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Tributes paid to Sussex horror master
A best-selling horror writer dubbed one of Sussex’s greatest ever authors has died.
Author James Herbert passed away peacefully in bed at his home in Henfield yesterday aged 69.
Close friend and fellow author Peter James dubbed him one of Sussex’s finest who brought the modern horror novel out of “the Gothic castle”.
Mr Herbert, who is best-known for his debut dystopia classic Rats, is survived by his wife Eileen, whom he married in 1967, and their three daughters Kerry, Emma and Casey.
Following on from the success of Rats in 1974, Herbert wrote a further 22 novels, two works of non-fiction and a graphic novel.
He has sold 54 million copies worldwide and his latest book, Ash, was published last week.
Four of his novels were adapted into films including The Survivor, Fluke and Haunted while a BBC adaption of The Secret of Crickley Hall aired last year.
He was made an OBE by the Queen in 2010 in the same year that he was also made Grand Master of Horror by the World of Horror Convention.
Mr James, who lived 800 yards away from Mr Herbert, said he was in shock when he heard about the passing of the author yesterday afternoon (March 20).
He said he had last seen Mr Herbert at Christmas and was looking forward to seeing him at his 70th birthday in April.
He added: “We were extremely close. Jim was one of my very best friends and I was devastated to hear the news.
“He was very generous and hugely encouraging to me.
“In my early days when I was quite despondent and wondered whether I had any talent, he encouraged me to keep going.
Giant of popular fiction
“He had had health issues in the past but the last time I saw him I thought he was looking really well and thought he would outlast us all.”
Jeremy Trevathan, his editor of 10 years, said: “Jim Herbert was one of the keystone authors in a genre that had its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s.
"It's a true testament to his writing and his enduring creativity that his books continued to be huge bestsellers right up until his death.
“His death marks the passing of one of the giants of popular fiction in the 20th century.”
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