Today’s post is inspired by a recent trend on Instagram: the #slayitlikeking challenge. Basically, you pick an image of Stephen King and recreate it. Don’t forget to use the hashtag above! I jumped on the bandwagon and am very happy with the result. As a true horror lover, I would be remiss not to mention my personal top ten, favourite spooky authors. In no particular order, let’s get into it!
1.) Darcy Coates
Darcy Coates – the Queen of Horror herself! I first discovered Darcy in 2020 when I was deciding which novel should be the first pick for my bookclub. I landed on The Carrow Haunt, read it, fell in love and began working my way through her entire bibliography. By the end of this year, I’m hoping to have an entire post written up, ranking all of her works. It’s not just that Darcy writes in a way that speaks to my haunted-house loving soul, it’s also how sweet she is as a person. I was lucky enough to attend her book-talk event earlier this year and win three of her novels. She is honestly a cinnamon roll. If you haven’t read a Darcy Coates story, please do so.
Favourite Book: The Carrow Haunt
2.) Stephen King
I’m pretty sure Stephen King would be at the top of most people’s lists. He has sold 350 million copies of his books worldwide and continues to keep writing well into his 70’s. 34 of his works have been adapted to film and television. Is it any wonder there is a #slayitlikeking challenge happening at the moment? I’m going to be super honest here and tell you that I’ve actually only read two of his books (IT and The Stand). However, because they are both his longest books, I feel I can safely name him as one of the best horror writers. IT is my favourite book ever! What is your number one King story?
Favourite Book: IT
3.) Anne Rice
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I not only adore Anne Rice, I’ve met her! You can read about that here. As you probably are aware, Anne’s specialty is vampires. She wrote the infamous Vampire Chronicles, which ignited my love for her writing. Truthfully, as Anne has gotten older, I’ve been less interested in her newer novels but I will always be an unconditional fan. Her ability to create such flawed, yet beautiful monsters never ceases to amaze me. She has this way of constructing back-stories for all of her characters that will leave you rooting for them; even if they are the villains! If you want pick up one of her novels but don’t know where to start, I would recommend Interview with the Vampire.
Favourite Book: Blackwood Farm
4.) Grady Hendrix
What can I say about Grady Hendrix? He’s a madman who produces stellar, spooky books! I have only read two of his novels but that was enough to put him on the map. Something that my best friend and I agree on often is that men are less proficient at writing female characters; especially in horror. I believe Grady is the exception to that rule. My Best Friend’s Exorcism and The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires both feature female protagonists that were exceptionally well written. He has this ability to truly disturb his readers by subtly injecting horror here and there. He’s also very funny and manages to blend humour into his dark plot-lines. Check him out!
Favourite Book: The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires
5.) Darren Shan
Darren Shan is without a doubt my favourite male, horror author. I’ve raved about him endlessly on all my social media. He’s the master of gore and middle-grade sagas. Darren has tackled werewolves, vampires, demons and zombies. If you’re looking for an epic horror series, check out his works. I wrote a fan letter to Darren a couple of years ago and I still have his response tucked away safely. I’ll treasure it forever. He’s super active on Twitter so if you ask him a question, he’ll most likely answer it. He’ll retweet everything you tag him in too. Please go give this Irish author some love!
Favourite Book: Lord Loss
6.) Duncan Ralston
This author made my list purely for having the ability to scare me senseless like never before. He also deserves it for writing the epic novel Ghostland, which hit my top 10 best books of 2019. I’m currently reading the sequel Afterlife, which is the second book in his trilogy. In addition to novels, he’s also written several screenplays and television pilots. If you want to check him out, he has a fair few short stories published that will help you dip your toe into the pool that is Duncan.
Favourite Book: Ghostland
7.) Paul Tremblay
I will gladly read anything this author writes. One of the best books I’ve read this year so far was A Head Full Of Ghosts. Paul writes in a way that is so captivating and horrifying at the same time. His take on a modern-day exorcism was truly nail-biting. I was hesitant to turn out the light. I like his ability to tackle different genres within horror. He has survival, slasher and paranormal stories published. Go check him out!
Favourite Book: A Head Full Of Ghosts
8.) Joe Hill
I had to mention Stephen King’s talented son, Joe Hill. I’ve read two of his novels so far and love the television adaptation of Locke & Key, which he created. It must be tough being Joe. I’m sure he is constantly compared to his father. I think he takes it in his stride however and produces work that is wholly individualistic. I forget who he is related to when I’m reading his books. I definitely want to check out more.
Favourite Book: NOS4A2
9.) Mary Shelley
I must include a notable female horror author from history and that is Mary Shelley. If you didn’t know, she was an English novelist from the 1800s that penned the infamous Gothic novel Frankenstein. I remember studying it in school and thinking it was the only assigned text that I didn’t hate. In fact, I loved it. It has stayed with me. It’s quite short but honestly worth a read. I believe it’s remarkable that a woman of her time ventured into such dark territory. It’s one of those novels you have to read!
Favourite Book: Frankenstein
10.) Daphne du Maurier
Last but certainly not least, I had to honour another classic gothic horror author that is near and dear to my heart. Daphne du Maurier wrote Rebecca in 1938, which inspired my mother to give me the same name. It has been adapted to film twice now and I love both versions differently. She has also written The Birds, that was later adapted by Hitchcock, My Cousin Rachel and Frenchman’s Creek. I love the moody, atmospheric settings she creates.
Favourite Book: Rebecca
I hope you enjoyed this post! Did you agree with my list? What are some of your favourite horror authors? Feel free to recommend any that I missed, particularly those that are POC. I want to give them more attention and time. Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo