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  • Writer's pictureKali Kuzma

5 Authors Who Write Horror 2023

Going into a Mind of a Writer

Last year, we celebrated Spooky Month which included weekly posts focused on topics related to the scary things. One of my favorite posts during the month was 5 Authors Who Write Horror. Learning about why authors write what they do was so much fun which is why I decided to bring it back this year.


Authors of Horror

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is a household name selling over a billion copies of her stories worldwide. Feeling as if she had to live up to her sister's name, of whom was a published author, Christie took to writing her very first novel, An Affair at Styles.

After her success with her first book, Christie went on to publish over 66 novels and 14 short story collects. Many of these novels featuring her beloved characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. A well-known traveler, Christie used her experiences as her inspiration for many of her stories.

Even though her career was a success, her personal life was not so glamourous. Christie dealt with many hardships including her husband's affair which led to a divorce and her disappearing for 11 days. Evidence proving she might have drowned, Christie was found with no memory of what happened during that time and was diagnosed with memory loss. Shortly after, her beloved mother and best friend passed which caused her much grief.

It was some time before she married again and found life exciting through further travels with her knew husband. This continued until the age of 85 when she passed away peacefully in her home.

J.D. Barker

Unlike most writers seeking out to become an overnight success, J.D. Barker stumbled upon his while in college. After one of his assignments landed in the hands of Paul Gallotta who worked for Circus Magazine, Barker's writing career began after taking a position at the 25th Parallel. There he wrote a column focusing on the supernatural while helping others with their stories.

Because of his success and link to many celebrities through the magazine Barker was able to hand off his writing to none other than Stephen King who pushed him to publish his first novel, Foresaken. An overnight success, Foresaken reached best-selling charts catching the attention of Bram Stoker's family. They loved his work so much, they asked if he would be willing to write a prequel to Dracula using notes, never seen outside the family, that Bram himself had written.

Since then, Barker has published more best-selling novels as well as co-authored with James Patterson.

Dornford Yates

Going back to 1910, Dornford Yates, the pen name for Cecil William Mercer began his writing career when after law school found himself taking the cases from court and using them in his stories. With his stories a success, Mercer was sent to war where he continued to write but after being discharged could not return to court where most of his inspiration had been found. Instead, he focused more on his writing which included publishing over 123 short stories in the Windsor Magazine.

He also went on to write novels, which included themes such as criminals and hunting for treasure, and music for local plays. He continued to write until his death in 1960.

Karin Slaughter

Not much of Karin Slaughter's background history is known besides the fact she is related to baseball hall of famer Enos Slaughter. But one thing we do know is her writing! With over 20 best sellers hitting the shelves, and over 40 million copies of her work sold she is known by many when it comes to horror and thrillers.

Spending the average of 10-12 months on a story line has helped her gain connections with Netflix as well as Hulu and Disney Plus who have taken her stories and turned them to the big screen.

With a successful career Slaughter was able to start up a non-profit focusing on supporting libraries and their programs.

Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson is not only known for her thrillers, but her horror and mystery stories as well. Surrounding herself with literary folks, she began her career early on thorough her work at the university magazine where she also met her future husband, also a writer.

The breadwinner of the family, Shirley worked on her stories while taking care of the household and often hosting for other literary folks. During that time, she wrote over 200 short stories, and six novels including her most famous works The Lottery, and The Haunting of Hill House which have both turned into tv adaptations since their release.

Even though successful in her career her home life wasn't as blissful with her husband controlling her finances with reports of infidelity. At the age of 48, she died in her sleep after fighting weight loss, chronic asthma, agorphobia, and drug use for years with her finally moments suffering from cardiac arrest.

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 and upcoming posts.

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