10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About James Herbert

By April 8, 2018Authors

James Herbert (8th April 1943 – 20th March 2013) was an English horror writer with book sales totalling more than 54 million books, translated into 34 languages.

Born in London, Herbert released his first novel, The Rats in 1974. This and many of his other works would go on to become major adaptations in their own right. He wrote and released work right up to w2012, just a year before his death and is said to be an inspiration to many other horror authors, including Stephen King, who described his writing as “like Mike Tyson in the ring, all brute force”.

Today we’re honouring the author with some facts you may not know!

Today we’re honouring the author with some facts you may not know!

As a child, Herbert was afraid of the dark. While he overcame this fear, he never overcame his fear of spiders.

Herbert owned two chairs, previously owned by Satanist Aleister Crowley. When he hosted parties at home he would challenge guests to sit in them.

Every evening at 6pm sharp Herbert would finish writing and leave his desk. He would then proceed to pour himself a large vodka and watch The Simpsons.

His childhood neighbours were the Krays. Herbert’s mother used to worry there would be retribution for him describing the brothers as ‘animals’ in his fiction, fearing they may read the books in prison.

In 2010 Herbert was made the Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention, he was presented the award by his long term friend Stephen King.

His first novel, The Rats was inspired by the rats who used to attack his father’s fruit and vegetables on his Brick Lane Market Stall.

The Rats was rejected by five publishers before being accepted by a sixth. It went on to sell 100,000 copies in the first three weeks after its publication.

After school, Herbert worked as an art director in an advertising company. Salman Rushdie was a colleague.

He designed most of his own book covers.

Herbert hated violence and never planned to write horror, he just found it poured right out of him.

And so now you know a little more about James Herbert, and if you’re a fan of horror then below are what we think are three of his most enjoyable books.

Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Philip Roth Dies

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One of the greatest American authors of all time, Philip Roth has died it is confirmed today. Philip Roth who counts the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Man Booker International Prize to his name drew his writing inspiration from family life, sex and American ideals and his works include American Pastoral, I Married a Communist and Portnoy’s Complaint.

We marked the novelist’s 85th birthday in March with a blog of his best quotes, but this morning the New York Times reported that Roth had died overnight from congestive heart failure. Read More

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Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on the 7th of February, 1867 and died on the 10th of February, 1957. The American writer was best known for the children’s book series Little House on the Prairie (1932 to 1943), based on her childhood as a part of a settler and pioneer family.

A television series was produced in the 70s and 80s and was loosely based on Ingalls’ books- it starred Melissa Gilbert as Laura and Michael Landon as her father, Charles. She is still celebrated today all across the USA, with museums and honouring her, and her name marking her previous homesteads throughout the country.

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Ruskin Bond (19th May 1934) is an Indian author of British descent. Born in a military hospital in Kasauli, British India to British parents. Bond spent his early childhood in Jamnagar and was very close to his father who sadly died of jaundice when Ruskin was ten.

A keen writer as a child, Ruskin graduated in 1950 after winning several writing competitions in school including the Irwin Divinity Prize and the Hailey Literature Prize. He wrote one of his first short stories Untouchable when he was just 16 years old.

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One of our favourites here at For Reading Addicts is murder-mayhem-maestro Stephen King. From his grizzly and gruesome horrors to his snappy short stories, his fans are never without something King to be reading.

Recently King has offered one of his short stories for free online. The story is Laurie and follows a man and his journey through the late stages of grief and a beautiful gift his sister gives him to help him through his pain. In typical King style it is richly written, with a story that sucks you straight in (no spoilers).

Follow the link below to read the free short story for yourself.

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Born Thomas Kennerly Wolfe Jr. on 2nd March 1930 in Richmond Virginia, Tom Wolfe showed his love for writing early, as editor of the school newspaper. After graduating in 1947, Wolfe turned down an offer for Princeton University and instead attented Washington and Lee University where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity. During his time at university he majored in English, was sports editor of the university newspaper and helped to found a literary magazine, Shenandoah giving him plenty of opportunity to practice his writing and journalistic skills. Read More

One Comment

  • Anonymous says:

    There’s a factual error here: Aleister Crowley was NOT a Satanist; he called himself ‘The Beast 666’ as a way of giving the middle finger to the Christian religion he hated, but he followed his own belief system, Thelema, which had nothing to do with Satanism.

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