Lois Duncan (b. 1934) is an author of more than fifty books for young adults. Her stories of mystery and suspense have won dozens of awards and many have been named Best Books for Young Adults by the American Library Association. Among the many honors and accolades she has received for her work, in 2015, Lois Duncan was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. Duncan was born Lois Duncan Steinmetz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; she grew up in Sarasota, Florida. By age ten she was submitting her work to magazines, and she had her first story published nationally when she was just thirteen. In 1994, Duncan released a nonfiction title, Who Killed My Daughter?, after her youngest child was killed in a crime that was never solved.
Lois Duncan (b. 1934) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to the noted photographers Lois Duncan (née Foley) and Joseph Janney Steinmetz. She grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and started writing and submitting manuscripts to magazines at the age of ten. When she was thirteen, she succeeded in selling her first story.
Duncan attended Duke University from 1952 to 1953 but dropped out, married, and started a family. During this time, she continued to write and publish magazine articles; over the course of her career, she has published more than three hundred articles, in magazines such as Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, McCall's, Good Housekeeping, and Reader's Digest. After her first marriage, which produced three children, ended in divorce, Duncan moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to teach journalism at the University of New Mexico, where she also earned a BA in English in 1977. In 1965, she married Don Arquette, and had two more children with him.
Duncan is best known for her novels of suspense for teenagers. Some of her works have been adapted for the screen, the most famous example being the 1997 film I Know What You Did Last Summer, adapted from her novel of the same title. (In interviews, Duncan has stated her distaste at her young adult novel becoming a horror comedy film.)
In 1989, the youngest of Duncan's children, Kaitlyn Arquette, was murdered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, under suspicious circumstances. Duncan's book Who Killed My Daughter? relates the facts about the still-unsolved case. Duncan has said her "dream is to write a sequel to Who Killed My Daughter? to give our family's true life horror story a closure. Of course, for that to be possible, Kait's case must be solved."
Duncan's 1971 children's book Hotel for Dogs has been made into a movie (2009), starring Emma Roberts. Duncan herself appears as an extra in the crowd scene.