John Bellairs was an American fantasy author known for his mystery and gothic horror novels targeted at young adults. He was a devout Catholic, and most of his books are steeped in the mysticism and respect for the supernatural of that great religion.
Bellairs' published works include The Face in the Frost, a 1973 fantasy novel admittedly based heavily on the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, an author whom Bellairs admired. The same year, he published The House with a Clock in Its Walls, a supernatural novel aimed at younger readers.
The success of The House with a Clock in Its Walls prompted Bellairs' publisher to commission fourteen more young-adult novels, of which the first two (The Figure in the Shadows and The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring) featured the first book's protagonist Lewis Barnavelt. Bellairs' later novels introduced two more recurring protagonists — Anthony Monday and Johnny Dixon.
Bellairs died on March 8, 1991 of cardiovascular disease.