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Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym of American horror author Dallas Mayr. Born in 1946, Mayr has been praised by such literary icons as Stephen King, and condemned by a Village Voice critic who dismissed his work as violent pornography. A onetime actor, teacher, literary agent, and lumber salesman, Ketchum credits his childhood love of Elvis Presley, dinosaurs, and the horror genre for instilling him with the foundation to build a respectable career. His 1981 debut novel, Off Season, laid the groundwork for a series of novels and short stories (sometimes inspired by real-life events) in which humankind proves to be the most dreaded beast of all. Most notably, his novel The Girl Next Door was inspired by the 1965 murder of Sylvia Likens. (Jack Ketchum)