Popular Posts

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Letting Each Story 'Tell Itself'

 “I'm not into high literature, but I think all my books are literate.” – James Herbert

Born in London on April 8, 1943, Herbert said he never intended to write horror stories and yet once he started writing them “they just poured out of me.”

The son of a marketplace shop owner, Herbert also never intended to be a writer, studying in art school and looking to a career in advertising design.  But he said he had a couple story ideas he wanted to try out and in quick succession published The Rats and The Fog, both immense worldwide bestsellers that launched his writing career and defined the type of writing he’d do from that point (age 29 and 30) on.  Up to his death in 2013, Herbert wrote 23 horror and ghost novels, 2 nonfiction books, and half-a-dozen short stories.  Sales of his books have reached over 60 million in some 3 dozen languages.

He also published one graphic novel, doing his own illustrations and design, something he  also did for most of his book covers.  “I've always loved comic books,” he said when his graphic novel, The City, came out in 1993.  “As a kid, I used to read cowboy stories and historical comics about other worlds, unknown places that would take me out of myself and which helped to develop my imagination.”
        In 2010 The World Horror Convention gave him its Grand Master Award (presented by Stephen King) and he was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his lifetime achievements.   “I never plan my novels,” Herbert said about his prolific career,  “because if I know what is going to happen, it bores me rigid. I just let each story tell itself.”

Share A Writer’s Moment with a friend at http://writersmoment.blogspot.com


  1. Hmm, what is "mysterious" about Herbert's death? I can find nothing in a Google search to indicate why you termed it such? Only that no cause of death was given, but that's not necessarily a mystery, just not know or given out by the family. So, I'm curious what supports your statement, please?

    1. You're right -- "mysterious" to me, and to some other writer friends of mine in a discussion about Herbert and his works -- does not necessarily mean "mysterious" to all. Just a mystery and each person should be left to his or her own interpretation as to what might have caused him to suddenly die without any cause being determined. So, I have edited the post to reflect that and appreciate your question.