Stephen Coonts' Journal


with 25 comments

Frequently Asked Questions
In what order should the Jake Grafton books be read?
The ten (so far) Jake Grafton novels follow, more or less, the naval career of the hero, Jake Grafton. THE INTRUDERS was written “out of order” as a direct sequel to FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER. The sequence is:


Jake is also a character in the Tommy Carmellini novels, and the sequence of those is

Why don’t you write more novels about Jake Grafton early in his career?
I write novels that I think today’s public wants to read. The public votes by buying books. The plot of every tale is discussed thoroughly and completely with the publisher, who has to finance the publication.
How do you research your novels?
I read books that might throw light on the subjects I am writing about, newspaper articles, visit cities mentioned in the stories, and ask experts questions I need specific answers to.
Do you read all your fan mail?
I read every letter and email I receive. I try to answer all of them that deserve an answer.
Are you going to do another flying adventure like THE CANNIBAL QUEEN?
Maybe someday. None in the works just now.
Are you related to Dean Koontz, the horror writer?
I don’t know. My branch of the Coonts clan came to America in the 1700s, before the Revolution. They were illiterate German peasants, none of whom learned their letters or how to write their names until the 1850s. They adopted the Coonts spelling, although some of the family later changed their names to Koontz. All are buried together in the family graveyard in West Virginia.
Why don’t you sell as many books as Clancy?
I am trying to stay undiscovered, read only by a few discerning lovers of fine literature.
Why do you have female heroes in your stories?
I like women.
Should I join the Navy?
I don’t know.
Where is your son David, whom we read about in THE CANNIBAL QUEEN?
He’s alive and well and living in Colorado.
I have thought up a great plot for a novel. Would you like to buy it? Would you write it if I gave it to you?
A story you write has to be one that you see, one that you think you can pull off with the writing skills you have or can develop in the course of the story. I have more plots now that I could write in forty years.
There is too much cussing in your books. Why don’t you clean up your act?
I try to write the characters as realistic as possible. Unfortunately sailors cuss. When I write them I try to make them sound as they are. When I do ladies at a party, I also try to write them realistically. I don’t think I use any words or phrases that any person over twelve hasn’t heard before.
Why don’t you put more sex in your books?
My stories are action/adventure, not heavy or realistic romance. I write the stories that I would like to read, and that I think my fans wish to read.
Why don’t you write faster?
I write as fast as I can and still have a life.
Are you going to do any more books like SAUCER?
I have written one sequel, SAUCER: THE CONQUEST, which was published in trade paperback in September 2004.  Due to the hundreds of emails I have received from Saucer fans, I am now working on a third Saucer tale.  I don’t know when I’ll get it done, or when the publisher will chose to publish it, but you will be among the first to hear of it if you check this website periodically.
Why aren’t more of your books made into movies?
The movie producers haven’t expressed an interest. If and when they do, we’ll see.


Written by stephencoonts

November 5, 2009 at 2:38 am

25 Responses

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  1. Hi Stephen,
    I discovered the desk 3 novels and have read them all. I am now reading Arctic Gold. I’ve just reached the part where Tommy is killed. I have to say it stopped me in my tracks. I wasn’t expecting that. I read alot and am surprised at my reaction, after all its just fiction right? I am saddened that Tommy will no longer be around. What was your motivation for killing off one of the main characters? Did you consider the formula or mix of characters is on of the things that makes the book interesting to read and the readers interest in future books is to find out how the characters are doing?


    Mark Eslick

    November 20, 2009 at 2:30 am

    • We wanted room for a new character. Sigh. Killing Tommy wasn’t the smartest thing we have done.
      Steve Coonts


      November 30, 2009 at 6:54 am

      • Like the guy you replied too. Tommy was one of the MAJOR reasons I read this series. When I first read what happened I actually scanned the rest of the book in dis-belief. Still reeling from it months later. Will continue reading as you have me hook line and sinker, but please don’t get crazy and kill off Carmellini.


        December 1, 2009 at 8:12 pm

      • Glad I am not one of your kids 😉
        A bit more seriously. I wish you’d resurrect Tommy given it IS fiction, after all.
        And, since it seems to be customary to establish bona fides for commenting…I think I have read all the fiction with just your name and a fair bit of the ‘with’ ones but need to keep better track of those. Thanks for countless hours of enjoyment! D.

        Dave Staats

        January 25, 2010 at 10:45 am

  2. Dear Mr. Coonts, just to let you know that I´m a fan of you books. Have them all collecte in first hand (brand new) and in second hand (used). But to my disappointment I´m having a certain troble in finding your Hong King issue. Difficult because I don not have enough time to browse (i am 70 and goin strong – ex Brazilian Navy – Commander equiv)and today fully engaged in translations. Pse help this poor soul to read all J.grafton novels.
    Best Regards
    Ivan Draxcler

    Ivan Draxcler

    November 25, 2009 at 10:27 am

    • You should be able to get a copy on, Ivan. They also sell used copies.


      November 30, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    • Mr Draxcler
      You can buy the book at the Amazon site. In the following address there are new and used issues:
      By the way, I´d like to know if it´s yours a message being spread through the web about president Lula´s inauguration of a ship (joão Candido) before its construction was finished. I would like to pass along the information, but I don´t know whether it is true or else the oppositon to Lula is only inventing things using your name. Back to Jake Grafton: I discovered the series recently and love it. Best regards. Dora

      Dora Silveira

      May 21, 2010 at 6:13 am

  3. Love your books, was wondering though, what ever became of the Tarkingtons Toad & Rita?

    Timmi Rexx

    December 28, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    • I was wondering the exact same thing! I know Toad is off doing his own thing now but, I guess I assumed he would always find a way to be in the mix of what Jake was doing!

      Josh Lankford

      October 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm

  4. Q:

    Has anyone heard if Saucer is going to be made into a movie?

    Or if it has?

    Is the book: Saucer going to be made into a movie? I have heard about, the book, and just purchased it. I will be reading it this month.

    I think, it would make an awesome movie, if it is done, just right.

    Plus, they could shoot it, here in Arizona. I think, we still have enough desert left.

    Sincerely yours,
    Evona A. Grochowski

    Evona A. Grochowski

    February 17, 2010 at 5:36 pm

  5. Steven,

    I a fan of your series Deep Black and also Jake Grafton and Tommy Carmellini. I hope to read more from them soon. I’m a member of and have listen to all of your books. Please keep up the very good work. What’s next for Deep Black?

    Shelton Ivey

    March 14, 2010 at 8:18 am

  6. First off, I would like to say Thank You for all the entertainment over the years. As a dedicated fan I just wanted to clear a few things up. Of course this is fiction and at your whim, but what made you choose to revisit cuba after “Under Siege”? Why not invent someone new since castro was killed in an earlier book?
    What has become of Toad?
    And for the super book nerd prize, is there any connections betwen “America”‘s Zelda Hudson/Sarah Houston and “The Traitor”‘s Sarah Houston?
    Thanks and please keep writing great stories.
    One Last Thing, why the switch from third person to first from Jake to Tommy?

    Lucas M

    March 15, 2010 at 9:33 am

  7. Dear Mr. Coonts–

    Just finished reading “The Disciple.” I’m curious about your depiction of Ahmadinejad, which I’d say makes him out to be a total loon, somebody who swallowed the whole Islamism gambit hook-line-and-sinker. Did you have substantial reasons or sources for making him out that way, or was that just your supposition based on reading the papers and so on? The reason I ask is, I’ve tended to assume that Ahmadinejad is more of a cynic than that, a typical power-mad politician (in the Iranian context) who manipulates the symbols and rhetoric of Islamism to benefit him and put his enemies on the defensive. But I don’t have any particular knowledge about it, just reading the papers. Just curious.

    Great read, by the way. I devoured it in two nights of staying up past my bedtime!


    April 29, 2010 at 12:01 pm

  8. Was at WPAFB, Oh musieum when you spoke about the Saucer Book. Will you be continuing the series with a followup to the mother ship. Would be a good sequal.

    Robert Cahall

    September 1, 2010 at 6:52 pm

  9. Dear Mr. Coonts;
    I have a few of your titles but keep going back to the Saucer series. It always starts me thinking about a third one in the series when I read the end of Conquest. Yes I have read that you have started the third one. I guess the main question is any idea when it will be avaiable?

    Doug STEWART

    November 28, 2010 at 10:57 am

  10. Stephen:
    I haven’t written you in quite awhile and am still grateful for your sending me a copy of a book of yours that was no longer available years ago. Are you still living in Las Vegas (area)? I hope to go there some day. As a young man I wanted to be a fighter or bomber pilot, but it never worked out. Thanks to your books I was able to read about the life I wanted to have. When you list your books on the website, are they in chronological order? I still have 3 older books of yours to read, but I’d like to find out which ones (especially Jake Grafton) have come out since the ones I have.
    Take care.
    Randy Donahue, (RN), Fresno, CA

    Randy Donahue

    December 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm

  11. Do you have mp3/mp4 of your books as I’m always on the road, and if so where can I download them?

    Cory Yearwood

    December 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

  12. Lt. Coonts;You were in my weapons loading class at the weapons cage at NAS Whidbey.I remember you and Cdr. Ken Craig who was in 115 with me.Anyways I was wondering whythe Military/History Channel has never told the story of the best all weather bomber in the world the A6 Intruder. Many of old A6 officers and enlisted are proud of their association with this plane.If you would be so kind to send me a autograph I’ld apperiate it. Take Care and God Bless;
    A01 Dan kirkendall 9628 Buckingham Dr.
    Fairdale,KY.40018 EMAIL;

    A01 Dan Kirkendall USN Ret.

    January 22, 2011 at 10:33 am

  13. I was saddened at the loss of Tommy Karr in the series. but i still read them (Deep Black) with hope that a new character might “pop up” and fill in the loss. as of yet, it had not. Steve, your books are great! love the story lines, characters and the language is GREAT. i am an avid Cussler fan, and frankly the lack of what would call “vulgarity” is whats makes me like your books better! come on, it’s life. people cuss. heck i do more than a drunken sailor. might as well use some spicey sentence enhancers to make it more life like! Keep up the great work! i am a fan for life.

    Bryan Maldony

    February 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm

  14. I’ve enjoyed your Jake Grafton series up to “Hong Kong.” Even though I last read it a decade ago, evocative passages in “Under Siege” have stayed with me. The assassin appreciating a snowfall was beautifully done.

    That said, I rarely read books now, preferring audiobooks. Will your novels be rereleased as MP3 or CDs?


    April 7, 2011 at 7:53 pm




    April 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm

  16. I have become an avid fan in the last year. I am reading The Red Horseman ATM. Blazed through UNDER SIEGE it was so exciting!! However, I have become very confused ever since I purchased CUBA. I am sure you get this a lot, but how is it that Castro has died twice? Was his ‘clone’ killed during UNDER SIEGE? Or….?


    July 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm

  17. I came late to Stephen Coonts, just in recent months. Having read four of his now, I’m so pleased to have found this gifted, elegant storyteller whose talent reminds me of the brilliant but relatively-unheralded Charles McCarry. I am sad to learn here, just now, that Tommy dies. I suppose I should have expected to stumble upon a spoiler but didn’t, naively. If I had any say at all, I would have gladly traded the life of Nelson DeMille’s insufferable John Corey any day for Stephen Coonts’ very human and relatable Tommy Cammelini. I hadn’t thought much about the character’s future but since I know there isn’t one, I’ll imagine what might have been. Life in a carriage house outside Paris with Marisa Petrou (or is that now impossible too?). Isolde living in “the big house” with her lover, Willie Varner.

    Paul Carr

    August 3, 2011 at 10:43 am

  18. HI! I am the owner of a bookstore in Shelby Township MI. One of my customers is trying to collect all of your books…in hard cover. I have having a hard time with four titles that he is looking for….and now wonder if these were ever released in hard cover….HELP!! Here are the titles my customer wants to complete his collection……
    Deep Black..Payback
    Deep Black..Conspiracy
    Deep Black…Sea of Terror
    Deep Black…Arctic Gold
    I would so appreciate knowing if these were ever published in hard cover…thanks so much for your help!

    Toni Brady

    October 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm

  19. Hi Stephen,

    When is the original Deep Black book be released to Kindle? I’ve just finished the Grafton/Cramellini series and Would like to start from the begining with Deep Blabk.




    November 18, 2011 at 7:57 am

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