Anne Rice – October 4th 1941
Selling around 100 million books, Anne Rice is a killer writer and one of the most popular authors in recent American history. Born in New Orleans to a Roman Catholic family, Anne has had a challenging relationship with religion as an adult. Rice is best known for her series of novels, ‘The Vampire Chronicles’, which centre around a character called Lestat. The books were made into two movies: ‘Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles’ and ‘Queen of the Damned’. Like many other authors, several of her books were adapted as comics. But it’s not just gothic fiction she is known for; Rice has also written erotic fiction under the pseudonyms Anne Rampling and A N Roquelaure. Anne led the way in switching the perspective in vampire books to empathise with the vampire rather than the victim, portraying vampires as sensitive and tragic.
Jack Finney – October 2nd 1911 – November 14th 1995
Jack Finney was a demon wordsmith, and his love of science fiction led him to write many best-selling books, the most popular of which are ‘The Body Snatchers’ and ‘Time and Again’. Several of his science fiction, thriller and mystery stories were adapted to the big screen: his first novel, ‘5 Against the House’, was published in 1954 and made into a film the following year, and his novel ‘The Body Snatchers’ was the inspiration behind the movie ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, a story about a group of aliens who invade Earth.
Clive Barker – October 5th 1952
English-born Clive Barker is not only a fantasy and horror author, but also a visual artist. His paintings and illustrations are used within his own books, and – here we see the comic theme again – he has also created original characters for comic books. Barker’s books became popular in the mid-80s with his gory-titled series of short stories, ‘Books of Blood’. Since then, his novels have been made into films, the most famous ones including the Hellraiser and Candyman series. His other famous novels include ‘Imajica’, ‘The Great and Secret Show’, ‘Sacrament’ and ‘Galilee’, with the most common themes being the nature of mind and dreams, the richer concepts of reality and the power of words and memories.
R L Stine – October 8th 1943
Often referred to as “the Stephen King of children’s literature”, R L Stine has given kids across the world shivers with his well-known series of books, ‘Goosebumps’. He has written hundreds of horror fiction novels over the years, with other series including ‘Fear Street’, ‘Rotten School’, ‘Mostly Ghostly’ and ‘The Nightmare Room’. He also wrote under the label of Point Horror, which helped launch his career. In fact, one of Stine’s Point Horror books was called ‘Halloween Night’ and featured an image of an evil-looking pumpkin. Spooky. But Stine isn’t just about spookiness and gore; he has also written dozens of joke books, too.
Guillermo del Toro – October 9th 1964
Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican-born, critically-acclaimed film director, but also a novelist, screenwriter and producer. He was raised in a strict Catholic household, and many of his works contain themes of Catholicism. He is a relative new-comer on the book scene and his first novel, ‘The Strain’, was released in 2009 as part of an apocalyptic vampire trilogy that he wrote with Chuck Hogan. The book went on to become a vampire horror television series which has only recently premiered. Del Toro’s movies are often in Spanish and are dark fantasy-themed. His books tend to have strong connections to horror and fairy tales and he has also directed comic book adaptions. Interesting fact about the author: he’s obsessed with Frankenstein’s monster, almost to “a degree that is unhealthy”!
Charles Stross – October 18th 1964
Born and bred in Leeds, Charles Stross has been fascinated by the world of fantasy, science fiction and lovecraftian horror since he was young. In the 70s and 80s he wrote articles for the White Dwarf magazine about role-playing and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. His first novel was called ‘Singularity Sky’ and was published in 2003. He has received numerous awards almost each year since, including the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award. As well as stand-alone novels, Stross has also written various series, including the ‘Laundry Files’, the ‘Merchant Princes’ series, the ‘Halting State’ series and the ‘Saturn’s Children’ series.
Joe R. Lansdale – October 28th 1951
Joe R. Lansdale is an American author, specialising in Western, horror, science fiction, mystery and suspense. To date, he has written 48 novels, as well as 28 short story collections, many comics and ‘Batman: The Animated Series’. His ‘trademark’ is that his novels often involve iconic or strange situations – where else would you see, for example, Elvis and JFK battling a soul-sucking Egyptian mummy in a nursing home? Many of Lansdale’s novels have been adapted to film, and he has won numerous awards, including the British Fantasy Award. Oh, and you also wouldn’t want to cross him in a dark alley; he’s an expert in martial-arts.
Edogawa Ranpo – October 21st 1894 – July 28th 1965
His real name was Taro Hirai, but he prefered to use a pseudonym. He often claimed that he admired the Western mystery writer Edgar Allan Poe and, said quickly, his penname ‘Edogawa Ranpo’ sounds much like his favourite author’s name. Born in Japan, he played a critical role in the development of Japanese mystery fiction. He made his literary debut in 1923 with the story ‘The Two-Sen Copper Coin’, which made it into the popular teenage magazine Shin Seinen – the first time the magazine had published a mystery fiction piece by a Japanese author. Edogawa’s stories were mainly focused on crimes and the process of solving them, and his stories are now regarded as classics of early 20th-century Japanese popular literature. Again, many of his books were made into films, and the strong horror imagery in his stories has been recreated over the years in various artistic forms, including ‘The Human Chair’ and ‘The Caterpillar’.
Can you think of any other famous authors born in October? Let us know in the comments box below.