James Herbert – The Man Who Knows How To Write An Exceptional Chiller!

James Herbert

James John Herbert was born on the 8th of April, 1943 in London, England. James is a horror/chiller writer with more than 54 million copies of his books sold worldwide. James left school at the early age of 15, but later on went to study at the Hornsey College of Art. After graduating he went on to join a small advertising agency.

In 1974 James published his first novel called The Rats which became an instant success. A lot of people were very critical of The Rats saying that it wasn’t literature. The readers of the time were appalled by the vivid depictions of death and violence that James had written. From this point forward James went on to write a book nearly every year.

James died on the 20th March 2013 at the age of 69. He is survived by a wife and three daughters.

Here are some interesting facts about James Herbert:

James designed many of his own book covers, this may be from the benefit of having worked at an advertising agency.

Herbert was afraid of the dark as a child, but later on in life his real fear was spiders.

In 2010 James was made Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention and given an award by Stephen King.

James was also awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire, giving him the title of OBE.

Supposedly he would make sure he was finished writing every night at 6 in time to watch The Simpsons and drink a glass of Vodka.

Four of his novels have been made into films. The Rats, The Survivor, Fluke and Haunted.

James never read any of his own books.

Something that Stephen King once said about his writing: “Herbert was by no means literary, but his work had a raw urgency… His best novels, The Rats and The fog, had the effect of Mike Tyson in his championship days: no finesse, all crude power. Those books were best sellers because many readers (including me) were too horrified to put them down.”

 

Some writing by James Herbert you should check out:

Novels

Ash            The Fog                The Rats                        The Magic Cottage                    Fluke

The Survivor                   The Dark                 Shrine                      The Spear                     The Jonah                   Lair

Moon                 Nobody True                   Haunted                  Domain                  Sepulchre              

Portent                  The Secret of Crickley Hall                Once                  Creed                   The Ghosts of Sleath

’48                 Others       

 

Short Stories

They Don’t Like Us                    Breakfast                  Maurice and Mog             

Halloweens Child                 Cora’s Needs                   Extinct

 

Bell Night

 

 

 

The Stephen King of Children’s Books: R .L. Stine

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Robert Lawrence Stine was born on October 8th 1943. Many people will know him as the author of many children’s series like, Goosebumps, Mostly Ghostly, Fear Street, and The Nightmare Room. Robert began writing at the age of 9 when he discovered a typewriter in his attic. Roberts father was a shipping clerk at a warehouse and his mother would stay at home to look after the children. Robert had two other siblings.

He later went on to achieve a degree of a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English. He then moved to New York and became a writer and editor. His books have now sold over 400 million copies worldwide.

Some interesting facts about R. L. Stine that you may not have known:

His mother would read scary stories to him as a child like the original version of Pinocchio.

When he was a child he wanted to become a cartoonist.

Something strange about Robert is that the only green thing that he will eat is green mint ice-cream.

Supposedly Robert doesn’t have a very good memory.

Robert tried to make sure that he was writing every day when he was a teenager.

Robert wrote his first book in 1986 and it was called Blind Date.

In 1986 he wrote a children’s book called Miami Mice

Stine is married to a Jane Waldhorn and they have a son together and his name is Matt Stine.

Some writing you should certainly check out by Robert is:

Space Cadets

Jerks-in-Training                  Losers in Space           Bozos on Patrol

Goosebumps Series 2000

Cry of the Cat           Bride of the Living Dummy                  Creature Teacher

Invasion of the Body Squeezers, Part I                        Invasion of the Body Squeezers, Part II

I Am Your Evil Twin             Revenge R Us                 Fright Camp

Are You Terrified Yet?             Headless Halloween          Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls           Brain Juice

Return to HorrorLand          Jekyll and Heidi          Scream School         The Mummy Walks

The Werewolf in the Living Room         Horrors of the Black Ring        Return to Ghost Camp

Be Afraid – Be Very Afraid!       The Haunted Car           Full Moon Fever      Slappy’s Nightmare

Earth Geeks Must Go!          Ghost in the Mirror

Give Yourself Goosebumps

Escape from the Carnival of Horror         Tick Tock, You’re Dead!         Trapped in Bat Wing Hall

The Deadly Experiments of Dr. Eeek      Night in Werewolf Woods          Beware of the Purple Peanut Butter

Under the Magician’s Spell          The Curse of the Creeping Coffin       The Knight in Screaming Armor

Diary of a Mad Mummy         Deep in the Jungle of Doom        Welcome to the Wicked Wax Museum

Scream of the Evil Genie       The Creepy Creations of Professor Shock      Please Don’t Feed the Vampire!

Secret Agent Grandma        Little Comic Shop of Horrors       Attack of the Beastly Baby-sitter

Escape from Camp Run-for-Your-Life       Toy Terror: Batteries Included          The Twisted Tale of Tiki Island

Return to the Carnival of Horrors              Zapped in Space          Lost in Stinkeye Swamp

Shop Till You Drop…Dead!         Alone in Snakebite Canyon        Checkout Time at the Dead-End Hotel

Night of a Thousand Claws           Invaders from the Big Screen           You’re Plant Food!

The Werewolf of Twisted Tree Lodge          It’s Only a Nightmare           It Came from the Internet

Elevator to Nowhere        Hocus-Pocus Horror            Ship of Ghouls

Escape from Horror House        Into the Twister of Terror          Scary Birthday to You

Zombie School         Danger Time           All-Day Nightmare

Give Yourself Goosebumps: Special Edition

Into the Jaws of Doom          Return to Terror Tower          Trapped in the Circus of Fear

One Night in Payne House        The Curse of the Cave Creatures

Revenge of the Body Squeezers        Trick or…Trapped!         Weekend at Poison Lake

 

Fear Street

The New Girl     The Surprise Party      The Overnight          Missing

The Wrong Number        The Sleepwalker         Haunted      Halloween Party

The Stepsister     Ski Weekend        The Fire Game         Lights Out

The Secret Bedroom         The Knife         The Prom Queen

First Date        The Best Friend         The Cheater        Sunburn

The New Boy       The Dare       Bad Dreams       Double Date

The Thrill Club         One Evil Summer       The Mind Reader

Wrong Number 2        Truth or Dare             Dead End

Final Grade          Switched         College Weekend           The Stepsister 2

What Holly Heard       The Face         Secret Admirer       The Perfect Date

The Confession          The Boy Next Door       Night Games         Runaway

Killer’s Kiss        All-Night Party          The Rich Girl            Cat

Fear Hall: The Beginning        Fear Hall: The Conclusion

Who Killed The Homecoming Queen?        Into The Dark      Best Friend 2

Trapped

 

New Fear Street

The Stepbrother         Camp Out

Scream, Jennifer, Scream!          The Bad Girl

 

Fear Street Super Chiller

Party Summer         Silent Night        Goodnight Kiss

Broken Hearts         Silent Night 2      The Dead Lifeguard

Cheerleaders: The New Evil         Bad Moonlight

The New Year’s Party        Goodnight Kiss 2          Silent Night 3

High Tide        Cheerleaders: The Evil Lives!

 

 

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Suzanne Collins: Readers Hunger for More!

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Suzanne Marie Collins was born in Hartford, Connecticut on August 10th, 1962. She is best known for having written The Hunger Games trilogy. The Hunger Games has also been made into a movie.  Suzanne is married to actor Cap Pryor and has two children together.

In 1985 Suzanne graduated in a double major of theater and telecommunications at Indiana University. She then went on to do a master’s degree in dramatic writing from New York University. Suzanne’s writing career started out as a scriptwriter for televisions shows. Some of these shows were: Clarissa Explains It All, Little Bear, Oswald and the Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. It wasn’t until she met children’s author James Proimos that she decided to try writing children’s books herself.

In 2003 Suzanne published her first book in The Underland Chronicles called Gregor the Overlander. These books are what first brought her to the attention of many readers. In 2008 Suzanne’s first book of The Hunger Games trilogy was released. Since then readers have not been able to get enough of her books.

Here are some interesting facts that you might not have known:

Suzanne is the best selling kindle author in history so far.

Channel-surfing between reality television shows like Survivor and news coverage of the Iraq war gave Suzanne the inspiration for The Hunger Games.

Because of her screenwriting background Suzanne finds dialogue easier to write than descriptive passages.

Suzanne has a lot of family that has been in war. Her father was in the Vietnam War, her grandfather was gassed in World War I and her uncle was injured in World War II.

Some reviewers have compared The Hunger Games to a Japanese novel called Battle Royale saying that it is very similar.

She usually writes for 3 to 5 hours a day, stopping in the early afternoon.

Stephen King read The Hunger Games and has called the book addictive. He also compared the book to “…shoot-it-if-it-moves video games in the lobby of the local eightplex; you know it’s not real, but you keep plugging in quarters anyway.”

Suzanne Collins was 38 when she began to write Gregor the Overlander.

The Hunger Games was at first 50 000 words and then was pushed up to 200 000 words. It has also been translated into 26 different languages.

She was named by Time Magazine as being one of the most influential people of 2010.

The American Library Association ranked The Hunger Games at the 5th most banned book in 2010 due to its violence and sexually inappropriate content.

Allegedly Suzanne is extremely afraid of rats.

Suzanne got the name ‘Katniss’ for the main character in The Hunger Games from a plant. The plant is an aquatic plant. In Latin this plant means ‘belonging to an arrow.’

Scenes from The Hunger games movie: District 12, the Capitol, and the arena were all shot in North Carolina.

Here are some of Suzanne Collins other books to check out:

The Underland Chronicles

Gregor the Overlander                  Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane

Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods                Gregor and the Marks of Secret

Gregor and the Code of Claw

The Hunger Games Trilogy

The Hunger Games                      Catching Fire                         Mockingjay

Others

When Charlie McButton Lost Power                    When Charlie McButton Gained Power

Fire Proof: Shelby Woo #11

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Richard Matheson – We Will Remember You!

 

Richard Matheson

Richard Burton Matheson passed away June 23 this year (2013) at the age of 87. It is always sad to hear when a great author dies. For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing much about Richard Matheson here is an article dedicated to him:

Richard Burton Matheson was born in Allendale, New Jersey, USA on February 20th 1926. He was a writer best known in the genres of horror, fantasy and science fiction. His most well-known novels also turned into films would be I Am Legend, The Twilight Zone, The Shrinking Man and Hell House.

Richard was the third child of Norwegian immigrants of Bertolf Matheson and Fanny Matheson. Richard published his first short story in The Brooklyn Eagle when he was 8 years old. After graduating high school in 1943, Richard went on to join the military. He served as an infantry soldier during World War II. Then he studied a Bachelor of Journalism at Missouri University. The first story he made money from was Born of Man and Woman. This was published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Richard then went on in the years after to write many popular novels and screenplays.

“He is one of the most important writers of the 20th Century” – Ray Bradbury

Here are some facts that you may not have known about Richard Matheson:

His novel The Beardless Warriors described some of his experiences from war.

Something that Richard said in an interview about George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead: “… I watched it one night on television and thought to myself, gee, that’s awfully close to I am Legend. He I guess prefers to believe that it’s just derivation, but it seems pretty close to me.”

He married his wife Ruth Ann Woodson in 1952

The story Duel was inspired from an incident in 1963 after Richard was tailgated by a truck. It started when he was playing a game of golf and heard the news of President J.F.Kennedy being assassinated. He stopped playing his game and began to return home. On his journey home a truck tailgated him for a long period of time. Duel was then later adapted for a television-movie by Spielberg. This was the beginning of Spielberg’s career.

He nearly wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Richard didn’t agree with Hitchcock about the actual birds. Richard believed that the audience shouldn’t see the birds very often. Where as Hitchcock wanted them seen a lot.

Richard came up with the idea for I Am Legend when he was 16 after seeing Dracula. He didn’t write the book until 1952.

Something that Richard said about screen-writing once: “One of my pet peeves is the fact that when people win awards – Academy Awards, notably – if it’s based on a novel, they never mention it. It’s as if the novel never existed. The screenwriter acts as if he’s made it up out of his own head. Sometimes even the director acts as if he’s made it up out of his own head. It’s an ego problem, of course, but it’s tremendously unfair as well.

Richard had four children and three of them have become writers.

Richard Matheson has left a great mark on the world. He will always be remembered.

Some of Richard Matheson’s writing that you should check out:

Novels

I Am Legend                               A Stir of Echoes                     Someone is Bleeding                    Fury on Sunday             7 Steps to Midnight

The Shrinking Man              Hell House                    Hunger and Thirst                              The Gunfight                   What Dreams May Come

The Beardless Warriors               Earthbound                Woman                Shadow on the Sun              Passion Play            Camp Pleasant     

Other Kingdoms                 Generations               Hunted Past Reason               Now You See It…          Abu and the 7 Marvels         

Come Fygures Come Shadowes

 

Short Stories

Born of Man and Woman                   The Test                   Blood Son                 Miss Stardust               Interest                  The Thing      

The Last Day              Deadline                Slaughter House              Wet Straw                Death Ship               The Edge            A Drink of Water

One for the Books            Pattern for Survival               The Holiday Man               The Doll                Getting Together         Shoo Fly

 

Films

Tales of Terror                 The Box               Real Steel               The Devil Rides Out            The Incredible Shrinking Man             House of Usher

The Young Warriors           Master of the World                 The Raven                   The Last Man on Earth               The Pit and the Pendulum

De Sade              Loose Cannons                 Fanatic            The Legend of Hell House             What Dreams May Come          Burn Witch Burn

The Comedy of Terrors       

 

Bell Night

 

Peter Straub: An author to add to your horror collection!

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Peter Francis Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 2nd 1943. He is an author and poet, best known for his work in the genre of horror. He was the eldest of three sons, his mother was a nurse and his father was a salesman. Straub began his writing career by publishing two small books of poetry and by writing two novels in the 1970’s. These novels were called Marriages and Under Venus. These two novels were not very successful, but in spite of that Straub continued writing. A lot of Stephen King fans will recognise the name Peter Straub because of his collaboration with him on the novels The Talisman and Black House.

Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about Peter Straub:

Fans will be excited to hear that there are rumours of Straub and King doing a third Talisman book.

Straub’s parents had higher ambitions for their son other than becoming a writer. Straub’s father wanted him to become a professional athlete.

Straub is a great fan of Jazz, Opera and other kinds of classical music.

His wife’s name is Susan.

When Straub was seven years old his was temporarily paralysed after being hit by a car. He was in a wheelchair for a little and had to re-learn how to walk. He early on became aware of his own mortality.

In 1981 his novel Ghost Story was loosely adapted into a film. One of the main actors in this film was Fred Astaire.

To name just some of Straub’s favourite authors: Stephen King, Raymond Chandler, Muriel Spark, Donald Harington and John Crowley.

Straub has had his novels translated into more than twenty languages.

Something wise that Straub once said: “I wish I’d known at the beginning that all I really had to do is trust myself. Everything would work out as if by magic once I actually leaned back into my imagination and just let it work, and not question it and not fret about it.”

If you are a horror fiction fan and need something new to read, pick up a book by Peter Straub. Well worth the read!

Novels to read:

Koko       

Ghost Story                

If You Could See Me Now                

Mystery

Shadowland          

Julia                   

The Throat               

The Hellfire Club        

Mr X.                 

Under Venus             

Marriages             

Floating Dragon      

Lost Boy, Lost Girl                

In the Night Room             

A Dark Matter

Peter Straub and Stephen King:

The Talisman                  

Black House

Poems:

Open Air                      

My Life in Pictures

Ishmael

Lesson Park and Belsize Square: Poems 1970 – 1975              

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Clive Barker – Not Just an Author!

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Clive Barker was born the 5th of October 1952. This author is best known for his horror and fantasy stories, many of which were turned into movies. The movies that he would be best known for are ‘Hellraiser’ and ‘Candyman’. The ‘Hellraiser’ series came from the novella ‘The Hellbound Heart’ and ‘Candyman’ came from a short story called ‘The Forbidden.’

Clive Barker started off in his career by publishing a collection of short stories called ‘Books of Blood. These soon became quite popular, which is unusual because short stories don’t normally kick-start a writer’s career. Clive Barker stated this also in an interview: …”I was surprised just because they were short stories and because the conventional wisdom of publishing says that you don’t publish short stories if you are unknown. So I was pleased and delighted by the response of those books.”

When these books first came there was a quote on the front covers by Stephen King saying: “I have seen the future of horror, his name is Clive Barker.” This is interesting considering later on in Clive Barker’s career he turns more towards fantasy.

Some interesting facts that you may not of known about Clive Barker:

At the age of four, he saw a french skydiver die during an air show in Liverpool. The skydiver’s name was Leo Valentin. Leo Valentin is referred to a few times in some of Barker’s stories.

Clive Barker has been openly gay since the 1990’s.

In 2012 Clive Barker went into an 11 day coma after a dentists visit caused blood poisoning. Hopefully this will have led to some interesting new stories.

Clive Barker is not only an author but also a painter, film director, screenwriter, actor, playwright, producer, visual artist and an illustrator. – It sounds a lot like he is Superman. Oh and he also created his own superhero comic books.

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Dean Koontz: A Brilliant but Odd Man.

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Dean Ray Koontz was born July 9th 1945. He was an only child. Star Quest was the first novel he wrote and was published in 1968. Dean Koontz is better known as the author that wrote the popular Odd Thomas books. The first Odd Thomas book is actually going to be made into a movie. The main genre that his books usually fall under is suspense thriller, but has been known to have some horror and mystery mixed in. If you are a big fan of Stephen King, it is more likely than not that you have heard of Dean Koontz. Here are some things that you may not know:

Dean Koontz refused for a long time to do a book tour. He also doesn’t like using the internet or e-mail because it distracts him from his writing.

He sent some of his work to playboy, but came to the conclusion that writing these types of magazines wasn’t what he wanted to do.

Some rumours on the Internet claim that he has borderline obsessive compulsive disorder. Whether this is true I can’t say.

Dean Koontz has had a lot of sad experiences with dogs throughout his life. He had a dog as a child called Tiny who almost strangled him to death in the backyard with a chain it was tied to. He was forced to give up the dog because of this. He also had a dog called Lucky once that had to be put down because it was constantly sick. Some of Dean’s books were inspired by a dog called Trixie that was very close to him. Trixie was a gift to Dean by the Canine Companions for Independence organization for all his charitable donations.

Dean Koontz had a job as park ranger. While working here he was robbed at gunpoint by two men.

Dean Kontz’s wife made a deal with him to support him for 5 years while he wrote books. I think all writers trying to make it would love to have a partner like that.

Some of my favourite books are by Dean Koontz. Books that I have loved are the whole Odd Thomas series and From the Corner of his Eye.

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Stephen King – An author everybody knows.

Stephen King

Stephen King is a name that even the most illiterate person knows. He has sold more than 350 million copies of his book and collaborated into turning most of these into movies and television shows. There is a reason people call him ‘The King of Horror.’

His first novel to be published was in 1974 called Carrie. Carrie is still to this day a huge success. The main character in this novel is a young, mistreated high school girl named Carrie, she develops telekenetic abilities and takes revenge on everyone that ever abused her. I’m sure something that many people would have liked to have done at one stage of their lives or another. Many of you have proabably seen and heard all this before, so I am going to tell you some interesting things about Stephen King that you might not know.

Stephen King is in a rock band called ‘Rock Bottom Remainders’ along with other writers like Matt Groening, Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry. Their motto is “We play music as well as Metallica writes novels.”

In the late 70’s or early 80’s, Stephen King wrote a series of novels under a pseudonym, Richard Bachman, this was an experiment to see if he could duplicate his own success again. He did.  Bachman was later exposed as King’s pseudonym. This led to a funny press release announcing the death of Bachman from ‘cancer of the pseudonym’. In 2007, King published an old manuscript of Bachman’s, Blaze, and announced that all proceeds would go the charity for ‘cancer of the pseudonym’, in memory of Richard.

Stephen King in 1999 was hit by a van not far from his house. He suffered from many injuries including a broken leg in 9 different places, a collapsed lung, a broken hip and a big gash to the head. After all this happened and he was better, he bought the van and attacked it with a baseball bat before sending it to a junkyard. You may have seen something similar in the television series Kingdom Hospital – also collaborated on by Stephen King.

He saw a friend get hit and killed by a train when he was a child.

Writing runs in the family for the Kings.

I hope you enjoyed learning something new from this post. If you haven’t already read anything by Stephen King, now is the time.

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