Author of 37 NY Times Best Selling Thrillers
In 1976, SUFFER THE CHILDREN was published by Dell. It was the first original paperback (as opposed to a paperback edition of a hardcover book) to go on to the New York Times bestseller list as well as many other bestseller lists. It was also the first paperback original to have television advertising. All his books ranked high on the bestseller lists. John was also the first author to write his books on a computer, first using a Lanier “No Problem” word processor, on which a large floppy disk could hold only a single chapter. One of John’s books was also the first book to receive a bar code, and another was the first book that Sony used on their original (and unsuccessful) eBook reader. When Amazon started selling books online, John volunteered to be interviewed by Amazon in their small offices down by Pike Place Market in Seattle. At an American Bookseller Association meeting in Chicago John met a young woman with a very small table on the side. He asked her about her business. Eileen Hutton said she owned Brilliance Audio Books, which only published unabridged audio books, rather than the abridged books the publishers produced. Years later she sold her company and all of John’s audio books to Amazon, and Brilliance became Amazon Audible Books.
John was born in 1942 in Southern California and grew up in Whittier, California. Jack and Betty Saul were his parents, and he had a sister, Helen, who was two years older. He was in Seventh Grade when his English teacher told him he should consider writing as a career. John attended four colleges, studying Theater and Anthropology. He wrote plays, short stories, poetry and eventually novels. Though he enjoyed writing humor, John’s first novel was purchased by Dell Publishing to compete in the rapidly expanding thriller market of the late 1970s. With the immediate success of SUFFER THE CHILDREN, he was off and running. John’s partner (now husband) of 47 years, Mike Sack, helped with book ideas and plotting. When they first met, Mike was a clinical psychologist at a state hospital and shared his experiences with John. Both Mike and John helped organize and taught at the Maui Writers Conference and School. His third novel, CRY FOR THE STRANGERS, was made into a TV movie, and all of John’s books have been published in over 35 countries worldwide and millions have been sold.