Updated: Aug 30, 2020
Hi readers! I had a difficult time narrowing down what genre my book should be classified in. Initially, I thought my novel was a murder mystery novel, but after doing hours of research on the differences between mysteries and thrillers and looking at the sub-genres of each, I realized it more closely aligns with the psychological thriller genre. But that will be a blog post for another day! Today’s post is all about my favorite authors in my genre, which I’m loosely saying includes mystery, thriller, horror, and crime fiction because I have written in all those genres (even if those works aren’t published). I developed a love for all things creepy, partly due to having an uncle who’s a huge fan of Stephen King and a mom who enjoys horror movies. So, if you want to blame anyone for my morbid thoughts and fascination with dark, macabre tales, you can blame them.
1. Stephen King, the King of Horror.
I don’t consider Stephen King just a writer in the horror genre as I saw someone on Instagram post recently. I think this is a mistake often made by people who think writers only write one genre or they have quite obviously never read any of his books. Stephen King’s novels span multiple genres, especially because most, if not all of them, have a supernatural element, even if that isn’t the focus. Stephen King is a master of blending genres. I especially love the Bill Hodges crime fiction series, which introduces a supernatural element later in the series and completely shocked me. Stephen King is also adept at developing characters the reader cares about, even if they’re shitty, which involves blurring the lines between good and evil. I love a good story where you feel bad for the antagonist.
Stephen King is additionally notorious for his ability to write an eerie story that will terrify most normal people. The first Stephen King book I ever read was The Dark Half. I was 12 when I first read it and it haunted me for weeks. I also remember reading Pet Sematary when I was in middle school after my uncle gave it to me as a gift. From there, I was hooked on Stephen King’s masterful storytelling and his stories that make you want to cry from the terror or throw up from the gore. Stephen King’s books stay with you for years; they aren’t books you read and forget about.
2. JK Rowling.
Of course, JK Rowling is famous for the Harry Potter series, but some people don’t know about her more recent Cormoran Strike series, which is in the crime fiction/mystery genres. I read the first book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, with trepidation because Harry Potter has been my favorite series since I was 8. I was worried her newest series wouldn’t live up to the hype. However, I was blown away after reading the first book and have pre-ordered all the other books in the series as they have been released. With the Cormoran Strike series, I think JK Rowling has proven that she can excel at writing in multiple genres, which is not something every author can do. This is especially true since she started as a children’s book author and turned to adult fiction. The Cormoran Strike series is unlike anything I have read before. I devoured every book faster than I had read anything in years. Each novel involves Cormoran Strike solving a case with the help of his assistant, Robin Ellacott. Cormoran and Robin’s relationship is one of the strongest parts in the series because the reader gets to experience the evolution of their relationship over time. Each case Cormoran takes on seems to be more horrifying than the last. I was pleasantly surprised that JK Rowling can write a mystery/crime fiction series so well. Several of the scenes in The Silkworm nearly rivalled Stephen King’s expertise at describing horrific, gory scenes. I’ll always appreciate a well-written book that can disturb readers!
3. Edgar Allan Poe.
Although it has been awhile since I have read anything by Edgar Allan Poe, he was the first horror writer who inspired me. His short stories and poems tend to focus on the mysterious and macabre in Gothic literature, which I adore. Although he is well-known for “The Raven,” that isn’t my favorite work by Poe. I remember reading “The Tell-Tale Heart” in my 8th grade English class, being thoroughly creeped out, and then wanting to read everything he wrote. The anxiety and insanity induced by imagining hearing a heart beating underneath the floorboards was written so well. “Annabel Lee” is my favorite poem by Poe. It is a sorrowful tale of a young man losing the woman he loves and not wanting anything to keep them apart. I have read most of his works and plan on finishing the remainder (hopefully soon).
Originally, I planned on making this one blog post, but it has gotten too long now. Oops. Let me know if you have other authors you would add to this list. And be sure to check my website next Friday for Part 2 of my Favorite Mystery & Thriller Authors blog post!