Cover image for How to write horror fiction
How to write horror fiction
Nolan, William F., 1928-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cincinnati, Ohio : Writer's Digest Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
143 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN3377.5.H67 N65 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Successful horror writer Nolan contributes the latest volume in the series on writing different genres, describing how to find your deepest fears and infect other people with them for fun and profit. He presents many examples. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Author Notes

William Francis Nolan is an American author who is best known for writing stories in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. He was born on March 6, 1928. He coauthored the novel Logan's Run and co-wrote the screenplay for the 1976 horror film Burnt Offerings which starred Karen Black and Bette Davis.

Nolan was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute and worked for Hallmark Cards before becoming an author. Among his many awards, he was voted a Living Legend in Dark Fantasy by the International Horror Guild in 2002. During 2006, he was bestowed the honorary title of Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. In 2010, he received the Lifetime Achievement Stoker award from the Horror Writers Association (HWA). He now lives in Vancouver, WA. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Nolan has some good news for aspiring authors (and, perhaps, bad news for swamped reviewers): "The most overworked cliches in horror can be given new life through your imagination." Nolan's premise is that there's plenty of horror fiction yet to be written; just search your dreams (and especially your nightmares), then follow this explicit writing tutorial. Nolan shows just how to create a perfectly ghastly scenario, people it with unsettling and/or terrified characters, and generate convincingly eerie plots. Samples from modern horror novels (including Nolan's own work) are used throughout to demonstrate the advice. Portraits of successful authors in this genre, including Dean Koontz, Anne Rice, and, of course, Stephen King, are supplied to inspire novices. A nice bibliography with more than 75 titles is appended, containing both horror anthologies and reference books. ~--Denise Perry Donavin