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Horror writer James Herbert passes away

Horror writer James Herbert passes away

BESTSELLING horror writer James Herbert has passed away. He was 69.

Mr. Herbert shot to fame in 1974 when his first novel, The Rats, became a runaway success. The book, which depicted London being overrun by mutant flesh-eating rodents, had sold 100,000 copies within two weeks of being published. 

He had written the book over a ten-month period while working at an advertising agency and of the six publishing companies he approached with the manuscript, only three replied. Of these, two rejected the book but one agreed to publish it.

Mr. Herbert’s position as one of the top horror writers in the world was soon established and he went on to produce a further 23 novels with his latest one, Ash, being published only days before his death. 

He enjoyed worldwide sales of 54 million with his books being published in more than 30 languages.

Four of his works were made into films: The Rats, The Survivor, Fluke and Haunted.

His success was recognised in 2010 when he was appointed an O.B.E. In the same year he was made Grand Master of Horror by the World of Horror Convention.

Tributes to the writer were led by his editor of ten years, Jeremy Travathan. He said: “Jim’s death marks the passing of one of the giants of popular fiction in the 20th. century. He was one of the keystone authors in a genre that had its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s. It’s a true testament to his writing and his enduring creativity that his books continue to be huge bestsellers.”

Mr. Herbert is survived by his wife Eileen and their three daughters, Kerry, Emma and Casey.

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