The author of thrillers, such as the recent “Saint Odd” and scores of earlier best-sellers such as “Watchers” and “Intensity,” says he likes to put in at least 60 hours a week at the keyboard of his old-fashioned MS-DOS computer. When he takes a break, it’s usually for some quiet pleasure with his wife, Gerda, and their golden retriever, Anna.
“One thing we like to do is take long walks with the dog,” Koontz says during a recent walkthrough of his 27,219-square-foot Newport Coast home, the third largest in Orange County. “We put the dog in the car and go down to Corona del Mar and walk the village because the streets are so pretty. And then drive south and walk Laguna Beach. Keep on going down the coast to different towns until you can’t walk as much.”
Mostly, Koontz says, he and Gerda and Anna are happiest at home. “We’re homebodies, so most of our things we like to do are with friends. Having friends in for dinner. Spending a day together playing cards or whatever is for us as good as it gets.”
Staying in seems like a particularly appealing prospect when the house is as lovely as the one Dean and Gerda Koontz built. They’d settled in Orange County years ago, pulling up stakes in Pennsylvania to resettle in California, and lived for many years in the Harbor Ridge neighborhood of Newport Beach. But sometime in the mid-1990s, they decided to design and build their own home from the dirt up.
“We’ve worked very hard all our lives and decided to finally build sort of the dream home,” Koontz says. “And it got completely out of control.”
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