Writer's Digest Digital Archive Collection: Heroes of Horror & Suspense

Writer's Digest Digital Archive Collection: Heroes of Horror & Suspense

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For nearly 100 years, Writer’s Digest magazine has been the leading authority for writers of all genres and career levels. And now, for the first time ever, we’ve digitized decades of issues from our prestigious archives to share with the world. In this archive collection, discover five full issues from our vault, each of which includes exclusive historic interviews and columns from Stephen King, Anne Rice, Mary Higgins Clark and more.

Writer’s Digest June 1977, Featuring Stephen King
Format: PDF

Stephen King is not only the preeminent master of horror—he’s also one of the most prolific and well-known authors of our time. His 54 novels have been adapted across a broad array of media and earned critical acclaim from around the world. In this issue of Writer’s Digest, King—then a young author enjoying the early success of Carrie and Salem’s Lot—ponders the success of horror and the horrors of success in a feature entitled “Witches and Aspirin.”

Other notable stories in this issue include:

  • “Writing for the Martial Arts Market” by Jack Murray
  • “Likes Attract: How to Create Likable Characters in Your Fiction” by Jean Z. Owen
  • "Audiovisual Writing: A Word Beyond Words” by Allan Amenta
  • …And more!

Writer’s Digest January 1985, Featuring Peter Straub
Format: PDF

Peter Straub is the author of Floating Dragon and Ghost Story, and co-author (with Stephen King) of The Talisman. His horror fiction has earned literary nods including the Bram Stoker Award, the World Fantasy Award and the International Horror Guild Award. In the column “Ghost Storyteller,” Straub discusses plot, pacing and other fiction techniques.

Other notable stories in this issue include:

  • “Mastering the Short Story” by Paul Darcy Boles
  • “Classified Information” – Dennis E. Hensley scans the classified ads of his local newspaper to find up to 30 salable ideas a day
  • "Chronicle: King of the Road” by Larry L. King
  • …And more!

Writer’s Digest November 1988, Featuring Anne Rice
Format PDF

With a broad array of genres in her repertoire, including horror, Christian literature and erotica, Anne Rice is one of the most popular and widely read authors in recent history. However, she earned her title as the “queen of horror” for The Vampire Chronicles, her series that includes the popular Interview with the Vampire. In this full issue of Writer’s Digest, discover an interview with Rice in which she explains the sensuality of horror fiction, the meaninglessness of rejections, and the need to believe in yourself.

Other notable stories in this issue include:

  • “Chronicle: How the Hell Did I Write a Book?” by Barry Manilow (yes, that Barry Manilow)
  • “Six Classic Elements of the Bestselling Novel” by Evan Marshall
  • A series of seven games for writers by Doug Donaldson
  • …And more!

Writer’s Digest January 2003, Featuring Ridley Pearson
Format PDF

Bestselling author Ridley Pearson is well-known not only for his children’s and middle grade adventure books including the Peter and the Star Catchers series, but also dozens of adult suspense and thriller novels including the Risk Agent and Walt Fleming series—and many more standalone novels. In this issue, discover a feature entitled “4 Great Ways to Put Research to Work in Your Novel” in which Pearson discusses the secrets of suspense and making your story believable by merging fact and fiction.

Other notable stories in this issue include:

  • An interview with John Steinbeck’s son, Thomas Steinbeck, about publishing in his father’s shadow
  • “10 Tabloid Tips to Better Writing” by then-Star magazine editor Peter Riley
  • "10 Writing Rules for Fiction Success” by Raymond Obstfeld
  • …And more!

Writer’s Digest October 2003, Featuring Mary Higgins Clark
Format: PDF

As if one “royal” writer weren’t enough, this issue features “queen of suspense” Mary Higgins Clark, who shares her secrets in this gripping interview. With more than 51 bestselling novels, four of which have been adapted into films, Clark is a gem in the writing world and a paragon of success for authors. Learn how she persevered despite rejection, how she gets her story ideas and the steps along her path to success.

Other notable stories in this issue include:

  • “Know When It’s Time to Fire Your Agent” by Cecil Murphey
  • “8 Ways to Heat Up Your Plot” by Thomas B. Sawyer
  • Find the Perfect Point of View” by Jerry B. Jenkins
  • …And more!