J. D. Barker

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J.D. Barker
J.D. Barker.png
Born (1971-01-07) January 7, 1971 (age 51)
GenresSuspense, Thriller, Horror

J.D. Barker, or Jonathan Dylan Barker, (born 1971) is a New York Times and international bestselling American author of suspense thrillers, often incorporating elements of horror, crime, mystery, science fiction, and the supernatural.[1] His debut novel, Forsaken,[2] was a finalist for a Bram Stoker Award in 2014.[3][4]

Early life and career[edit]

Barker was born January 7, 1971, in Lombard, Illinois, and spent the first fourteen years of his life in Crystal Lake, Illinois. At fourteen, Barker's family relocated to Englewood, Florida. He attended Lemon Bay High School and graduated in 1989.[5] He enrolled at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where he later obtained a degree in business. While in college, a writing assignment found its way into the hands of Paul Gallotta of Circus magazine. Gallotta reached out to Barker and asked him to join the staff of 25th Parallel, where he worked alongside the man who would later become Marilyn Manson.[6] Assignments dropped him into the center of pop culture, and by 1991 Barker had branched out, interviewing celebrities for the likes of Seventeen, TeenBeat, and other national and local publications. In 1992, Barker syndicated a small newspaper column called "Revealed" which centered around the investigation of haunted places and supernatural occurrences.[7] He began work as a ghostwriter and book doctor, helping other authors for publication.[8][9] Barker cites Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Saul, and Neil Gaiman among his influences.[10]

Stephen King read portions of Forsaken prior to publication and granted Barker permission to utilize the character of Leland Gaunt of King's Needful Things in the novel.[11] Indie-published in late 2014, the book went on to hit some major milestones - #2 on Audible (Harper Lee with Go Set a Watchman held #1), #44 on Amazon U.S., #2 on Amazon Canada, and #22 on Amazon UK.[2] Forsaken was also nominated for a Bram Stoker Award (Best Debut Novel) and won a handful of others, including a New Apple Medalist Award.[6] After reading Forsaken, Bram Stoker's family reached out to Barker and asked him to co-author a prequel to Dracula utilizing Stoker's original notes and journals, much of which has never been made public.[12]

Barker's indie success drew the attention of traditional agents and publishers, and in early 2016 his debut thriller, The Fourth Monkey, sold in a series of pre-empts and auctions worldwide, with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt set to publish in the U.S. and HarperCollins in the UK. The book has also sold for both film and television.[13] In September 2017, Putnam purchased the publishing rights for Dracul in a five-house auction with additional publishers worldwide, and Paramount Pictures optioned the film rights, with Andy Muschietti set to direct.[14]

In addition to writing his own novels, Barker has collaborated with American author James Patterson. Their first novel together, titled The Coast-to-Coast Murders, debuted at number 2 on the New York Times list on October 11, 2020. Their second collaboration, The Noise, released in August 2021, became an instant New York Times bestseller, and has been optioned by Entertainment One.



  • Forsaken (2014)[4][15]ISBN 978-0990694908
  • The Fourth Monkey (2017) ISBN 978-0544968844
  • The Fifth to Die (2018) ISBN 978-0544973978
  • Dracul with Dacre Stoker[16] (2018) ISBN 978-0735219342
  • The Sixth Wicked Child (2019) ISBN 978-0990694977
  • She Has A Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be (2020) ISBN 978-1734210415
  • The Coast-to-Coast Murders with James Patterson (2020) ISBN 978-0316457422
  • A Caller's Game (2021) ISBN 978-1734210446
  • The Noise with James Patterson (2021) ISBN 978-0316499873
  • Death of the Black Widow with James Patterson (2022) ISBN 978-1538709825

Short stories[edit]

  • "Mondays" (1993 - Last Exit Press)
  • "Among Us" (1995 - Dark Crossing Magazine)
  • "The Sitter" (1996 - Hidden Fears Magazine)
  • "Wicked Ways" (1997 - Hidden Fears Magazine)
  • "A Caller's Game" (1997 - Hidden Fears Magazine)
  • "Room 108" (1998 - Hidden Fears Magazine)
  • "Hybrid" (2012 - Among The Shadow Entertainment)[17]
  • "Of the Lake" (2016 - Ancient Enemies Anthology - Good Dog Publishing)[18]



Feature films[edit]


Year Nominee / work Award Result
2014 FORSAKEN - Superior Achievement in a First Novel[3] Bram Stoker Awards Nominated
2014 FORSAKEN - Best Debut Author Goodreads Nominated
2014 FORSAKEN - Best Horror of 2014 Goodreads Nominated
2015 FORSAKEN - Excellence in Independent Publishing Apple E-Book Award Won
2018 THE FOURTH MONKEY - Best Suspense/Thriller of 2017 Audie Award Won
2018 DRACUL - Best Horror of 2018 Goodreads Nominated
2019 THE FIFTH TO DIE - AudioFile 2019 Earphones Award Winner Won
2019 DRACUL - Superior Achievement in a Novel Bram Stoker Awards Nominated
2020 THE SIXTH WICKED CHILD - AudioFile 2020 Earphones Award Winner Won


  1. ^ "J.D. Barker - an international bestselling author". wn.com. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b Behe, Rege. "Carnegie horror author finds instant success with 1st novel". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  3. ^ a b "Bram Stoker Award nominee". Bram Stoker Award. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Review of Forsaken by J.D. Barker". Char's Horror Corner. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  5. ^ "About J.D." J. D. Barker. Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  6. ^ a b Flanagan, Ian. "Forsaken author J.D. Barker, now a Pittsburgher, anticipates his next novel". Pittsburgh City Paper.
  7. ^ "Noelle chats to J D Barker". BCB and More. Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Lake Worth author writing prequel to 'Dracula'". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Ideas for best Christmas reads? We ask writers for their top picks". The Irish News. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Forsaken by J.D. Barker (Review & Interview)". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Forsaken: Book One of the Shadow Cove Saga (9780990694908): Reviews". Amazon.com. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  12. ^ "The Indie Author Behind the Official 'Dracula' Prequel". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  13. ^ ""Forsaken" Author J.D. Barker's "The Fourth Monkey" Thrills The Film Rights Market". Tracking-Board.com. 8 April 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Book Deals: Week of September 4, 2017". Publisher New York. 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  15. ^ "Review of Forsaken". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  16. ^ "Bram Stoker's relative Dacre writes first authorised prequel to Dracula". The Guardian. 2017-09-07. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  17. ^ "Goodreads Author Page". Goodreads. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  18. ^ Jones, Paul Antony; Hartwick, Luke; James, L. Marshall; Parkins, J. Nichole; Barker, J. D.; Campling, Mikey; Litore, Stant; Vine, Adam. Ancient Enemies. Good Dog Publishing. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  19. ^ "NEWSJ.D. Barker's The Fourth Monkey Unravels the Mind of a Psychopath". Dread Central. 2017-02-21. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  20. ^ "NEWS James Patterson Strikes First-Look Deal With eOne; Sets 'The Noise' Adaptation As First Project". Dread Central. 2020-10-08. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  21. ^ "Dracula Prequel in Development at Paramount With 'It' Director Andy Muschietti". Variety. 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2017-10-12.