Stephen Paul Coonts is a novelist and lawyer. He was born in 1946 and grew up in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Coonts graduated from West Virginia University in 1968 with a degree in political science. Coonts also received a law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1979. Coonts entered the U.S. Navy and received his Navy wings in August of 1969. He made two combat cruises aboard the USS Enterprise. After the Vietnam War, Coonts served as a flight instructor aboard the USS Nimitz. After receiving his law degree, Coonts went to West Virginia to practice and later, to Colorado to work as a staff attorney for an oil company. Coonts published Flight of the Intruder, in 1986. It was adapted as into a film in 1991. He also published a work of nonfiction in 1992 called The Cannibal Queen and edited an anthology of true flying stories, War in the Air, in 1996.