Grady Hendrix, author of Horrorstör, and Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction are digging deep inside the Jack o’Lantern of Literature to discover the best (and worst) horror paperbacks. Are you strong enough to read THE BLOODY BOOKS OF HALLOWEEN???
During the horror boom of the 70s and 80s the aesthetic was fast, cheap, and out-of-control. Covers were lurid, titles were embossed in gold that dripped reflective ruby blood, back cover copy was pumped into delirious word poetry that oversold whatever was inside. High concept was king, and publishers were glutting the marketplace with product. Good writers towered over the landscape, but for every Ghost Story or Cujo there were a million B-books, churned out to plug publishing schedules with lurid thrills.
Some of these were from writers who were accomplished hacks, enthusiastically delivering schlock with gusto, while others were written by frustrated literary novelists who pinched their noses and couldn’t quite embrace the game. Today we’re talking about one of each: William Schoell and Tabitha King.