Jack Ketchum (aka Dallas Mayr) is a prolific horror author whose lifelong fear of the beast that lurks within has propelled him to eschew the vampires, zombies, and devils that have traditionally defined the genre in favor of meditating on atrocities committed by the human monster. Praised by such literary icons as Stephen King, Ketchum has also been condemned by a Village Voice critic who once dismissed his work as violent pornography. A onetime actor, teacher, literary agent, and lumber salesman, Ketchum credits his childhood love of Elvis Presley, dinosaurs, and the horror genre for laying the foundation for him to build a respectable career. His ferocious 1981 debut novel, Off Season, laid the foundation for a series of nerve-shredding novels and short stories (sometimes inspired by real-life events) in which humankind proves to be the most dreaded beast of all. Throughout the years, Ketchum has received numerous Bram Stoker Awards for such works as Closing Time and Peaceable Kingdom. As his works gained in popularity, they began to be translated into feature films with such releases as The Lost and The Girl Next Door.