Douglas Preston

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Douglas Preston (born May 20, 1956 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) is an American author of techno-thriller and horror novels. He has written 26 novels, five alone and the rest with Lincoln Child. He also has authored a number of non-fiction books on history, science, exploration, and true crime.

Biography[edit]

A graduate of the Cambridge School of Weston in Weston, Massachusetts, and Pomona College in Claremont, California, Preston began his writing career at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

From 1978 to 1985, Preston worked for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City as a writer, editor, and manager of publications. He served as managing editor for the journal Curator and was a columnist for Natural History magazine.[1] In 1985 he published a history of the museum, Dinosaurs In The Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History, which chronicled the explorers and expeditions of the museum's early days. The editor of that book at St. Martin's Press was his future writing partner, Lincoln Child.[2] They soon collaborated on a thriller set in the museum titled Relic. It was subsequently made into a motion picture by Paramount Pictures starring Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, and Linda Hunt.

In 1986 Preston moved to New Mexico and began to write full-time. Seeking an understanding of the first moment of contact between Europeans and Native Americans in America, he retraced on horseback Francisco Vásquez de Coronado's violent and unsuccessful search for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. That thousand mile journey across the American Southwest resulted in the book Cities of Gold (book)|Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest. Since that time Preston has undertaken many long horseback journeys retracing historic or prehistoric trails, for which he was inducted into the Long Riders' Guild.[3] He has also participated in expeditions in other parts of the world, including a journey deep into Khmer Rouge-held territory in the Cambodian jungle with a small army of soldiers, to become the first Westerner to visit a lost Angkor temple. He was the first person in 3,000 years to enter an ancient Egyptian burial chamber in a tomb known as KV5 in the Valley of the Kings. [4] In 1989 and 1990 he taught nonfiction writing at Princeton University.

Writing career[edit]

With his frequent collaborator Lincoln Child, he created the character of FBI Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast, who appears in many of their novels, including Relic, The Cabinet of Curiosities, Brimstone, and White Fire. Additional novels by the Preston and Child team include Mount Dragon, Riptide, Thunderhead, and The Ice Limit. Later, the duo created the Gideon Crew series, which consists of Gideon's Sword, Gideon's Corpse, and The Lost Island.

For his solo career, Preston's fictional debut was Jennie, a light-hearted novel about a chimpanzee who is adopted by an American family. His next novel was The Codex, a treasure hunt novel with a style that was much closer to the thriller genre of his collaborations with Child. The Codex introduced the characters of Tom Broadbent and Sally Colorado, whom Tom falls in love with. Tom and Sally (now married) return in Tyrannosaur Canyon, which also features the debut of Wyman Ford, an ex-CIA agent and (at the time) a monk-in-training. Following Tyrannosaur Canyon, Ford leaves the monastery where he is training, forms his own private investigation company, and replaces Broadbent as the main protagonist of Preston's solo works. Ford subsequently returns in Blasphemy, Impact, and The Kraken Project.

In addition to his collaborations with Child and his solo fictional universe, Preston has written several non-fiction books of his own, mainly dealing with the history of the American Southwest. He has written about archaeology and paleontology for the New Yorker magazine and has also been published in Smithsonian, Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, Natural History, and National Geographic.[5][6][7][8][9]

In May, 2011, Pomona College conferred on Preston the degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa).[10] He is the recipient of writing awards in the United States and Europe.[citation needed]

Involvement in the "Monster of Florence" case[edit]

Main article: Monster of Florence

Preston moved to Florence, Italy with his young family and became fascinated with an unsolved local murder mystery involving a serial killer, the Monster of Florence. The case and his problems with the Italian authorities are the subject of his 2008 book The Monster of Florence, co-authored with Italian journalist Mario Spezi. The book spent three months on the New York Times bestseller list and won a number of journalism awards in Europe and the United States.[citation needed] It is being developed into a movie by 20th Century Fox, produced by George Clooney. Clooney will play the role of Preston.[11][12]

Involvement in the Amanda Knox case[edit]

Preston has criticized the conduct of Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini[13] in the trial of American student Amanda Knox, one of three convicted of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia in 2007. In 2009, Preston argued on 48 Hours on CBS that the case against Knox was "based on lies, superstition, and crazy conspiracy theories".[14] In December 2009, after the verdict had been announced, he described his own interrogation by Mignini Anderson Cooper 360° on CNN. Preston said of Mignini, "this is a very abusive prosecutor. He makes up theories. He's ... obsessed with satanic sex."[15]

Works[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Solo[edit]

Tom Broadbent novels[edit]
Wyman Ford novels[edit]

With Lincoln Child[edit]

Agent Pendergast novels[edit]
Gideon Crew novels[edit]
Other novels[edit]

Non-fiction[edit]

  • Dinosaurs In the Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History (1986)
  • Death Trap Defies Treasure Seekers for Two Centuries (1988)[20]
  • Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest in Pursuit of Coronado[21]
  • Talking to the Ground: One Family's Journey on Horseback Across the Sacred Land of the Navajo (1996)
  • With Mario Spezi. The Monster of Florence (2008)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.prestonchild.com
  2. ^ http://www.prestonchild.com/books/preston/dinosaurs/
  3. ^ http://www.thelongridersguild.com/members_01.htm
  4. ^ http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1996/01/22/all-the-kings-sons
  5. ^ http://www.newyorker.com/contributors/douglas-preston
  6. ^ http://www.smithsonianmag.com/author/douglas-preston/
  7. ^ http://harpers.org/author/douglasjpreston/
  8. ^ http://www.theatlantic.com/douglas-preston/
  9. ^ http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0008/fngm/
  10. ^ http://www.pomona.edu/events/commencement/archive/2011.aspx
  11. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/george-clooney-attached-monster-florence-68334
  12. ^ http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/george_clooney_says_script_for_monster_of_florence_being_tweaked_he_wont_di
  13. ^ "Tales from Italy’s Dark Side: Interview with Douglas Preston
  14. ^ American Girl, Italian Nightmare from CBS News
  15. ^ American Student Convicted of Murder in Italy; President Obama's Approval Numbers Sliding, Anderson Cooper 360° transcript
  16. ^ a b "The Lost Island". hachettebookgroup.com. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "The Kraken Project". Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "White Fire". hachettebookgroup.com. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Grand Central in New Deal with Preston/Child". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz LLC. February 1, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010. 
  20. ^ Death Trap Defies Treasure Seekers for Two Centuries;Douglas Preston, Smithsonian Magazine, June 1988.
  21. ^ Douglas Preston (1992). Cities of Gold: A journey across the American southwest in pursuit of Coronado. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-671-73759-7. 

External links[edit]