About Dan Padavona

Dan Padavona

About Dan Padavona

Daniel James Padavona was born in Cortland, NY, in 1968, the adopted son of Ronald and Loretta Padavona. Since his first book, Storberry, was published in 2014, Dan has seen success after success as a popular mystery and thriller author. Now the creator of multiple successful thriller series, Dan Padavona continues to be a leading thriller author and even hosts his own podcast on the art and craft of writing.

Early Life and Education

After his parents separated when Dan was four, his mother raised him. With his mother, he lived in various homes throughout his childhood before the family settled one block from the State University of New York Cortland campus, where Dan grew up listening to punk and alternative rock bands and became interested in the Greenpeace movement.

Dan spent many days attending collegiate athletic events at the Cortland campus, often walking two miles in snow storms and below-zero temperatures to watch basketball and hockey games. It was here he fell in love with lacrosse, a sport he still watches today.

Dan attended Cortland Junior-Senior High School, graduating in June 1986. Starting in his sophomore year, he was a member of the school’s video club, where he began as a cameraman and eventually won the role of lead sportscaster for school football, basketball, and lacrosse games.

He also wrote two short stories, which the school newspaper published — a foretelling of his future career as a thriller author! 

“I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, mainly of fantasy and horror. If you happen upon me, you’ll probably see me reading Robert Jordan, Jack Ketchum, J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, or one of many authors who so enrich my life with their ability to tell a good tale. I am enamored with the written word and can spend hours playing with different word combinations to improve prose.” Dan Padavona

After school, Dan was accepted into Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He chose the former and, to this day, regrets not attending college in Ithaca, his favorite city. After his freshman year at Syracuse, Dan transferred to Cortland and became the college’s lead sportscaster for football games before serving as music director and manager of the school’s radio station, WSUC-FM.

Dan Padavona graduated in 1991 with a B.A. in Communications. A year later, he enrolled at Oneonta, earning a B.S. in Meteorology in 1995.

Early Career

After completing his second degree, Dan became a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, where he worked for 27 years. He met his future wife, Teresa Musci, in 1985, and they attended college at Cortland. Dan and Teresa married in 1997 and brought two children, Joseph and Julia, into the world in 1999.

Dan Padavona: Bestselling Mystery and Thriller Author

“When you read one of my books, I want you to feel like you are sitting around a campfire with me at midnight…the sweet smell of wood burning, the fire crackling like a bullwhip, and a full moon chasing the shadows back to the woods. Just remember to save me a marshmallow. I like mine light brown, like cinnamon toast.” Dan Padavona.

Dan published his first novel in August 2014, an old-school vampire horror throwback called Storberry. He quickly followed the book with The Island: Tales of Terror, a horror short story anthology.

Two years later, his Dark Vanishings post-apocalyptic series took runner-up in the eFestival of Words‘ Horror Release of the Year. Though his novels garnered critical acclaim and strong reviews, Dan struggled for several years to find readers until learning about marketing and advertising and switching from horror to thrillers.

Mind of a Killer, the first book in the Scarlett Bell FBI thriller series, hit Amazon in December 2018, and fans responded. While he worked nine-hour days with the National Weather Service, Dan penned novels in his free time, slowly building on his success.

In January 2020, he released the first of six books in the Darkwater Cove series, each novel more successful than the last. To this day, Darkwater Cove remains a staple on the Amazon Top-100 U.S. Horror and Serial Killer charts.

Her Last Breath, the first of ten novels in the Wolf Lake thriller and mystery series, was released in December 2020, quickly rising to the top of the Amazon Mystery series and U.S. Horror charts. Bookbub also featured Her Last Breath twice in its international newsletter of recommended thriller titles.

After releasing multiple top-selling novels, Dan retired from the National Weather Service in September 2021 to write full-time. Leveraging the growing success of the Scarlett Bell FBI thriller series, Dan published Dusk Corners, the first novel in the Logan and Scarlett serial killer book series, in December 2021 to strong reviews.

Dusk Corners remains a dominant force on the Amazon Serial Killers and Horror Suspense charts.

Other Dan Padavona Media

Numerous podcasts have interviewed Dan about the art and business of writing, including the highly popular Writers Ink podcast with J.D. Barker and J. Thorn and The Creative Penn with Joanna Penn. Instagram book influencer Ashley Hasty also interviewed Dan before his December 2022 release of Grave Girl.

In December 2022, Dan started The Author’s Mindset, a podcast aimed at teaching authors to make a living with their writing. The podcast combines mindset psychology with healthy habit-building and marketing expertise, skills Dan attributes to his success. In its first week, The Author’s Mindset ranked in the top 200 book podcasts in the United States, the top 50 in Germany, and the top 15 in New Zealand, according to Podstatus.

Download a free book by Dan Padavona, and find out for yourself why he’s become one of the most popular thriller and mystery authors today.