interestingly, publishers and bookstores sometimes don’t know quite how to categorize Dekker. His early books planted him in the religion section of most stores. His later books are found in general fiction and in some religious stores where he is an anomaly. Even so, his novels seem to explore themes that resonate with people of faith. His books have been received favorably by fans, drawing many to his website and Facebook page.
Beginning in June 2007, fans gathered in Nashville TN of their own accord to discuss all things Dekker with a focus on the Circle Series. They dubbed the event 'The Gathering'. In 2008, over 200 showed up. In 2009, over 500 spent $100 a ticket and congregated for the first fully produced Gathering event. They crossed the country, passionate about the stories that have them buzzing. In 2010, two smaller events were held at a lower cost in both Dallas, TX and Chicago, IL. Nicknamed "the Gathering 2.0," a combined 700 fans attended the two events for the price of a hard cover book (which came with the ticket). This event was considered "unscripted" and more laid back than the one held in 2009.
In 2008, seven years from the publication of his first novel, Dekker’s novels had sold roughly 4 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. As of 2009, Dekker resides in Austin with his wife LeeAnn and two of their daughters.
In 2010, Dekker published two novels, "Burn" with Erin Healey, and "Tea with Hezbollah". His third novel of the year, and his second from Hachette, "The Bride Collector" was released on April 13th, and then his most recent being Immanuel's Vein's that came out in September 2010.
Dekker has frequently described his novels as pure escapism with inescapable truth in which he often plumbs humanity’s ongoing struggle with evil. As such many of his novels are set in the darkest of settings. Common thematic elements that appear in his novels include:
A desperate struggle that typically plunges the protagonist into a hopeless situation from which they must find their way out, such as being stalked by a serial killer.
A vivid distinction between the forces of good and evil, typically utilizing stark imagery of darkness and hopelessness contrasted with light and love.
The existence of a spiritual reality that, while unseen, consistently proves itself as real as the visible world. The centrality of Christian faith.
The ideal that love and self-sacrifice are life’s greatest discovery and highest purpose.