Dekker, Ted 1962-
Dekker, Ted 1962-
Born 1962; son of John (a missionary) and Helen (a missionary) Dekker; married; wife's name LeeAnn; children: four. Education: Earned B.A.
Home—Montrose, CO. Agent—Creative Trust, Inc., 5141 Virginia Way, Ste. 320, Brentwood, TN 37027. E-mail—[email protected]
Has worked as a marketing director for a health-care company in California, and as a business entrepreneur; full-time writer, 1997—.
Christy Award and Gold Medallion Award, Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, both for Thr3e.
"MARTYR'S SONG" SERIES
Heaven's Wager, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2000.
When Heaven Weeps, Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2001.
Thunder of Heaven, W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2002.
The Martyr's Song (novella; includes music CD), WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2005.
THE "CIRCLE" TRILOGY
Black: The Birth of Evil, WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2004.
Red: The Heroic Rescue, WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2004.
White: The Great Pursuit, WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2004.
"PROJECT SHOWDOWN" SERIES
Showdown, WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2006.
Saint, WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2006.
Skin, WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2006.
(With Bill Bright) Blessed Child (novel), Word Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2001.
(With Bill Bright) A Man Called Blessed (novel), W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2002.
Blink (novel), W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2002.
Thr3e (novel), W Publishing Group (Nashville, TN), 2003.
Obsessed (novel), WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2005.
The Slumber of Christianity: Awakening a Passion for Heaven on Earth (nonfiction), T. Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2005.
The Promise: A Christian Tale, J. Countryman (Nashville, TN), 2005.
(With Frank Peretti) House: The Only Way Out Is In (novel), WestBow Press (Nashville, TN), 2006.
Black was adapted as the sound recording Black: A Trilogy, WestBow Press, 2004; House was adapted to audio by WestBow Press, 2006. Thr3e was adapted as a movie on DVD, Bigger Pictures, 2007; House is also being adapted to film. The "Project Showdown" novels have been adapted as graphic novels, and video games based on the books are also being developed.
Combining such genre styles as horror, thriller, and fantasy fiction with underlying, often subtle religious themes, Ted Dekker has become one of the most popular authors of Christian fiction writing today. His beliefs stem from his fascinating childhood. Dekker is the son of John and Helen Dekker, whose missionary work on a remote Indonesian island has been the subject of several books. Their son was raised in Indonesia, only coming to the United States when he was ready for college. Not surprisingly, he studied religion and philosophy, but his early career was in business marketing. Dekker became a full-time author in 1997, and found his first success with Heaven's Wager. Since then, he has published many more novels, as well as nonfiction.
Although he is an author by trade, Dekker sees his work in very different terms. He explained in an interview posted on the Faithful Reader Web site: "I am a missionary. My gift of communicating God's Character through story was born and nurtured in me as I traveled the globe. Now I'm a foreigner peering into this bubble we all love called America, spinning tales that help us reflect on a few truths. These truths may or may not lead a reader to open their mind and heart to the Father, depending on the choices they make. My father learned a language called Dani to shine the light of truth on 70,000 natives in the jungle. His son learned a ‘language’ called story to shine the same light on as many who might read those stories."
Many critics have noted that the stories Dekker writes can easily appeal to readers not seeking out Christian fiction per se. There has therefore been considerable crossover appeal for the author's books. In a review of one of Dekker's most popular titles, the award-winning thriller Thr3e, for example, Faithful Reader critic Marcia Ford felt that this was the first work of evangelical fiction she had read that is a "flawless book." The story of a man pursued by a mad bomber who threatens his life unless he confesses to a sin he can no longer recall, Thr3e was praised by other critics, too, who lauded its suspenseful plot. A Publishers Weekly critic also appreciated how "Dekker eschews most of the conventions of evangelical fiction" to offer a "subtle" message about spirituality.
Thr3e is one of the few novels Dekker has written that have no elements of paranormal, fantasy, or science fiction. More typical of his work is the "Martyr's Song" series, in which an ordinary man finds himself a pawn in the battle between good and evil. The "Circle Trilogy" concerns a man who can travel between two separate worlds. His knowledge of different times and places gives him a special advantage to thwart those plotting the destruction of both worlds. Of the three books in this series—Black: The Birth of Evil, Red: The Heroic Rescue, and White: The Great Pursuit—critics found the concluding volume to be the strongest. Commenting on the complicated plot, Ford, writing again for Faithful Reader, asserted that with White Dekker displays "an even greater skill than he displayed in the previous two books in the series" and pens "an ending as satisfying as it is stunning." Library Journal contributor Tamara Butler had the same opinion of White, adding that the novel proves Dekker to be "a master of suspense."
Other more recent books by Dekker have run the gamut of genres and subjects. Obsessed, for example, addresses the subject of the Holocaust through one survivor's obsession with the stones used by David against Goliath. House: The Only Way Out Is In is a horror story of people held hostage in a remote house, where they must face their most serious personal flaws, sometimes with deadly results. Showdown is about children raised in a scientific experiment to study how humans might develop if they are kept isolated from the world's evils; they learn to foster their own extraordinary powers to control reality and eventually two children—one good, one evil—come into inevitable conflict.
Dekker followed Showdown with the sequels Saint and Skin, and he has worked to adapt them into a series of graphic novels and video games. The venture has spurred the founding of the company Circle Media, in which Dekker is the major shareholder. The author is also finding success with movie adaptations of some of his books. Though he strives not to make his religious themes too heavy handed, his faith remains an integral part of his work. "All of my writing is testimony to my faith in one way or another," he testified in his Faithful Reader interview. "That doesn't mean that it's all spiritual; rather it's all a reflection of who I am, and I am a person of faith. As are we all to some degree or another, however misguided or pure hearted…. Having said that, as a novelist I have the great privilege of recasting issues in what most think of as edgy stories."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America's Intelligence Wire, April 25, 2006, "U. Missouri: Book Review: Peretti & Dekker Build Suspenseful ‘House.’"
Booklist, June 1, 2002, John Mort, "Blackstock, Terri. Cape Refuge," p. 1682; October 1, 2003, John Mort, "Christian Fiction," review of Thr3e, p. 282; November 1, 2004, Whitney Scott, review of Black: The Birth of Evil, p. 502.
Christianity Today, October, 2005, Stan Guthrie, "Squeezing the Reader's Heart: Ted Dekker Sees Himself as a Reverse Missionary," interview with Ted Dekker, p. 96; August, 2006, Bob Smietana, House: The Only Way Out Is In, p. 67.
Daily Variety, November 14, 2005, Pamela McClintock, "‘Three’ Adds Up for These Trio," article on movie adaptation of Thr3e, p. 7.
Internet Bookwatch, February, 2007, review of Saint.
Library Journal, February 1, 2003, Shawna Saavedra Thorup, review of Blink, p. 68; June 1, 2003, Tamara Butler, review of Thr3e, p. 102; June 1, 2004, Tamara Butler, review of Red: The Heroic Rescue, p. 114; November 1, 2004, Tamara Butler, review of White: The Great Pursuit, p. 70; February 1, 2005, Tamara Butler, review of Obsessed, p. 60; February 1, 2006, Tamara Butler, review of Showdown, p. 62.
Marriage Partnership, spring, 2002, "Thrillers in a New Age," p. 57.
MBR Bookwatch, April, 2005, review of Obsessed.
Publishers Weekly, June 12, 2000, review of Heaven's Wager, p. 51; July 16, 2001, review of Blessed Child, p. 156; July 8, 2002, review of A Man Called Blessed, p. 28; November 4, 2002, review of Blink, p. 60; April 14, 2003, review of Thr3e, p. 50; September 15, 2003, "In Profile: Authors Take a Novel Look at Faith," p. 59; November 1, 2004, review of Obsessed, p. 41; October 24, 2005, review of Showdown, p. 33.
Blessed Child Web Site,http://www.blessedchild.org (October 1, 2004).
Faithful Reader,http://www.faithfulreader.com/ (March 23, 2007), Michele Howe, reviews of House, White, Black, Red, Thr3e, and Saint; W. Terry Whalin, review of Showdown; Margaret Feinberg, review of The Slumber of Christianity: Awakening a Passion for Heaven; Marcia Ford, review of Obsessed; interview with Ted Dekker.
Hollywood Jesus,http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/ (January 8, 2007), Mike Furches, "Interview with Ted Dekker, Author of Thr3e."
Infuze,http://www.infuzemagazine.com/ (January 1, 2007), interview with Ted Dekker.
Ted Dekker Web site,http://teddekker.com (March 23, 2007).
Title Trakk,http://www.titletrakk.com/ (March 23, 2007), C.J. Darlington, "Ted Dekker Interview."
Where the Map Ends,http://www.wherethemapends.com/ (March 23, 2007), interview with Ted Dekker.