Catherine Coulter, born on December 26, 1942 is an American author known for her books The Cove, The Maze, and her historical romance novels. Author of 70 novels, she has 66 New York Times-bestsellers, juggling the historical romance and thriller genres. She is most known for her “ FBI-Suspense Thriller Series ” which spawned a lot of novels and earned her many spots in prominent bestselling lists.
Coulter’s childhood was spent in Cameron County, Texas. Coming from a very artistic family background, Coulter was raised by her mother, a concert pianist, and her father, a singer and painter. Her grandmother, who died at 37, is also a writer. She displayed an inherent talent in writing at an early age, claiming to have written her first two novels at the age of fourteen.
While she is taking her undergraduate degree at the University-of-Texas, she wrote poetry and is engaged with the literary events of the university. She also expressed interest in European history and culture. Her fascination the European connected her British writer Georgette Hayer, known for her historical romances and detective fiction stories. After graduating from the University-of-Texas, she continued her studies in Boston College until she earned a Master’s degree in 19th-century European-history.
The Regency Series, First Success
After finishing her education and amassing knowledge on the life of 19th century Europeans, she decided to write her very first novel that was entitled The Autumn Countess in the year 1978. The novel is a romance story staged in a Regency setting. The novel displayed a vivid picture of the European Regency which is historically accurate and lush with details, capturing the imagination of many readers who wanted to get away from the usual shoddy romances of that time. Coulter wrote The Autumn Countess with the intent of sharing her interest with European culture, saying that ” as most authors would frankly tell you, it is always best to limit the unknowns on your first book, I grew up reading the books of Georgette Heyer, whom I worship, but I also earned my Masters in 19th Century European History and I can say that I can join the Allies or fight in Napoleon’s army and beat his butt with Wellington.”
She followed up The Autumn Countess with five more single novels revolving around the Regency theme, namely The Rebel Bride (1997), The Heir (1980), The Duke (1997), and Lord Harry. (1993/1997). She continued the series while she started new lines of stories, all connected under the Regency theme. “The Bride” series is perhaps the most successful of these, starting with The Rebel Bride (1979) and continues until today with the latest novel, The Prince of Ravenscar, published in 2011. Other books in the series are The Sherbrooke Bride (1992), The Hellion Bride (1992), The Heiress Bride (1993), Mad Jack (1999), The Courtship (2000), The Scottish Bride (2001), Pendragon (2002), The Sherbrooke Twins (2004), Lyon’s Gate (2005) and lastly the Wizards Daughter, written in the year 2007.
She also started the “Baron” series on 1981, starting with The Wild Baron (1981), followed in the same year with The Offer and finally The Deception.
Coulter expressed her penchant for trilogies, saying that she she loves trilogies because she doesn’t have to say goodbye to the characters and so do the readers. All under the historical romance genre, she created the “Night” Trilogy with the novels Night Fire (1989), Night Shadow (1989), and Night Storm (1990), the “Legacy Trilogy” (The Wyndham Legacy (1994) The Nightingale Legacy (1995) and The Valentine Legacy (1995), and the “ Magic Trilogy ” composed of the novels Midsummer Magic (1987), Calypso Magic(1988) and Moonspun Magic (1988). The latter earned her a spot in the New York Times-bestsellers list, the first among the many more mentions.
Writing on Other Themes
She also decided to write novels with different themes other than the Regency setting, eventually dabbling with medieval themes in the novels Warrior’s Song, Fire Song, Earth Song, Secret Song, Rosehaven, The Penwyth Curse and The Valcourt Heiress. Much in common with the medieval is her “ Viking series ” which seek to capture a more mature take on the genre with the novels Season of the Sun, Lord of Hawkfell Island, Lord of Raven’s Peak and Lord of Falcon Ridge. Her background in European history also enabled her to write about Georgian history, churning out the novels Devil’s Embrace (2000) and Devil’s Daughter, published also in the same year.
When Coulter moved from her hometown Texas to San Francisco, California, her interest with the city provoked her to explore its history and culture by mashing up Victorian themes with the history of early San Francisco. The “ Star series ” explored this new dimension of Coulter’s writing, bringing out the novels Evening Star, Midnight Star, Wild Star, and Jade Star, all published under Penguin / Topaz.
Coulter also signed a contract with Silhouette/Harlequin, producing three novels which are Aftershocks, Afterglow and The Aristocrat. Her exposure to the contemporary romance genre opened up new paths to different genres.
When her romantic thriller False Pretenses was published on the year 1988, it was met with very positive reviews which led to it being her first hardcover book. False Pretenses also introduced her to the thriller genre, urging her to follow the book up with Impulse (1990), Beyond Eden (1992) and Born to Be Wild.
Thrillers and Mainstream Success
While it was obvious that Coulter has already achieved moderate success with her previous works, mainstream recognition only came to her when she published The Cove (1996) the first of the FBI suspense thriller series. The immense success of the novel led to a slew of yearly releases, most of which were met with praise. The series is continued with The Target in 1998, The Maze in 1997, The Edge in 1999, Hemlock Bay in 2001, Riptide in 2000, Blindside in 2003, Eleventh Hour in 2002, Point Blank in 2005, Blowout in 2004, Double Take in 2007, Knock Out in 2009, Tail Spin in 2008, Whiplash in 2010, Backfire in 2012, Split Second in 2011 and finally Bombshell (2013).
Due to the success of her FBI-suspense thriller-series, Coulter is starting another thriller series to be co-written with bestselling writer JT Ellison. The series dubbed as “ A Brit in the FBI ” has the touch of her earlier novels and the sensibility of the Sherlock Holmes novels. A Final Cut, which is the first book in the series, has been released on September of 2013.
Currently she is living with her husband and her cats, she has three of them, in Marin County, California.
Books in order of publication by series:
Sherbrooke Brides Books
|The Sherbrooke Bride||(1992)|
|The Hellion Bride||(1992)|
|The Heiress Bride||(1993)|
|The Scottish Bride||(2001)|
|The Sherbrooke Twins||(2004)|
|Prince of Ravenscar||(2011)|
|The Wild Baron||(1981)|
Victorian/Early San Francisco Books
Magic Trilogy Books
Night Trilogy Books
Legacy Trilogy Books
|The Wyndham Legacy||(1994)|
|The Nightingale Legacy||(1995)|
|The Valentine Legacy||(1995)|
Medieval Song Books
|The Penwyth Curse||(2003)|
|The Valcourt Heiress||(2010)|
|Season of the Sun||(1991)|
|Lord of Hawkfell Island||(1993)|
|Lord of Raven’s Peak||(1994)|
|Lord of Falcon Ridge||(1995)|
FBI Suspense Thriller Books
Brit In The FBI Books
|The Final Cut||(2013)|
|The Lost Key||(2014)|
|The End Game||(2015)|
|The Devil’s Triangle||(2017)|
|The Sixth Day||(2018)|
|The Last Second||(2019)|
Grayson Sherbrooke’s Otherworldly Adventures Books
|The Strange Visitation at Wolffe Hall||(2015)|
|The Resident Evil at Blackthorn Manor||(2016)|
|The Rebel Bride||(1979)|
|Born To Be Wild||(2006)|
|My Ancestry Research||(2016)|