Author Ray Garton

Ray Garton

Dec. 2,1962-April 21,2024

Iconic American horror writer Ray Garton Jr., known for a plethora of novels and short fiction, has passed away at 61 after battling lung cancer. His notable works include “Seductions,” “Live Girls,” “Crucifax Autumn,” “Trade Secrets,” and many others. Garton, also known by the pen name Joseph Locke for YA horror titles, authored works like “Petrified” and “Vampire Heart.” Additionally, he ventured into movie and TV novelizations including “Warlock” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Resurrecting Ravana.” Garton’s contributions earned him recognition as a World Horror Convention Grand Master in 2006. He was renowned for his insights into the paranormal while writing “In A Dark Place.” His passing marks a significant loss in the world of genre literature.

Appreciation for Ray Garton

“Ray Garton was one of the best.”

~Gary Raisor

“I never met Ray Garton personally, but became aware and very impressed by his talent after reading Live Girls and Crucifax. He was a powerhouse of fiction, the kind of man I imagined to be rather scary himself, should one encounter him in the flesh. Yet, as my own career grew and I had online conversations with him, I came to know him as opinionated and outspoken as well as kind and understanding. And that, my friends, along with his incredible talent, is what makes for an unforgettable writer, an unforgettable person.”

~Elizabeth Massie

“Ray was a good writer, and professional. Better yet he was a good guy.”

~Joe R. Lansdale

“ Ray Garton was an exciting writer who influenced many of us in our early careers. He was also someone willing to help and encourage newcomers to the field. He’ll be fondly remembered for both of those things.”

~Steve Rasnic Tem

“Ray had the best reputation for being a kind person of any writer in the business. He was also one hell of a writer.”

~Andy Rausch

“I don’t think I ever met Ray Garton, but I did read him. From his earliest work in the ‘80s, all the way through to the present day, he did it all — novels, novellas, stories, essays in magazines and anthologies, he was hard to miss. But now, he will be missed.”

~Tyson Blue

“I met Ray Garton many years ago at a convention in Las Vegas. He was a Guest of Honor, and I was also a Special Guest, along with William F. Nolan.

It was during a party at the end of the first day, as I recall, and most everyone was just hanging out near a bar in a side room, late into the evening. Ray and Bill struck up a conversation, as Ray was a huge fan of Bill’s work, and considered him not only a big influence but almost like a father figure.

It turned out he had very briefly met Bill at another con where Bill was a GoH years prior, though Bill didn’t recall it. At that particular time, Ray only had a book or two out and was very nervous to speak with Bill. They made up for lost time that night, though.

Later on at the con, Ray and I were on several panels together, and we vowed to stay in touch. Through the years, Sunni (my wife), Bill, and I would drop in on Ray and Dawn (his wife) at their place in Northern California. They had a great place. We would stop in when traveling to and from L.A.

This went on for over a decade. Ray even came up our way and stayed at our house. We always had a fine time and were in touch online a lot, also, on Facebook and chat. Calls. Christmas cards, gifts, and so on. We were all quite close.

Later, Ray was in an increasing amount of pain but still kept his sense of humor and wrote as much as he could. I was shocked, though not entirely surprised, when Dawn wrote me that he passed before the general announcement. I’m still numb. Ray was an important friend to me; I feel we have not only lost a great guy but a talented writer from the heyday of the 1980s Horror Boom.

I loved him, and I’ll miss him. His suffering is over. Rest in peace, Ray.”

~Jason V Brock

We were lucky to have Ray

Here at Screaming Eye Press, we’re very grateful to have become friends with Ray.  He was very nice to us, and always showed an interest in our projects. 

We were very proud to have featured his story Mrs. DeMarco’s Corpse in Horrible Little Stories anthology and on our story podcast Dead Airwaves.

Ray was also featured on one of the best episodes of Monster Talk:

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Learn and Read More about Ray Garton

Celebrating Horror with Author Ray Garton

Every great writer has a beginning, a moment when the seeds of their imagination are first sown. For Ray Garton, that moment came in his formative years, as he devoured the works of horror luminaries such as Stephen King and Richard Matheson. Inspired by their ability to evoke fear with nothing but words on a page, Garton began to hone his own craft, experimenting with different styles and techniques until he found his own voice amidst the shadows.

At the heart of Garton’s fiction lies a fascination with the darker aspects of human nature. Whether exploring the depths of addiction in “Live Girls” or the horrors of small-town life in “The Loveliest Dead,” Garton’s stories are imbued with a terror that lingers long after the final page. Themes of isolation, madness, and the supernatural permeate his work, serving as a dark mirror in all of us.

In the realm of horror fiction, few names are as prolific as Ray Garton.

With a career spanning decades and a body of work that continues to terrify and captivate readers, Garton has cemented his place as a true master of the macabre.

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