Stephen Coonts (born July 19, 1946) is an American thriller and suspense novelist.Coonts grew up in Buckhannon, West Virginia, a small coal-mining town and earned an B.A. degree in political science at West Virginia University in 1968. He entered the Navy the following year and flew an A-6 Intruder medium attack plane during the Vietnam War, where he served on two combat cruises aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65). He accumulated 1600 hours in the A-6 Intruder and earned a number of Navy commendations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war he served as a flight instructor on A-6 aircraft for two years, then did a tour as an assistant catapult and arresting gear officer aboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68). His navigator-bombardier was LTjg Stanley W. Bryant who later became a Rear Admiral and deputy commander-in-chief of the US naval forces in Europe.After being honorably discharged from duty as a lieutenant in 1977, Coonts pursued a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree at the University of Colorado, graduating in 1979. He then worked as an oil and gas lawyer for several companies, entertaining his writing interests in his free time.He published short stories in a number of publications before writing Flight of the Intruder in 1986 (made into a movie in 1991). Intruder, based in part on his experiences as a bomber pilot, spent 28 weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists in hardcover and launched his career as a novelist. From there he continued writing adventure-mysteries using the character from his first book, Jake Grafton. He has written several other series and stand-alone novels since then, but is most notable for the Grafton books.Today Coonts continues to write, having had seventeen New York Times bestsellers (out of 20 books), and lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife and son.Taken from WikipediaLearn more about Stephen Coonts on the Macmillan website.