TIH 245: Ramsey Campbell on Life Lessons Growing Up, August Derleth, and Liverpool

In this podcast Ramsey Campbell talks about life lessons growing up, August Derleth, Liverpool, and much more.

About Ramsey Campbell

The Oxford Companion to English Literature describes Ramsey Campbell as Britain’s most respected living horror writer. He has been given more awards than any other writer in the field, including the Grand Master Award of the World Horror Convention, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Horror Writers Association and the Living Legend Award of the International Horror Guild. PS has published 19 of his books, among which are the novels: The Darkest Part of the Woods, The Overnight, Secret Story, The Grin of the Dark, Thieving Fear, Creatures of the Pool, The Seven Days of Cain, The Kind Folk, Ghosts Know, Think Yourself Lucky and Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach. His trilogy The Three Births of Daoloth further develops the cosmic horrors he introduced in his first published book, The Inhabitant of the Lake. The Searching Dead is the first volume, followed by Born to the Dark and culminating with The Way of the Worm. His PS collections include Told by the Dead, The Inhabitant of the Lake and Just Behind You. His nonfiction is collected as Ramsey Campbell, Probably, along with Letters to Arkham, S. T. Joshi s compiled and annotated volume of letters between Ramsey and Arkham House founder August Derleth. Lavishly illustrated by Pete Von Sholly, Ramsey Campbell s Limericks of the Alarming and Phantasmal is a history of horror fiction in the form of fifty limericks. Ramsey Campbell lives with his wife Jenny on Merseyside where he was recently presented by Liverpool John Moores University with an Honorary Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to literature.

Show notes

  • [02:50] Early life lessons growing up
  • [08:50] Earliest reading memories
  • [11:00] Reading M.R. James at six years old
  • [13:00] The first story to truly terrify Ramsey
  • [17:50] Ghostly Tales in 1957, aged eleven
  • [19:30] Publishing first stories by Adam Nevill, Steve Rasnic Tem, and Marc Laidlaw
  • [26:50] Proud of the horror label and why so many people are afraid of embracing the horror label
  • [34:30] ‘Elevated’ horror and narrow definitions of horror
  • [40:40] David Lynch
  • [43:20] Becoming a writer/August Derleth correspondence
  • [48:40] Impetus to quit the day job and write full-time
  • [51:00] Dino Parenti, via Patreon, asks about writing horror today vs in 70s/80s
  • [53:40] Vladimir Nabokov
  • [55:50] Dan Howarth, via Patreon, asks about how Merseyside has shaped fiction
  • [01:00:00] Clive Barker
  • [01:05:20] Traci Kenworth, via Patreon, asks about process and writing advice
  • [01:13:00] Ramsey’s writing setup
  • [01:16:00] Ross Byers, via Patreon, asks about the strangest thing Ramsey has ever written
  • [01:22:30] Connect with Ramsey

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