The blog of author Dennis Cooper

11 writers of horror fiction selected by Inthemostpeculiarway *

* (restored)

Richard Laymon

Marlon staggered toward them, blood spilling from his tattered face.
Sandy stood up in front of him.
‘Outa my way, bitch,’ he gasped. When he said ‘bitch,’ blood blew off his lips and sprayed Sandy in the face. ‘I’ve got some business to finish with your little monster, and then…’
She punched him in the nose.
His eyes bulged and he stumbled backward.
Sandy kicked one of his feet sideways. He tripped himself. With a gasp of alarm, he fell and landed on his rump. The trailer shook.
Sandy turned and lunged for the dresser.
Glimpsed a naked red woman rushing at the mirror.
Jerked open the middle drawer.
Snatched out her butcher knife.
‘You take this,’ Agnes Kutch had said, holding out the big, old knife to her. ‘You gonna be moving outa the house and living in that trailer out there, you gotta have a weapon. Wish I had a gun to give you, but this here is a real good knife. Mama, she used it on a fella once.’ ‘I know,’ Sandy’d told her. ‘I was there. I saw her do it.’
She slammed the dresser drawer and turned to face Marlon.
He was already on his knees, struggling to stand up.
She raised the knife overhead.
Marlon screamed like a woman. — from The Midnight Tour


Richard Laymon Kills!: The Official Website
The Richard Laymon Memorial Fansite
The Richard Laymon Library
Laymon on Laymon
Richard Laymon’s Rules of Writing
Richard Laymon’s page @ Fantastic Fiction


Dark Dreamers Interview With Richard Laymon

Book Unboxing fail – Completing my Richard Laymon collection

Top Five Richard Laymon Novels



Edward Lee

“Howie,” Leona said with the sickest feeling in her life churning in her belly. “That thing in your hand isn’t the hose…”

It hung limp until the moment she’d said that, almost as if it had sensed the trigger of Howie’s fear. His eyes snapped down…

Then the “hose” began to move…

Vaguely pink, glistening skin. About an inch thick. How long was it? It extended from his hand, behind him, its other end still on the other side of the shack. Howie tried to drop the grotesque thing but it was already too late for that. In the space of that synaptic second, the creature energized and wrapped around Howie’s upper torso—

Then Howie was dressed in the thing, wearing it like a corselet. His scream was severed when more of its length coiled about his neck. Howie fell over. — from Slither


Edward Lee Official Website
Edward Lee interviewed @
Edward Lee’s Header, the movie
Necro Publications
Edward Lee page @ Fantastic Fiction
The Edward Lee Forum @ Horror World


Meet Author Edward Lee

Edward Lee’s The Bighead: TRAILER

Author Spotlight – Edward Lee



Charlee Jacob

It was the day which would eventually turn into the night of Halloween that the seller of skeletons came to our town. Obviously intended as decorations for the traditional celebration of good-natured horror, they were immediately more interesting than those plastic or cardboard types which the five-and-dimes sold. They weren’t flat, for one thing, but had three dimensions, having been molded out from an intricate form of papier-mâché perhaps. The skulls in particular were startling, almost an origami of macabre beauty. These were nothing mass-produced in some far-off Oriental country, created by near-slave labor who didn’t even know what Halloween was.

Simonville was not a big place and the foundling strings of bones soon found niches in front yard trees and on broad, covered porches. The mayor, who ran into the skeleton-seller outside of the luncheonette where he habitually went each noonday, even bought twenty-six to be hung about the park–twenty-six being twice thirteen and somehow appropriate for the light- hearted festival of modern Samhain.

I lived in an apartment so there was no place where I might have put one up. But I noted the skeleton-seller as he took the wheelbarrow from his pickup truck and peddled his bones from place to place. I followed him when he had sold them all, curious as to where he would go. Did he have relatives in Simonville? Would he sleep in his truck that night or in the park where so many of his wares would be shaking in the branches? — from Flesh of Leaves, Bones of Desire


Charlee Jacob Official Website
Charlee Jacob page @ Fantastic Fiction
Charlee Jacob interviewed @
Charlee Jacob @ Facebook




Jack Ketchum

You think you know about pain?

Talk to my second wife. She does. Or she thinks she does.

She says that once when she was nineteen or twenty she got between a couple of cats fighting – her own cat and a neighbor’s – and one of them went at her, climbed her like a tree, tore gashes out of her thighs and breasts and belly that you still can see today, scared her so badly she fell back down her again, all tooth and claw and spitting fury. Thirty-si stitches I think she said she got. And a fever that lasted days.

My second wife says that’s pain.

She doesn’t know shit, that woman.

Evelyn, my first wife, has maybe gotten closer.

There’s an image that haunts her.

She is driving down a rain-slick highwayon a hot summer morning in a rented Volvo, her lover by her side, driving slowly and carefully because she knows how treacherous new rain on hot streets can be, when a Volkswagen passes her and fishtails into her lane. Its rear bumper with the “Live Free or Die” plates slides over and kisses her grille. Almost gently. The rain does the rest. The Volvo reels, swerves, glides over an embankment and suddenly she and her lover are tumbling through space, they are weightless and turning, and up is down and then up and then down again. At some point the steering wheel breaks her shoulder. The rearview mirror cracks her wrist. — from The Girl Next Door


Jack Ketchum Official Website
Jack Ketchum Bibliography
‘The Scariest Guy in the Country’
Jack Ketchum News Blog
Jack Ketchum @ Facebook
Jack Ketchum’s Twitter feed



Jack Ketchum’s The Lost: International trailer

Jack Ketchum’s “Offspring”: Official Movie Trailer



Kathe Koja

Tess said less, watching the dancers, thinking of the rhythm inherent in metal, in corroding iron, in the slick long limbs of steel. Could it be found? Could she find it? … Branches of mastery, hints and feints and driving piston hearts, the drip of machine oil, the stutter of living flesh mechanically enabled; what she wanted — what did she want? Machines that were not robots, moving sculpture that did not mimic the organic but played, somehow, both with and off that distanceless dichotomy, the insolvable equation of steel screws and aching flesh, that wanted people not only as operators but as co-conspirators. See those dancers now, and imagine them locked in ballerina combat with the grip and clench of metal, the sweet smoke of rosin solder like incense around their dripping faces, imagine them lit with a hundred strobes and the subsonic growl of bass-heavy music like the throb of an engine running hot, burning hot, burning like the white heart of the arc.

Burning. All of it burning. — from Skin


Kathe Koja Official Website
Kathe Koja’s blog
Kathe Koja’s books @ Bookfinder
Kathe Koja pages @ Fantastic Fiction
Kathe Koja interviewed @ Dark Echo


WFC2010: Kathe Koja reading

Kathe Koja goes deep and dark with NERVE



Poppy Z Brite

My name is Andrew Compton. Between 1977 and 1988 I killed twenty-three boys and young men in London. I was seventeen years old when I began, twenty-eight when they caught me. All the time I was in prison, I knew that if they ever let me out I would continue killing boys. But I also knew they would never let me out.

My boys and young men were transients in the city: friendless, hungry, drunk and strung out on the excellent Pakistani heroin that has coursed through the veins of London since the swinging sixties. I gave them good food, strong tea, a warm place in my bed, what few pleasures my body could provide. In return, all I asked was their lives. Sometimes they appeared to give those as readily as anything else.

I remember a sloe-eyed skinhead who went home with me because he said I was a nice white bloke, not a bleeding queer like most of these others that chatted him up in the pubs of Soho. (What he was doing in the pubs of Soho, I cannot tell you.) He did not seem inclined to revise his opinion even as I sucked his cock and slid two greased fingers into his anus. I noticed later that he had a dotted line tattooed in scarlet round his throat, along with the words CUT HERE. I had only to follow directions. (‘You look like a bleeding queer,’ I’d told his headless corpse, but young Mr White England had nothing to say for himself anymore.) — from Exquisite Corpse


Poppy Z Brite Official Website
Poppy Z Brite’s blog
Poppy Z Brite interviewed @ Vice Magazine
Poppy Z Brite’s books @ Bookfinder
Poppy Z Brite FanFiction Archive


AuthorViews: Poppy Z. Brite


Ride with Poppy Z. Brite through the Lower 9th Ward, New Orleans



Douglas Clegg

The locals called it the Tombs, although it was much more than merely a series of subterranean burial chambers. It had been carved from rock by the local miners for some early Villiers ancestor and had been used just two years before my birth, when my grandmother had died. Her coffin was sealed up in granite and plaster within the Tombs, and there were spaces for other Villiers to come. My mother made me swear that I would never allow her to be buried there. “I don’t like that place,” she told me. “It’s cold and horrible and primitive. Put me in a churchyard with a proper marker. Do you promise me?” Certain that her death was years away, I promised her whatever she asked. I coaxed a smile from her when I demanded that upon my own death, she have the ragman cart me away to the rubbish pile.

What lay below the Tombs had once been a sacred site to the Cornish people, more than a thousand years earlier. It had been a cave, leading down the cliff-side through a series of narrow passages out to sea. It was believed to be an entrance to the Otherworld—the Isle of Apples, it was sometimes called—where a stag-god and a crescent-moon mother goddess ruled. — from Isis


Douglas Clegg Official Website
Douglas Clegg’s blog
Douglas Clegg Bibliography
Douglas Clegg @ Twitter
Douglas Clegg interviewed @ thedfunderground
Douglas Clegg on life as a horror writer


Neverland by Douglas Clegg – a book trailer

Isis by Douglas Clegg – a book trailer

Douglas Clegg’s The Attraction – a book trailer



Lucy Taylor

A lot of people are going to be turned off by the kind of horror I write. I don’t write very much supernatural horror. It’s less frightening, because it’s horror couched in metaphor. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, all this stuff, can be brought off really well if the writer’s good enough, but real-life horror is much scarier. We’re pretty sure there’s not going to be a werewolf coming through the window, whereas if somebody flips out, breaks in, and blows us away, that could happen. I’m much more worried about the guy out there with the gun than the werewolf. — Lucy Taylor


Lucy Taylor Bibliography
Lucy Taylor @ Facebook
Lucy Taylor interviewed @ Locus Online
Lucy Taylor’s books @ Amazon
Lucy Taylor’s The Flesh Artist




Jeremy Robert Johnson

One day you fall asleep happy. Next to a river under a dark sky. Then you wake up and everything has changed. Including you. You changed so much that for the first time you actually risk your life.

For what?

Love. It’s as good a word as any. It will do.

And you’ve gone so crazy with this feeling, call it love, that you find yourself in an absurd situation, humming moaning at telepathic bugs and killing brainwashed entymologists.

I know.

It sounds silly.

But it feels important at the time. — from Extinction Journals


The Basement Cypher: Jeremy Robert Johnson’s blog
Jeremy Robert Johnson Official Website
Jeremy Robert Johnson @ Goodreads
Jeremy Robert Johnson Bibliography
Jeremy Robert Johnson @ Facebook


Jeremy Robert Johnson, author

[Fractal’10] “The Oarsman” by Jeremy Robert Johnson

JRJ’s When Susurrus Stirs – Teaser



Stephen King

The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years – if it ever did end – began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.

The boat bobbed, listed, righted itself again, dived bravely through treacherous whirlpools, and continued on its way down Witcham Street toward the traffic light which marked the intersection of Witcham and Jackson. The three vertical lenses on all sides of the traffic light were dark this afternoon in the fall of 1957, and the houses were all dark, too. There had been steady rain for a week now, and two days ago the winds had come as well. Most sections of Derry had lost their power then, and it was not back on yet.

A small boy in a yellow slicker and red galoshes ran cheerfully along beside the newspaper boat. The rain had not stopped, but it was finally slackening. It tapped on the yellow hood of the boy’s slicker, sounding to his ears like rain on a shed roof … a comfortable, almost cozy sound. The boy in the yellow slicker was George Denbrough. He was six. His brother William, known to most of the kids at Derry Elementary School (and even to the teachers, who would never have used the nickname to his face) as Stuttering Bill, was at home, hacking out the last of a nasty case of influenza. In that autumn of 1957, eight months before the real horrors began, and twenty-eight years before the final showdown, Stuttering Bill was ten years old. — from It


Stephen King Official Website
Stephen King’s Paris Review interview
Stephen King Bibliography
Stephen King Unofficial Fansite
The Stephen King So Rocks Site
Stephen King Library


The Stephen King Multiverse Finally Explained

Stephen King tells us what scares him

Stephen King interview (1993)



Bentley Little

John Hawks had started walking the night after his fever broke. At first they’d thought that the sickness had passed. When they heard the creak of his bedsprings, heard his footsteps on the hardwood floor, they assumed that he’d gotten up and out of bed because he was all right. But when he strode straight through the kitchen and outside without so much as a word, when they saw the almost complete lack of expression on his skeletal face, the glassy stare of his pale eyes, they knew something was wrong. Robert and Cabe had run out after him, trying to find out what was going on, but the old man had begun circling around the house, bumping into the cottonwood tree, stepping through the jojoba bushes, apparently oblivious to his surroundings. They had followed him around the house once, twice, three times, yelling at him, demanding his attention, but it was clear that he was not going to talk to them. They were not even sure he understood the words they screamed. The only thing they were sure of was that he was still sick. And that, for some reason, he could not stop walking. — from The Walking


Bentley Little Homepage
The Horrifying World of Bentley Little
Bentlet Little @ Myspace
Bentley Little Bibliography
The Bentley Little Community
Free torrents of 19 Bentley Little novels


Spooky Noodles Reviews The Store by Bentley Little

My Bentley Little Collection So Far

Bentley Little’s “The House” Book Review



p.s. Hey. ** scunnard, Hi. Okay, thanks for the press statement. So basically you just want things that are amazing, I guess? I’m on it. ** David Ehrenstein, Genet apparently preferred that ‘PoL’ be considered a novel, but I agree that it’s very in-between and other. Understood, re: Polanski. ** Bill, Thank you, sir. And on M’s behalf. Ooh, good luck tonight, and I wish I was there to be assaulted in a Hsuian way. Let me know how it went, and, of course, if it’s recorded and uploaded, do share. ** _Black_Acrylic, So great that the writing workshop was so fruitful. I’m hoping there’ll be another, similar thing that you can transition into. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. The operation sounds actually quite breezy relative to what I was imagining in my ignorance. Good. Eye patch, suave. May it proceed with utter smoothness. We haven’t had that kind of panic in Paris at all yet, but the cases of infection in France just went up to 100 yesterday, so I think we’re edging towards freak out time. ** Well, okay. Today I resurrect a very old post by a long lost but, at one time, very present d.l. In fact the post is so old that at least two of the authors featured in the post have died since it was made and one of them has an entirely different genre now. Still, I’m banking on it having some contemporary value. But we will see. See you tomorrow.


  1. Scunnard

    Hi Dennis, haha yes that’s always a plus!

  2. Bill

    Good to see this revived. Once in awhile, I wonder about the authors featured, and what happened to inthemostpeculiarway, hmm.

    I tend to have a lot of trouble with fiction that’s shoved into the horror genre, but you and Sypha know how picky I am. It looks like the goodreads group I’m in will probably read a Kathe Koja novel this month.

    The trailer for When Susurrus Stirs looks great. Looks like the full short is here:

    Too early in the day for a horror movie; will check back tonight.

    The gig went well, thanks for checking in Dennis. We channelled our inner power electronics and did some blasting. There were at least two recording setups, so I’ll let you know when I find out about the results (if I’m not too grumpy about them, that is).


  3. David Ehrenstein

    Faulkner in Hollywood

    If anyone is interested in the Book, CDs and DVDs I have for sale PLEASE contct me Stat. If you live in L.A. please write me at and drop on over

  4. Sypha

    Although I’ve obviously heard of most of these names, the only ones that I’ve actually read are Poppy Z. Brite and Stephen King (and really, I can count the number of Stephen King books I’ve read on one hand).

    My own Big Three for living horror writers would be Thomas Ligotti, Ramsey Campbell, and Caitlin R. Kiernan (with Reggie Oliver, Mark Samuels, and Clive Barker in the wings). In terms of dead horror writers, of course, Lovecraft is still my god…

  5. _Black_Acrylic

    Apropos Lovecraft, today I saw Color Out of Space and enjoyed it a whole lot. Flirts with ludicrous and contains some very Nic Cagean acting, but I thought the director Richard Stanley did well to keep a lid on it for the most part. Would recommend.

  6. Steve Erickson

    Having surveyed some of these writers, Little and Laymon are only suitable for killing time on an airplane or train. Ketchum’s THE GIRL NEXT DOOR grapples with trauma in a way that might be aiming to please an audience looking for cheap thrills but just comes across as a bleak gut-punch.

    I made the final arrangements with the hospital today. I didn’t realize how quick the surgery will be. I need to get there at 7:45 AM, but then they told me that my friend should come pick me up at 9:30.

    Lincoln Center’s “Rendezvous with French Cinema” series starts today, with new films by Bruno Dumont, Cedric Kahn, Quentin Dupieux, your friend Christophe Honoré and other directors. The fact that the entire lineup of directors and actors canceled their plans to attend has cast a pall over it. But I am seeing ALICE AND THE MAYOR tomorrow.

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