Harlan Coben, Suburban Dad With 75 Million Books in Print

The Netflix deal takes advantage of Coben’s international appeal. He sells more books abroad than in the United States, he said, and is o...


The Netflix deal takes advantage of Coben’s international appeal. He sells more books abroad than in the United States, he said, and is one of the biggest contemporary writers in France, period, according to his agent.

“I’m the Jerry Lewis of crime fiction,” he proclaimed from the sunroom at the back of his home, Winslow and Laszlo asleep in warm patches of light near his feet.

His 2007 novel “The Woods” (as Coben described it, “20 years ago, four kids disappeared, and now one of them comes back”) became a show on Netflix Poland last year. “The Innocent,” from his 2005 book about a former inmate’s attempt to shed his past, was produced by Netflix Spain. “The Stranger,” from 2015, was produced by Netflix in the United Kingdom, as was “Stay Close,” from 2012, which is filming now.

Coben is an executive producer on these shows, not a writer, but his daughter Charlotte has written for “The Stranger” and “Stay Close.” “Adding that professional aspect was a lot easier than I think either of us expected,” she said of working with her father on the Netflix shows. “He’s so supportive of my ideas, but not the bad ones. I appreciate that.”

Larry Tanz, who oversees Netflix’s original programming for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said that most people who have achieved Coben’s level of success tend to surround themselves with associates and handlers who get things done. But Coben does the work himself, Tanz said. He comes up with the ideas, he watches the rough cuts of scenes, he joins the phone calls.

“He’s very flexible, and you don’t see that a lot with creators of his stature,” Tanz said. “There’s quite a lot that gets added or modified from the original book, and Harlan is always like, ‘Great, I love it!’”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Harlan Coben, Suburban Dad With 75 Million Books in Print
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