This week has seen the death of James Herbert, possibly the greatest horror writer of my generation.
I remember very well, the first time I saw one of his books - it was his first, The Rats, and would have been around 1979. I was at scout camp and would have been, I guess 12 years old. One of the older scouts bought it and we all sat around while he read out the most gruesome bits (and, trust me, to 12 year old me, brought up on The Famous Five etc this was an eye opener).
James Herbert was the author who got me into reading horror and for that I will be forever grateful. His were stories that really could scare the hell out of you at times but could also make you think "what if".
If it hadn't been for James Herbert, I may have missed out on the likes of Graham Masterton, Guy N Smith, Clive Barker and Shaun Hutson - and I devoured books by all these authors, and still do.
Rest in peace now Mr Herbert and thank-you