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  • Writer's pictureKali Kuzma

5 Authors Who Write Horror

Going into a Mind of a Writer

Welcome back to All Things Spooky as we celebrate Spooky Month the entire month of October. If you missed last week, go check out the latest post where we find out if the book or movie is better when it comes to the horror story Let Me In.

This week our focus is on authors. Specifically, authors who write/wrote horror throughout their careers. To me, nothing is scarier than seeing inside the minds of writers who bring audiences greatest fears to life on the page. Some wonder where they draw their inspiration for the sick and twisted storylines which leave people awake at night. Let's see if we can find out.


Authors of Horror

Roald Dahl

Known as one of the greatest storytellers of all time, Roald Dahl was first published in 1942 with one of his short stories inspired by his time in the war.

Even though a great hit, he turned his attention to children's stories. Popular for his whimsical and dark comical storylines, Dahl's books, such as 'Matilda', 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', 'The BFG', and 'James and the Giant Peach' became huge hits with more than 250 million copies sold worldwide, eventually adapting to the big screen. When audiences hear Roald Dahl's name these stories are the ones he is often tied to, but what most people don't know is Roald Dahl also wrote short horror stories.

Bringing a more evaluated whimsy and dark comedy to his scary stories, Dahl went on to publish popular stories include 'Lamb of Slaughter', 'The Hitchhiker', 'The Way Up to Heaven', and 'The Landlady'. This new twist on horror landed him several Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America along with adaptions to the big screen with big names such as Hitchcock directing his stories.

Up until his last few years, Dahl shared his work with the world cherishing the moments he had with readers until his passing in 1990.

**In my early teen years, I was read a short horror story which I often think about to this day and use as my inspiration behind my scarier plots. No matter how much I racked my brain I could never remember the author or title. As I was reading more on Dahl, I realized The Landlady is the story I have been searching for all these years and the reason he makes the list for 5 Authors Who Write Horror.**

V.C. Andrews

Cleo Virigina Andrews otherwise known as V.C. Andrews turned to writing after a career in illustration and commercial artistry to help pay for her families' finances. Even though her first novel wasn't published until after her death, Andrew's novel 'Flowers in the Attic', which was written in less than two weeks, became a huge overnight success.

Her quick writing skills allowed Andrew's to publish one novel a year, after her first release, allowing her to grow in popularity due to the descriptive gothic horror and family drama seen in her fast-paced novels.

During her career, Andrew's released 3 successful series including The Audrina, The Casteel Family and the famous Dollanganger Family series which eventually made its way to the big screen with several adaptations.

After her sudden death with cancer, Andrew's family took it upon themselves to hire a ghost writer to finish three of her uncompleted works. Inspired by her late paintings and writings, the ghost writer, now known as Andrew Neiderman, as continued on with her work publishing more than 87 novels over 25 series featuring V.C. Andrews' name.

Elizabeth Massie

With her first ever short horror story 'Whittler' hitting the popular magazine, The Horror Show, Massie's career took off. Having written over 128 stories her work can be found in novels, comics, plays, short stories, magazines, and collected stories.

Massie's work in the horror genre has landed her two Bram Stoker Awards as well as adapt her short story 'Abel' to film.

Even though most of her writing has been adult based, Massie now focuses her time on a 50-novel series for middle schoolers as well as her horror cartoon 'Skeeryvilletown'.

T.M. Wright

Wright spent most of his 40-year career writing novels, novellas, and short stories focused on the horror genre. With his work popular amongst audiences, he published in several magazines including Twilight Zone Magazine and Cemetary Dance which elevated his career.

His most popular work. 'A Manhattan Ghost Story' became a multimillion-dollar screenplay of which several famous actors and actress have been trying to get involved in for years.

Unlike most authors, Wright went on to paint several of his book covers including 'Cold House' and 'The Eyes of Carp' as well as magazines such as Brutarian. Even though he sadly passed away in 2015, Wright is remembered as 'a one-man definition of quiet horror'.

Charles Beaumont

Most popular for his screen play writing in the Twilight Zone, Beaumont is known for his short stories within the horror and sci-fi subgenre.

Influenced by a poor upbringing, Beaumont inspired to write based off his experiences which landed him a page in Playboy magazine with the first ever short story, 'Black Country', in 1954. Many of his stories then went on plotting highly controversial topics during that time including heterosexuality, obesity, and plastic surgery.

Most of his writing can be seen in episodes of the Twilight Zone with his most popular short story, 'The Howling Man."

Like his writing, Charles Beaumont began acting strange. Due to the overwhelming workload and popularity of his stories Beaumont began to age at a rapid pace unable to write and publish his stories. In 1965, at the early age of 38, Beaumont passed away which is now believed to be an early onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Final Thoughts

Have you read any titles from the authors above or seen any adaptations? If not, I highly recommend giving some a read if you are looking for a scare.

Who would you add to the list of authors who write horrors? If you haven't already, subscribe to the blog to stay updated on new posts coming for All Things Spooky this month!

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