The literary world lost another legendary horror writer today as author Dallas Mayr,aka Jack Ketchum, passed away after losing his battle with cancer. He was 71.
Jack Ketchum spent over 3 decades crafting some of the scariest and darkest stories imaginable and for those who weren’t familiar with his work,he was the recipient of four Bram Stoker Awards and multiple nominations including:
The Box (1994) Bram Stoker Award for Best Short Story
Right to Life (1999) Bram Stoker Award nominee for Best Long Fiction
Gone (2000) Bram Stoker Award for Best Short Fiction
The Lost (2001) Bram Stoker Award nominee for Best Novel
The Haunt (2001) Bram Stoker Award nominee for Best Short Fiction
Peaceable Kingdom (2003) Bram Stoker Award for Best Collection
Closing Time (2003) Bram Stoker Award for Best Long Fiction nominations.
Many of his novels were adapted to film, including Red and The Woman. In 2011, Ketchum received the World Horror Convention ‘Grand Master Award’ for outstanding contribution to the horror genre.
Stephen King called Jack Ketchum “the scariest guy in America” and says that he is “one of the best in the business.”
Lisa Morton, President of The Horror Writer’s Association(HWA),released this statement on Facebook.
“HWA is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dallas Mayr. Under the name Jack Ketchum, Dallas produced some of the most riveting and intense works of modern horror, including the novels THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, RED, and THE LOST; he was both a multiple winner of the Bram Stoker Award and our 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Dallas was a wonderful teacher and an inspiration to many, and he will be deeply missed by all.”
His close friend, horror author Christopher Golden tweeted this on hearing the news.
“I’m numb. No other word for it. Horror legend and my friend for many, many years, Dallas Mayr (aka Jack Ketchum ) has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Farewell, old friend. I’m so sorry to see you go.”
On a personal note, this news hits close to home. Dallas Mayr was both a friend and an author I greatly admired. I first met Dallas at the 2011 World Horror Convention in Austin,Texas. Then during the 25th anniversary of The World Horror Convention here in Atlanta I had the opportunity to pick him up at the airport along with a couple of other distinguished writers, and take them to the convention. To make a long story short, during the convention I had several opportunities to speak with him. As a novice writer, I was inspired by his words and advice and and was deeply moved by a compliment he gave my father. “If it wasn’t for your father John, I might never have become a horror writer”.
The world will miss Jack Ketchum. I will miss Jack Ketchum. From all of us at Dead, Buried, and Back! magazine, our condolences go out to his family and those who knew him best.