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Masterton, Graham 1946- (Thomas Luke, Anton Rimart, Angel Smith)

Masterton, Graham 1946- (Thomas Luke, Anton Rimart, Angel Smith)

PERSONAL:

Born January 16, 1946, in Edinburgh, Scotland; son of J. (a major in the British Army) and Mary Masterton; married Wiescka Walach (a literary agent), December, 1976; children: Roland, Daniel, Luke. Education: Attended private boys' school in Croydon, England.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Surrey, England. Agent—Wiescka Masterton, 15 Harendon, Tadworth Park, Surrey KT20 5TT, England.

CAREER:

Writer, editor. Mayfair, London, England, deputy editor, 1967-70; Penthouse, London, England, executive editor, 1970-74; freelance writer, 1974—. Has also worked as a newspaper reporter.

MEMBER:

Mystery Writers of America.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Edgar Allan Poe Award, Mystery Writers of America, 1979, for Charnel House; silver medal, West Coast Review of Books, 1984, for Tengu; Prix Julia Verlanger for Picture of Evil; Best Horror Novel of the Year, Science Fiction Chronicle, for The Chosen Child; outstanding achievement award for short fiction, International Horror Guild, 1993, for "Under- bed"; Tombstone Award, Horror Writers Network, 2003, for "Anti-Claus"; Edgar Allan Poe Award, Mystery Writers of America, 2003, for Trauma.

WRITINGS:

(Under pseudonym Angel Smith) How a Woman Loves to Be Loved, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1974, Modern Age Publishers (London, England), 1975.

(Under pseudonym Angel Smith) Isn't It about Time You Did Something Kinky?, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1975.

Confessions of a Wanton Waitress; or, Alice Doesn't Work Here Anymore!, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1975.

How to Be the Perfect Lover (nonfiction), New American Library (New York, NY), 1975.

How to Drive Your Man Wild in Bed (nonfiction), Henry Regnery (Chicago, IL), 1976.

1,001 Erotic Dreams Explained (nonfiction), Henry Regnery (Chicago, IL), 1976.

Women's Erotic Dreams (and What They Mean) (nonfiction), Henry Regnery (Chicago, IL), 1976.

Confessions of a Racy Receptionist, Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1976.

(Under pseudonym Anton Rimart) Inserts (novelization of screenplay), Star Books (London, England), 1976.

The Manitou (novel), Neville Spearman (London, England), 1977, Olmstead Press (Chicago, IL), 2001.

The Djinn (novel), Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1977.

Plague (novel), Pocket Star Books (New York, NY), 1977.

Fireflash Five, Pocket Star Books (New York, NY), 1977, published as Mile before Morning, Star Books (London, England), 1977.

The Sphinx (novel), Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1978.

The Devils of D-Day (novel), Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1978.

Charnel House (novel), Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1978.

Rich, Simon and Schuster (New York, NY), 1979.

Revenge of the Manitou (novel), Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1979.

The Sweetman Curve (novel), Ace Books (New York, NY), 1979.

The Wells of Hell (novel), Pocket Books (New York. NY), 1980.

(Under pseudonym Thomas Luke) The Hell Candidate (novel), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1980, published under the name Graham Masterton, Severn House (London, England), 1985.

Famine (novel), Ace Books (New York, NY), 1981.

A Man of Destiny, Simon and Schuster (New York, NY), 1981, published as Railroad, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1981.

(Under pseudonym Thomas Luke) Phobia (novelization of screenplay), Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1981.

Heirloom (novel), Sphere Books (London, England), 1981, published under the pseudonym Thomas Luke, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1982.

Solitaire (novel), Morrow (New York, NY), 1982.

Tengu (novel), Tor Books (New York, NY), 1982.

The Pariah (novel), Tor Books (New York, NY), 1983.

Ikon (novel), Pocket Star Books (New York, NY), 1983.

Lady of Fortune, Morrow (New York, NY), 1984.

(Under pseudonym Thomas Luke) Condor (novel), Pocket Star Books (New York, NY), 1984, published under the name Graham Masterton, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1986.

Corroboree, Morrow (New York, NY), 1984.

Maiden Voyage (novel), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1984.

Picture of Evil (novel), Tor Books (New York, NY), 1985, published as Family Portrait, Arrow (London, England), 1985.

Sacrifice (novel), W.H. Allen (London, England), 1985, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1986.

Death Trance (novel), Tor Books (New York, NY), 1986.

Silver, W.H. Allen (London, England), 1986.

Night Warriors (novel), Sphere Books (London, England), 1986.

Headlines, Century (New York, NY), 1986.

How to Drive Women Wild in Bed, New American Library (New York, NY), 1987.

Lords of the Air (novel), Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1987, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1990.

Ritual (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 1988.

Death Dream (novel), Tor Books (New York, NY), 1988.

The Mirror (novel), Tor Books, 1988.

Feast (novel), Pinnacle Books (New York, NY), 1988.

Hurry Monster (stories), Footsteps Press (New York, NY), 1988.

Walkers (novel), Tor Books (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor) Scare Care, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1989.

Empress, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1990.

The Burning (novel), Tor Books (New York, NY), 1991, published in England as The Hymn, Macdonald (London, England), 1991.

Night Plague (novel), Tor Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Black Angel (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 1991.

Burial (novel), Heinemann (London, England), 1992, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1994.

Master of Lies (novel), Tor Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Prey (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 1992.

The Sleepless (novel), Heinemann (London, England), 1993.

Drive Him Wild: A Hands-on Guide to Pleasuring Your Man in Bed, Signet (New York, NY), 1993.

Fortnight of Fear (stories), Severn House (Sutton, England), 1994.

Flesh and Blood (novel), Heinemann (London, England), 1994.

Single, Wild, Sexy … and Safe, Signet (New York, NY), 1994.

Spirit (novel), Heinemann (London, England), 1995.

Flights of Fear (stories), Severn House (Sutton, England), 1995.

The House That Jack Built (novel), Carroll and Graf (New York, NY), 1996.

Rook (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 1996.

Faces of Fear (stories), Severn House (Sutton, England), 1996.

Tooth and Claw (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 1997.

The Chosen Child (novel), Heinemann (London, England), 1997, Tor Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Secrets of the Sexually Irresistible Woman, Signet (New York, NY), 1998.

The Secrets of Sexual Play, Onyx (New York, NY), 1999.

Manitou Man: The World of Graham Masterton (stories), British Fantasy Society (London, England), 1999.

The Seven Secrets of Really Great Sex, Signet (New York, NY), 1999.

Wild Sex for New Lovers, Signet (New York, NY), 2001.

Hair Raiser, Scholastic (London, England), 2001.

Swimmer (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 2001.

The Doorkeepers (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 2001, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Charnel House and Other Stories, Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2002.

Trauma (novel), Signet (New York, NY), 2002.

A Terrible Beauty (novel), Pocket Star Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Hidden World (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 2003.

Genius (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 2003.

Up All Night, Signet (New York, NY), 2004.

The Devil in Gray (novel), Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Graham Masterton Omnibus, Time Warner (London, England), 2004.

Darkroom (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 2004.

Holy Terror (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 2004.

Unspeakable (novel), Pocket Star Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Manitou Blood (novel), Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Edgewise (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 2006.

Descendant (novel), Severn House (Sutton, England), 2006.

Touchy and Feely (novel), Severn House (London, England), 2006.

Also author of Your Erotic Fantasies, 1970; Girls Who Said Yes, 1970; and Sex Is Everything, 1972. Work represented in anthologies, including The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 1994. Contributor to magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, Woman, Woman's Health, and Writer.

ADAPTATIONS:

The film The Manitou, released in 1978, was based on Masterton's novel; Trauma was optioned for a feature film; several of Masterton's short stories were adapted for the British television series The Hunger.

SIDELIGHTS:

Graham Masterton is best known for his horror novels, beginning with The Manitou, which remains popular with fans of the genre to this day. The manitou is, in this case, a Native American shaman from the ancient past, whose spirit returns to human form bent on revenge against the white man. In the St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost, and Gothic Writers, Don D'Ammassa lauded the novel as an "impressive horror debut," pointing to the intense battle of mind and magic between Misquamacus and protagonist Harry Erskine that "never allows the reader a moment to catch breath, each confrontation building on the previous ones." A sequel, The Revenge of the Manitou, is "equally filled with chills and danger," according to D'Ammassa, but not as satisfying as the third related volume, Burial. The manitou's third appearance in human form is strengthened by his alliance with other demons that a Publishers Weekly critic described as "a Lovecraft-like god of the underworld … [and] the spirit of a voodoo priest." Together, as Dennis Winters declared in Booklist, these "eerie manifestations" wreak terrifying havoc on white America, managing "to dismay and baffle until the final, authoritative, chilling climax."

The Manitou introduced a theme that recurs, in slightly altered form, in several of Masterton's novels. The author noted in an article for Writer: "What I do is take … ancient demons, which are vivid and expressive manifestations of basic and genuine fears, and write about them in an up-to-date setting, with modern characters…. I have written books based on Mexican demons, Balinese demons, French demons and Biblical demons, two dozen in all." Tengu thrusts a Japanese demon into a group of international terrorists who are planning a plot against the United States. Masterton's combination "of supernatural horror and spies ought not to have worked," D'Ammassa suggested, but Tengu is "one of … [Masterton's] … most effective and interesting works."

Library Journal reviewer Lesley C. Keogh has divided the body of Masterton's work into two primary categories. In one group, including The Manitou and Tengu, "the evil demon has risen, and he is not happy." In the other group, "the malevolent building has taken over the body and soul of the good but flawed protagonist," and danger looms. In The House That Jack Built, a lawyer recovering from a vicious mugging moves to the country with his wife and unwittingly buys an old house replete with occult spirits, haunted by death, and brimming with peril. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called it "an atmospheric tale of haunting and possession with heavy doses of gore and sex," in which Masterton "screams out a story better told in a whisper." In The Devils of D-Day, the "malevolent house" is a military tank; in The Pariah, the malevolence comes from a sunken ship after it is raised from its watery grave.

In his Writer article, Masterton pondered: "How extreme can you be when you write horror? As extreme, I think, as your talent and your taste permit, although gruesomeness is no substitute for skillful writing." Rook and its sequel Tooth and Claw were reportedly less gruesome than previous Masterton titles have been. They feature a college-level remedial English teacher, Jim Rook, and what a Publishers Weekly reviewer described as a "rainbow coalition of inner-city youths who pool wisdom distilled from the mystical beliefs of their varying ethnic backgrounds." Critical response to this relatively tame series varied; one favorable response was from a reviewer who saw potential for a younger audience. Booklist contributor Margaret Flanagan called Tooth and Claw a "suspenseful and imaginative yarn guaranteed to appeal to dedicated horror fans."

The versatile and prolific Masterton has written in numerous genres other than horror, including crime novels, thrillers, disaster novels, and historical sagas. With The Chosen Child Masterton focuses on the hunt for a brutal serial killer in Warsaw, Poland. Reviewing this thriller in Booklist, David Pitt called the book a "rousingly good thriller, effectively mixing horror and mystery elements." Similarly, Library Journal contributor Jackie Cassada felt the novel was a "graphic and gory tale of vengeance." With Unspeakable, Masterton presents an "all-too-real psychological thriller," according to a reviewer for Publishers Weekly. In the story, a deaf woman who works in a child protection agency and moonlights for the police as a lip-reader has a Native American curse put on her by a disgruntled parent.

Masterton bridges thriller and horror genres with Trauma, in which a young woman specializes in cleaning up crime scenes of domestic violence. During the course of her work she discovers a species of maggot at such scenes that develops into a butterfly said to impel people to kill their loved ones. A Publishers Weekly contributor found this an "entertaining, fast and disturbing read packed with dramatic tension, tightly drawn characters and realistic dialogue." With Doorkeepers, Masterton blends horror and alternate-world fantasy, while in the 2006 Touchy and Feely the author mixes crime with psychic powers. A critic for Kirkus Reviews was more impressed with the characterization in the novel than in its supernatural elements, predicting readers would "cherish the perverse chemistry between the two misfits who bond over murder most foul." In Holy Terror, a former policeman who now runs security for a jewelry store discovers he is the victim of hypnotizers who have forced him to commit a crime. For a Publishers Weekly reviewer this was a "convoluted thriller," and Masterton a "mesmerizing storyteller."

Masterton returns to straight horror with Manitou Blood, which details a plague of vampirism that threatens New York City. Cassada, writing in Library Journal, called this "another horror gem," and praised Masterton as a "masterly plotter who evokes both terror and suspense." More vampires are at the center of Descendant, in which a vampire hunter from World War II is recalled to duty to hunt down his old enemies in London. Booklist reviewer David Pitt found this work "hugely entertaining," and further observed "Putting down the book before you've finished is not an option."

Of Masterton's overall writing, D'Ammassa reported: "Some of the most effective scenes are those in which the occult world infiltrates our reality," as in the "Night Warriors" books. Masterton commented in Writer: "[People] like horror novels because they depict ordinary people dealing with extraordinary threats…. My ideal novel would be one that readers put down, and discover that they're still in it, that it's actually come to life…. The greatest achievement in writing is to create a vivid spectacular novel without readers being aware that they are reading at all."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Nicholls, Stan, Wordsmiths of Wonder, Orbit, 1993.

St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost, and Gothic Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.

Wiater, Stanley, Dark Dreamers, Underwood/Miller (San Francisco, CA), 1992.

Wiater, Stanley, After the Darkness, Maclay (Baltimore, MD), 1993.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1994, Dennis Winters, review of Burial, p. 1771; December 15, 1997, Margaret Flanagan, review of Tooth and Claw, p. 683; November 1, 2000, David Pitt, review of The Chosen Child, p. 521; July 1, 2006, David Pitt, review of Descendant, p. 31.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2002, review of Charnel House and Other Stories, p. 1264; April 1, 2006, review of Touchy and Feely, p. 327.

Library Journal, January, 1997, Lesley C. Keogh, review of The House That Jack Built, p. 148; December, 2000, Jackie Cassada, review of The Chosen Child, p. 197; May 1, 2004, Michael Rogers, review of The Hidden World, p. 146; December 1, 2005, Jackie Cassada, review of Manitou Blood, p. 119.

Los Angeles Times, January, 1997, review of Tooth and Claw, p. 148.

New York Times Book Review, February 13, 1983, review of Solitaire, p. 14.

Publishers Weekly, April 18, 1994, review of Burial, p. 45; September 30, 1996, review of The House That Jack Built, p. 61; March 10, 1997, review of Rook, p. 51; November 10, 1997, review of Tooth and Claw, p. 57; April 16, 2001, review of The Doorkeepers, p. 50; December 17, 2001, review of Trauma, p. 70; September 23, 2002, review of Charnel House and Other Stories, p. 55; December 1, 2003, review of Genius, p. 45; May 31, 2004, review of Holy Terror, p. 52; January 10, 2005, review of Unspeakable, p. 44.

Times (London, England), November 10, 1983, review of Solitaire.

Washington Post, May 21, 1981, review of A Man of Destiny.

Writer, July, 1994, Graham Masterton, "How I Write," p. 7.

ONLINE

Graham Masterton Home Page,http://www.grahammasterton.co.uk (January 29, 2007).

Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (January 29, 2007), "Graham Masterton."

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