John Farris sold his first novel, Corpse Next Door the summer after he graduated high school in 1955. In 1959, Harrison High became his first million seller.
By 1973, he had made a name for himself, with accomplishments stemming from his novels The Long light of Dawn (1962), When Michael Calls (1967), King Windom (1967) and the Captors in (1969).
Each of these novels, with their unanticipated plots,and puzzle structure, helped spawn his first horror directorial debut, Dear Dead Delilah in 1973.
While his talent matured, his suspense novel When Michael Calls was adapted for T.V. , starring the young actor Michael Douglas.
When asked why he wanted to write, he had this to say:
“One, it was something I like to do. Two, it entertained me. Three, I found out I could make a living at it. That’s ideal as far as I’m concerned…I’m still progressing. I think I still have something to say, and I like the way I say it. Until that dies, I’ll continue to do that. I do it for my own amusement.”
Continuing to hone his craft, Mr. Farris brought all his collective creativity into one novel the Fury(1978). This story would shortly establish him as a world class Horror novelist. The Fury, caught the attention of Steven King who hailed John Farris as “America’s premier novelist of terror”. Peter Straub followed by saying John Farris was “One of the giants of contemporary psychological horror”. Mr. Farris also wrote the screen play for the Fury, which was put into production as a major film directed by Brian DePalma.
The Fury would become a quartet, The Fury and the Terror(1999), Fury and the Power(2000), and Avenging Fury (2008). At the time of this writing, there are plans to re-make the Fury movie.
His last release, High Bloods, is a story about a worldwide plague of werewolves in the year 2029. It was released by Tor books in 2009.
With over 40 suspense and horror novels to his credit, 3 movies, (with a fourth planned), and a short story collection Scare Tactics, Mr. Farris has also found the time to raise a family,and inspire dozens of up and coming writers, including his own sons.
John Farris was awarded the 2002 Horror Writer’s Association Lifetime Achievement award, has been nominated for the Bram Stoker best novelette (1978), and Bram Stoker best collection nominee(1989) for Scare Tactics.
While some of John Farris’s books are out of print, most of his works can still be ordered on Amazon .com.
When asked about his thoughts at this stage of his career, he had this to say:
“I’m putting fiction aside for now, to concentrate on making movies based on my novels. The first will be Phantom Nights, then Dragonfly.”
Then on a more personal note, his oldest son added this.
“Well, removing my bias, I’ve grown up watching a humble man take his passion for writing ,with the ability to create suspense and terror, then shoot it like a bullet through your heart. He has given his generation, mine, and those that will follow the inspiration to reach deep down inside themselves, find what scares us most ..then play with those fears like toys. Good luck at getting his powerful images out of your mind.”
John Farris still lives and works in the Atlanta area, and will continue as time permits, to share his thoughts and tips with both his fans and writers on our site.
Special thanks to David J. Schow who created Friends and Furies.