I read my first true horror novel when I was 11 years old. Granted, it was a children's book but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it any less.
That particular book is a little-known novel by Andre Norton and Phyllis Miller called House of Shadows. The book might be dated now but it had all the classic elements of a horror mystery including ghosts, a haunted house, scared children, and a creepy old woman.
I loved the story because it gave me goosebumps and chills and that was how I became a fan of the horror genre.
Unfortunately, the House of Shadows is no longer in print and the last time was when I read it from a library. I wanted to purchase a copy for myself so I ended up buying it from third-party sellers on the Amazon website in used condition.
I am often boggled as to why so many great novels fall into obscurity while so many sub-par books achieve cult status and fame.
There are many fantastic authors who write wonderful fiction. Sadly, they never achieve the level of recognition and fame that they deserve. Here is a rundown of some of my favorite authors and their books. They are not household names but they write wonderful and entertaining fiction.
Darcy Coates is an Australian author. She became a USA Today Bestselling author for her novel, Hunted. She is classified as a horror and suspense author.
The first Darcy Coates novel I read was The Haunting of Ashburn House. The setting in the novel is very atmospheric and the book gets creepy because it dwells on ghosts and the undead.
The protagonist in the story is a young woman who inherits a haunted home. Unlike most horror fiction where the protagonist often has help in fighting the spirits of the undead, the heroine in this story is all alone. All she has is herself and her cat living in a big, haunted house.
Initially, the plot has the young woman defending herself against the strange happenings in the house. Gradually, the young woman goes on the attack.
Darcy Coates may not be Stephen King but she has her own style and most likely, if you start reading one of her novels, you will not stop until you read the rest of her books. To date, she has written more than 15 novels. She tends to use the word “haunting” in her book titles.
Ambrose Ibsen reigns as my favorite contemporary horror author. His author bio reveals how he got into horror fiction.
Once upon a time, a young Ambrose Ibsen discovered a collection of ghost stories on his father’s bookshelf. He was never the same again. — Ambrose Ibsen (author bio)
Ambrose Ibsen’s books are primarily found on the Kindle Unlimited platform. He has written up to 40 books. I am not certain why his books are not found in print but Amazon is the best source for his work.
What I enjoy about Ambrose Ibsen’s work is that he really makes an attempt to ensure that his plot and settings are not formulaic. Most of the books are completely different from each other in tone, character, and settings.
The House of Long Shadows (House of Souls Book 1) was the first Ambrose Ibsen book I read. It does involve a haunted house but unlike other haunted houses which dwell on ghosts and spirits floating around, this one has something horrible living within its walls.
Also, it is worth mentioning that not all of Ambrose Ibsen’s books have happy endings but that does not take away from the thrilling horror of the story.
Michael McBride is what you get when you combine horror and science fiction together. Think high-paced action, some blood, and gore, and horrific creatures and aliens out to get humans. I am surprised that his books haven’t been made into movies yet.
Michael McBride’s book Sunblind is what turned me into a fan of his books. Sunblind is not what you would expect for the setting of a horror/sci-fi novel. There are no haunted houses and creepy, dark corridors. Instead, the horror takes place in the middle of a hot desert.
Sunblind has an even more interesting take on current events because the plot involves a young, illegal Mexican immigrant trying to cross the Sonoran desert into the United States. The Sonoran desert is the hottest desert in Mexico.
While the book does talk about the plight of illegal immigrants, it takes no political stance on the issue and it is mostly a horror story about one woman’s struggle to survive against nature and something more horrifying that is not of this world.
Lee Mountford is a British author who has achieved best-seller status in Amazon’s horror categories.
Most reviewers have likened Lee Mountford’s work to that of Stephen King and Clive Barker. In some cases, his stories are even darker than Stephen King’s novels. He mainly incorporates supernatural themes into his novels and he has even been classified as an extreme horror novelist.
The first book I read by Lee Mountford was The Mark which is actually the second book in his Supernatural Horror Series but it can be read as a standalone book.
The Mark is about a young woman who undergoes a terrifying incident and ends up with a mark on her body. The mysterious symbol is tied into the appearance of horrifying ghosts.
Lee Mountford’s talent for stories can be summed up by this review from a horror website,
There’s a slow build-up of dread, as he builds the characters and atmosphere and slowly unwinds the story. At times, he dangles you over the edge for a few moments before he plunges you over the edge. And this is where his storytelling is a cut above many of his peers. — Into the Macabre
In conclusion, these 4 authors are just as thrilling as any Stephen King or Micheal Chrichton novels. You won't regret picking up any of these books if you are a fan of horror or science fiction.