The Winslow effect is to fuse the grave and the playful, the body blow and the joke, the nightmare and the pipe dream. It's flippant and dead serious simultaneously.
-Janet Maslin, The New York Times
New York Times bestselling author Don Winslow has written seventeen novels, including The Kings of Cool, Savages, The Winter of Frankie Machine and the highly acclaimed epic The Power of the Dog.
The son of a sailor and a librarian, Winslow grew up with a love of books and storytelling in a small coastal Rhode Island town. He left at age seventeen to study journalism at the University of Nebraska, where he earned a degree in African Studies. While in college, he traveled to southern Africa, sparking a lifelong involvement with that continent.
Winslow’s travels took him to California, Idaho and Montana before he moved to New York City to become a writer, making his living as a movie theater manager and later a private investigator in Times Square – ‘before Mickey Mouse took it over’. He left to get a master’s degree in Military History. Winslow was supposed to go into the Foreign Service, but instead joined a friend’s safari firm in Kenya, leading photographic safaris there as well as hiking trips in the mountains of southwestern China, and directing Shakespeare on summer programs in Oxford.
While bouncing back and forth between Asia, Africa, Europe and America, Winslow wrote his first novel, A Cool Breeze On The Underground, which was nominated for an Edgar Award.
Now with a wife and young son, Winslow went back to investigative work, mostly in California, where he and his family lived in hotels for almost three years as he worked cases and became a trial consultant. A film and publishing deal for his novel The Death and Life of Bobby Z allowed Winslow to be full-time writer and settle in his beloved southern California, the setting for many of his books.
Winslow then branched out into television and film, his work attracting the attention of filmmakers and actors such as Michael Mann, Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro and Leonardo DeCaprio. With his friend Shane Salerno, Winslow wrote a television series, UC Undercover, and he and Salerno later wrote the screen adaptation of Winslow’s novel, Savages, filmed by Oliver Stone. Winslow and Salerno currently have several film projects in process.
In addition to his novels, Winslow has published fourteen short stories in anthologies and magazines such as Esquire, The LA Times Magazine and Playboy. He has written columns for The Huffington Post as well a number of foreign newspapers.
Winslow lives in southern California with his wife of thirty years.