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16 Oct 2012

Top Ten Tuesdays: 10 Horror Authors

For this week's Top Ten Tuesday The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to name our ten top authors in any genre of our choice.

In the horror genre my top ten authors are:

1) Stephen King

I don't think I really need to explain why.  The King of Horror is more than cheap scares and lots of gore.  There's so much depth to the nightmares he creates for you.

2) Darren Shan

Where no character is safe.  Darren Shan knows how to torture his characters with death, life changing experiences, and monsters.

3) Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood introduces you to ghosts who are both tragic yet frightening.  A chilling story and I'm looking forward to more horror from this author.  I've recently reviewed Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood here.

4) Susan Hill

The Woman in Black was a tense, eerie story with a ghost that could pop up any time to haunt you.  In the style of 19th Century Gothic Susan Hill will send shivers down your spine.  I reviewed her novel earlier in the year.

5) Bram Stoker

Again, do I need to explain? Bram Stoker created the daddy of fictional vampires.  The films tend to make it as paranormal romance as possible but the book is more than that.  Dracula isn't even interested in Mina until her husband's scooby gang interfere and her change is really out of revenge and trolling.  It's not at all romantic.

6) Richie Tankserley Cusick

I recently read her book Trick or Treat (reviewed here) but I was actually introduced to this author in my teens with her Unseen series.  I didn't even realise until I read this and saw what else she had written.  I enjoyed Trick or Treat, truly creeped out by the tale and I remember that Unseen was quite disturbing and freaky.  I have a mission to get more of Cusick's books.

7) L.J. Smith

While there are paranormal romance elements Smith actually enjoys putting her characters through hell, tormenting them with nightmares and supernatural horrors.  I'd recommend The Forbidden Game as her best horror.

8) Mary Shelley

Shelley could see horror in science and how it was evolving.  Frankenstein has inspired so many plots in horror and sci-fi.  A creation that goes horribly wrong with a master who is disgusted by its appearance and a monster who is wronged by everyone around him because of who and what he is.  Those attitudes can really mess with someone.

9) Christopher Pike

I loved Spooksville when I was a kid.  The series focused around a pre-teen scooby gang who came across quite a lot of strange and supernatural beasties from zombie-like cold people to witches to aliens and parallel dimensions.  Pike has also written quite a few YA Horror such as The Last Vampire series.

10) R.L. Stine

R.L. Stine was the king of cheesy 90s horror.  Goosebumps really loved to mess with the characters and put them through hell with all sorts of twists.  Fear Street was aimed at teenagers and children but the YA books were quite chilling and horrific. 


  1. I'm not a big fan of horror as I'm a chicken about anything like that! I don't watch horror movies either!
    But I have Anna Dressed in Blood and will try to read through that some time. It sounds good enough.
    Though I'm not a big fan, I love to see your passion about it. It's inspiring.

  2. It's a really good book. Quite Supernatural meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. =D

  3. The Woman in Black is still the scariest book I have ever read.

    Ever read anything by James Herbert? Domain is a good one. And, because I'm re-reading it and actually recommending a book, Justin Cronin's The Passage is a great horror.

  4. I wouldn't deny Stephen King the mantle of "horror master" for one moment, but the thing I've come to admire most about him is that he refuses to be defined by genre--any genre, for that matter. I daresay he enjoys writing horror the most, but, as you well know, there's a good portion of his prolific output that isn't horror at all.

    Interesting list, Robin. You certainly know your genre. :)

  5. Stephen King for sure :)
    I want to read Kendare Blake!
    I grew up with R.L Stine. He scared me with his books. I'm a chicken :p

    TTT fairytales authors @thedailyprophecy.

  6. Awesome list! Stephen King would definitely make my list of fave authors in the horror genre too. A couple of the others you mentioned, I really want to read books from too.

    Tanya Patrice

  7. Cole, did you see the film? That actually scared me in the cinema. I was clinging onto Pete the whole time!

    Colin, I need to read some of his non-horror books. I've mainly read his horror but I'm sure I'd love his other work just as much. :)

    Mel, it was creepy, wasn't it? I can look back now and not be scared but some of his books truly creeped me out. Slappy in particular. *shudders*

    Tanya, thank you! =D

  8. Of course Stephen King! I love that you included Shelley, Frankenstein is such a sad and chilling novel. I was a huge fan of Pike and Stein in my childhood/teens. Great list!

  9. I would add House of Leaves by Danielewski, the most horrifying book I've ever read. It kept me up all night reading and almost missed work the next day.