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21 March 2013

James Herbert (1943 - 2013)

Master of Horror-Fiction - James Herbert

Yesterday, we heard the dreadful news that legendary author James Herbert,  a giant of popular Horror-fiction, had died at the age of just 69 - it really was a shock and totally unexpected, not just to me, but to his friends, family and those at Pan MacMillian, his publishers. James hadn't been ill, he apparentley passed away, peacefully in his sleep.  

James Herbert has always been a great influence in my life. I started reading his books when I was just eleven years old and I've never stopped. Just a few weeks ago I finished reading his latest book "Ash"—a superb read and highly recommended. And I've just completed my collection of James Herbert's work by purchasing the out of print and hard to obtain graphic novel - "The City". My collection is complete, but sadly there will never be able to add anything new to it now.

Me and James Herbert OBE
I had the amazing experience of meeting James back in September last year at a book signing event for, what turned out to be his last book "Ash"   – read the full story here:  "Meeting James Herbert"

My Signed Copy of Ash

He gave an interesting talk, lasting for over 90 minutes, an insight into his life and his work, he shared his thoughts and wisdom on writing and there was also an question and answers session, too. It was an incredibly enjoyable event and was followed by the book signing. There were just over 200 fans at the event all with at least one book they wanted signing. I was lucky, getting there early secured me a great seat near the front, this in turn meant I was also found myself  near the front of the queue when it came to the signing began. But even with so many people wanting so many books signed, some had their arms full of Herbert classics, even so, he was incredibly generous with his time. He never rushed anyone, answered all their questions and chatted for several minutes with each and every person in that queue whilst signing their books. He started signing at around 7:30pm and didn't finish until 11:30pm. It was a superb event and one that I will never forget.

In his early years he was prolific, releasing a new novel nearly every year and sold well over fifty-six million copies and which were published in 34 different languages.

Over the last 12 months James had been riding high on the crest of a wave, finding  massive success with his last book "Ash" and the BBC Adaptation of his novel "The Secret of Crickley Hall" - a mini-series that gained great acclaim, and his popularity was at an all-time high with a series of sell-out public events across the UK.

I'm greatly saddened by the lost of such an incredible writer whose clever and intriguing mind always managed to produce stories that have entertained me and millions like me for nearly 40 years. I will, of course, be re-reading some those classic titles that put James Herbert right at the top of his field, but I'm struggling with the concept that I will now never be able to read anything new from the master of horror-fiction.

James Herbert is survived by his wife Eileen and his three daughters; to them I send my deepest sympathies and to James Herbert I say: "Goodbye Sir and may you rest in peace"

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