Author Peter Straub has died at the age of 79 on Sunday night, according to Locus magazine and Straub’s family. His first supernatural novel, Julia, was published in 1975 at the suggestion of his publishers, who wanted him to try writing “Gothic fiction” novels. The book was later adapted into the 1977 Mia Farrow film The Haunting of Julia (also known as Full Circle). His breakout novel came a few years later in 1979. Ghost Story became a national best seller and Straub sold the film rights to Universal Pictures for $225,000 a year before the novel came out, anticipating the book’s success. He co-wrote The Talisman alongside Stephen King in 1984. The Duffer brothers’ television adaption of The Talisman was announced for Netflix last year and was created alongside Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Paramount Television.
He won 14 Bram Stoker Awards from the Horror Writer’s Association throughout his life and the Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2006. His daughter, Emma Straub, remembered her father’s extraordinary life, from his soap-opera stint on One Life to Live to his support of her own literary career. In her fifth novel, This Time Tomorrow, she explored the alternative reality of what it would be like when her father died. “This Time Tomorrow was all about him dying, which is a weird thing to give your parent when they are, in fact, still alive, but I am so glad I did,” Emma wrote on Twitter. “Every bit of my love for him is in that book, and it is one of the great joys of my life that he read it (so many times) with so much pleasure and pride. That book, and our mutual understanding, meant that when he died, I didn’t doubt for a second that he knew how grateful I was to be his, and vice versa.”