Famous Horror Writers

Famous Writers: Robert William Chambers

The King in Yellow

Today I am writing to discuss Mr Robert William Chambers with you.

Robert William Chambers was a writer from America who is best known for writing The King in Yellow in 1895.

Robert was born in Brooklyn in New York, his father worked as a lawyer and it was through this work that he met Robert’s mother when she was just 12 years old. Robert’s father and his grandfather on his mother side formed a law firm together after the marriage.

Robert was well educated and was part of the Art Students League in his twenties. He also studied in Paris before returning to New York. He worked as an illustrator for some time selling to prestigious magazines.

His first book, ‘In the Quarter’ was written in 1887, his second ‘The King in Yellow’ was published in 1895. This collection was very well received by authors such as H. P Lovecraft. His next collection was ‘The Maker of Moons’ published in 1896, followed by ‘The Tree of Heaven’ in 1907. While these were well received, they did not match the reception Robert received for ‘The King in Yellow’.

He also wrote historical fiction with ‘The Red Republic’, ‘Lorraine, and ‘Ashes of Empire’ published in 1895, 1998 and 1901 respectively. He also wrote ‘Cardigan’ in 1901 before turning from historical fiction to Romantic fiction. The dude was a very prolific writer, from 1894 to 1933 he churned out over 80 titles, including seven children’s titles. Some being published posthumously.

In July 1898 Robert married his wife Elsa and they had a son the following year, also called Robert.

Robert, senior, died in December 1933.

Famous Horror Writers

Famous Writers: Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu

Stoker before Stoker

Today I want to write to you about vampires… Kinda.

I’ve spoken before about Carmilla, now let’s take a brief look at her Author, Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu.

Joseph was an Irish writer, born on 28 August 1814 and died on 7 February 1873 of a heart attack. His three best known stories are Carmilla, Uncle Silas and The House by the Churchyard.

Joseph was born into a literary family, both his grandmother Alicia  and his great-uncle Richard were playwrights his niece Rhoda was a successful novelist, and his mother was a writer.

In 1826 the family moved to Abington in Limerick, where Joseph used his father’s library to educate himself and by the age of fifteen he was already writing poetry

In 1844 Joseph married Susanna Bennett, and their first child, Eleanor, was born in 1845, followed by Emma in 1846, Thomas in 1847 and George in 1854. In 1856 Joseph’s personal life became difficult when his wife suffered from poor mental health. She had a crisis of faith and suffered from anxiety after the deaths of several close relatives, including her father. In April 1858 she suffered a “hysterical attack” and died the following day in unclear circumstances. Joseph’s diaries suggests that he felt guilt as well as loss. From then on he did not write any fiction until the death of his mother in 1861.

In 1861 he became the editor and proprietor of the Dublin University Magazine. He published The House by the Churchyard and Wylder’s Hand via this magazine. Joseph then signed a contract with his London publisher, which specified that future novels be stories “of an English subject and of modern times”, Joeseph then published Uncle Silas in 1864.

Famous Horror Writers

Famous Writers: Edgar Allen Poe

Nevermore

Today I am writing to you to tell you about Edgar Allan Poe. 

To say Poe’s works have influenced literature is like saying water is wet. He and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. He has influenced many other great writers, such as H.P Lovecraft and Stephen King to name drop just two. His impact on the horror genre (as well as Sci-Fi and Detective) cannot be overstated. 

I could probably write an entire blog series on this man, and if you would like me to do so then by all means speak up. However, today all I am going to do is a very brief summary of his life, and works. 

Edgar Allan Poe was born Edgar Poe on 19 January 1809 and was the first well-known American writers to earn a living through writing alone. He was a writer, poet, editor, and a literary critic. 

Poe was born in Boston, the second child of actors David and Elizabeth Poe. Sadly, his father abandoned the family in 1810, and his mother died the following year. Poe was raised by John and Frances Allan, though his relationship with them was not without its problems. 

Poe attended university, though due to financial reasons he left after one year and joined the army. However, he was not content in the military life and shortly after the death of his brother he left to be a full-time writer. 

However, due to shitty copyright laws Poe struggled as a writer, this was because American publishers often reproduced unauthorized copies of British works rather than paying for new work by Americans.

Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

That is not to say he had no success at all, he spent several years working for literary journals and periodicals 

He received a prize in October 1833 from the Baltimore Saturday Visiter for his short story “MS. Found in a Bottle”. This brought Poe to the attention of other writers and editors and landed him a job as assistant editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in 1835. 

He married his 13-year-old cousin in 1836 (he was 26 at the time and they lied about her age in order to marry), sadly, she died of tuberculosis in 1847. It is said that her passing influenced some of his writing. 

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket was published in 1838 and Poe became the assistant editor of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine the following year. He later took a position as a as writer and co-editor at Graham’s Magazine

In January 1845, he published his poem “The Raven” which made him a household name. He planned for years to produce his own journal The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), but before it could be produced, he died. The cause of his death has never been unearthed. 

On the day before his death he was found in great distress and delouse on the streets, he was taken to hospital and passed away. All medical records have been lost, including his death certificate. 

Poe is buried in Baltimore, Maryland.

Classic Horror, Famous Horror Writers

Famous Horror Writers: R.L Stine Writing Prompts

Lets have some fun

One thing with this lockdown is that even as it’s being lifted in many places, we still need to be sensible and protect ourselves and our communities. 

So, while many places are reopening and businesses will need your support, we still shouldn’t be flippant about going outside and mingling with sizeable crowds. 

That being said, it has been a long few months. Speaking of my experience, I’ve been working from home since mid-March and restricting my time outside to essential trips maybe once or twice a week. Cabin fever has well and truly taken hold.  

To keep my mind from turning into mush, I’ve been testing myself with writing prompts and thought I’d share some with you, as I cannot be the only person going slowly mad with being indoors this much. 

Just to be clear, I did not make these myself, R. L. Stine did! Over on masterclass.com 

These are my favourite three 😊

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Classic Horror, Famous Horror Writers

Famous Horror Writers: Edgar Allen Poe

Nevermore

Today I want to talk with you about one of the world’s most famous horror writers is Edgar Allen Poe.

A name synonymous with Ravens, secret shadows, and dark deeds. He has inspired countless other writers, filmmakers and creators across the board. To sum up such an important figure for the horror genre in a simple blog is like trying to strike a match on jelly. But that’s not going to stop me from having a go.

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Classic Horror, Famous Horror Writers

Famous Horror Writers: Darren Shan

Childhood classic

When I think back to my childhood, it was full of all kinds of books, from Animals of Farthing Wood to Wind in the Willows all the way through to one of my favourites, Clive Barkers Thief of Always.

I was probably around twelve (I think) when my dad came home one day with a copy of Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan, he’d seen it in WHSmiths on his way home from the train station and from the cover alone had thought it would be something that I would like. This was when I was well into my Animorphs phase and while I was no stranger to horror at twelve (I think my mum read me Thief of Always when I was around six, thank god for book-loving parents) it was a departure from my usual fare at the time.

I cannot thank my dad enough for that little impulse gift, it introduced me to the world of Darren Shan, both the character in the book (although Larten was and always will be my favourite, to the point where a year or so ago, while I’m in my early thirties I picked up the Saga of Larten Crepsley, WHY WAS THIS SO SHORT, I NEED MORE!).

Anyway, enough of the memory lane nonsense, today I want to talk to you about Darren Shan, a fantastic author who’s introduced an entire generation to horror in a superb fashion.

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Classic Horror, Famous Horror Writers

Famous Writers: Clive Barker

Books of blood

I first wrote to you to discuss famous horror writers back in January, when I wrote about Bram Stoker, today I want to talk about another horror writer, although calling him just a writer is selling him short. I am of course referring to Clive Barker. Clive Barker is one of my favourite writers.

He is well known for his horror short stories, collected into anthologies, namely Books of Blood volumes 1 through 6. His Hellraiser books & films, and my personal favourite book The Thief of Always.

One of my other favourite writers Stephen King has been quoted as saying “I have seen the future of horror and his name is Clive Barker.” This quote appeared on the Books of Blood.

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Classic Horror, Famous Horror Writers

Horror Writers: Bram Stoker

The children of the night

Today I am writing to you to talk about Masters of genre.

Masters have been around since the genre first came to be, there are those from the past who made the genre what it is today and there are those today taking us down new winding roads to dark and creepy places.

Continue reading “Horror Writers: Bram Stoker”