Frank E. Peretti
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|Frank E. Peretti|
January 13, 1951 |
|Notable work(s)||This Present Darkness, The Oath|
Frank Edward Peretti (born January 13, 1951) is a New York Times best-selling author of Christian fiction, whose novels primarily focus on the supernatural. To date, his works have sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Peretti is best known for his novels This Present Darkness (1986) and The Oath (1995). Peretti has held ministry credentials with the Assemblies of God, and formerly played the banjo in a bluegrass band called Northern Cross. He now lives in northern Idaho with his wife, Barbara.
Frank E. Peretti was born in Canada and raised in Seattle, Washington for most of his life. Peretti was a natural storyteller who, as a child in Seattle, regularly told stories to neighborhood children. After graduating from high school, he began playing banjo with a local bluegrass group. Later, he studied English, screen writing and film at UCLA, and then assisted his father in pastoring a small Assembly of God church. In 1983, he gave up his pastoring position and began taking construction jobs to make ends meet.
Early Writing Career
While working at a ski factory, Peretti wrote and published a well-received adventure story for kids, The Door in the Dragon's Throat (1985). A year later, he published This Present Darkness (1986), his most famous and popular novel to date. This Present Darkness was not an immediate success, but gradually word began to spread, and then sales rocketed sky-high. The book remained on the Christian Booksellers Association's top ten best-sellers list for over 150 consecutive weeks, and has currently sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
Peretti also took the characters from his first work The Door in the Dragon's Throat and used them to write The Cooper Kids Adventure Series, releasing three more titles that contained the same Indiana Jones-style adventures similar to The Door in the Dragon's Throat.
Throughout the 1990s, Peretti continued to write full-time, releasing Prophet (1992), The Oath (1995), and the The Visitation (1999), as well as adding 4 more titles to The Cooper Kids Adventure Series. The Oath, generally regarded as one of Peretti's greater works, has sold more than one million copies, and received the ECPA Gold Medallion Book Award for Best Fiction in 1996. The Visitation landed at #19 on the New York Times Bestseller list and was adapted into a film in 2006.
Later Writing Career
The turn of the millennium saw Peretti's departure from writing his popular novels. He dwelt on the subject of bullying in his non-fiction titles No More Victims (2001) and No More Bullies (2003), and in his autobiographical The Wounded Spirit (2000), he relates his childhood struggles with physical disfigurement and examines how society emotionally abuses and scars children.
In 2001, Peretti released Hangman's Curse, the first book in The Veritas Project series for teens. The book was an instant hit among both teens and adults, and was made into a low-budget film in 2004. The second book in The Veritas Project, Nightmare Academy, was published in 2002 with equal success. The two books together sold more than 500,000 copies according to Thomas Nelson Publishers. Peretti has mentioned that there may be more possible entries into The Veritas Project in the future.
Peretti's first full-length novel after 2000 was the thriller, Monster (2005), which played with Bigfoot legend and explored issues surrounding the "survival of the fittest" and creationist-based objections to evolution. Monster hit the New York Times Bestseller list at #34 on its first week and rose to #29 on its second week.
In April 2006, Peretti and fellow supernatural author Ted Dekker co-authored the novel House. It received mixed reviews from Peretti and Dekker fans, but was popular enough to inspire a movie based on the book. Starring Michael Madsen, the movie debuted at theaters in 2008.
In April 2010, it was announced that Peretti had signed with Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) for a new novel to be published in late 2011. The novel is expected to be released under the title "Illusion" on March 6, 2012.
Tilly was adapted into a 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. It was directed by Stephen Vidano and produced by IMS Productions.
In 2004 Hangman's Curse was made into a film, in which Peretti himself 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.
House was released in select theaters on November 7, 2008.
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 theology of his adults' books.
Frank Peretti has been hailed as "America's Hottest Christian Novelist" and a "sanctified Stephen King". He has received generally positive praise from many Christian book reviews, his books being heralded as telling entertaining stories with complex interwoven plots. .
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 clergy and laity 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 dangers of the New Age movement. 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).
- This Present Darkness (1986)
- Piercing the Darkness (1989)
- Prophet (1992)
- The Oath (1995)
- The Visitation (1999)
- Monster (2005)
- House (2006; with Ted Dekker)
- Illusion (2012)
The Veritas Project Series
The Cooper Kids Adventure Series
- The Door in the Dragon's Throat (1985)
- Escape from the Island of Aquarius (1986)
- The Tombs Of Anak (1987)
- Trapped at the Bottom of the Sea (1988)
- The Secret Of The Desert Stone (1995)
- The Deadly Curse Of Toco-Rey (1996)
- The Legend Of Annie Murphy (1996)
- Mayday At Two Thousand Five Hundred (formerly known as Flying Blind) (1997)
- The Wounded Spirit (2000)
- No More Victims (2000)
- No More Bullies (2003)
- Tilly (1988)
- All Is Well: The Miracle of Christmas in July (2003)