Guest Author - Chris Willis
One day, I stepped outside of work and went for a walk. I bought a coffee and sat on a bench. It was a warm day and the coffee was hot but I didn’t want to go back to work for a while so I walked around the cluster of buildings and enjoyed the sun.
I remember the day distinctly. As I finished my coffee and placed it in the bin, I saw an aged sign for a second hand bookshop. I couldn’t resist going in. There were scores of books on old, dusty shelves as high as I could reach. In every spare corner of the room, more unwanted pieces of literature were stacked. The books were crudely arranged into genres so I sought out the horror section. The shop was itself out of a book!
It was a good day: I found James Herbert’s Rats trilogy which cost a couple of dollars, and a few other novels I had the good fortune to come by including a novel by an unknown author at that time called Graham Masterton. I had been reading horror for years, perhaps two decades, and had never heard of him. Even today, I can’t figure out why.
That chance encounter with the unwanted book called Ritual is one of my favourite horror novels. I since learned that Graham Masterton is as prolific as he is visceral. He has written over one hundred novels, perhaps one third are horror, as well as short story collections and ‘adult’ fiction.
If you haven’t read Graham Masterton and consider yourself a horror fan, then you will consider me a beacon in the night; a guiding light to the rest of your literary life. I encourage one and all to pick up a novel by the master craftsman who has won many awards throughout the world.
I meet very few people in Australia who has even heard of Graham Masterton. I take my time to educate them. Some are hooked. Others I have lost contact with, but have no hesitation in saying that they’re probably hooked, too. When you find a writer with vivid prose which chills you to the bone each time you read their work, then tell me: why wouldn’t you want to read more!
For those interested persons reading this article, I encourage you to try find at least one of Graham Masterton’s novels. My recommendations are as follows: Ritual, The House that Jack Built, Tengu, Prey, Manitou, Night Warriors, Heirloom, Dark Angel, Burial, The Wells of Hell, The Devils of D-Day, Charnel House, and The Pariah.
For the weak at heart, please be advised that his novels do not carry a health warning, although some should. Graham gives his novels an extra dimension. He seems to do a lot of research and effortlessly places the information throughout his novels. His historical facts seem true when I've researched them. This extra dimension rolls around the head when reading the novel and stays with me for a while later. The ‘what if’ scenarios he explores are at times incredible by virtue of presentation and simple by design.
Graham Masterton is not only my favourite horror writer, but my favourite novelist across the genres. His continual output is boundless, his stories are riveting and the way in which he carries the story and the characters are unique.