T.M. Wright (September 9, 1947 – October 31, 2015) was an American author of horror and suspense. He wrote over 20 novels which have been lauded by genre greats as some of the best ghostly fiction written in the modern era. His many novellas and short stories have been published in The Twilight Zone, Cemetery Dance, and PostScripts, among others. His short stories have been compiled into three collections over the years, including the latest Bone Soup. Probably his best known work was his groundbreaking and innovative novel A Manhattan Ghost Story, which gained him some well-deserved positive attention and fetched the interest of Hollywood. Early printings of the book claim it’s “soon to be a movie starring Sharon Stone” but the film never materialized. Wikipedia reports that the film is still in development at Touchstone Pictures, although no such corroboration is to be found on IMDb.
My first exposure to Wright’s work was his novel The Island. Unfortunately, I no longer own a copy, and attempts to find another copy in decent condition have failed. It had a chilling blue foil cover which did not age well, the ink flaking off easily after a single reading, so most copies of it to be found in the wild are in pretty bad shape. Maybe someday I’ll find a good copy for my collection again (update: I did, and added it below). In any event, the story itself shocked me by how good it was. Back then I read and enjoyed a lot of pulp horror, and I found Wright’s work to be a generally higher quality than a lot of what was on the market at the time, plus it was genuinely chilling. My positive experience with The Island led me to his novel The Playground, which I loved even more. From then on, I was a fan, and read his work religiously, marking A Manhattan Ghost Story among one of my favorite “ghost story” novels of all time.
Wright wrote a non-fiction book in 1968 about U.F.O.’s. The book was called The Intelligent Man’s Guide to Flying Saucers and it’s now available in ebook format. His first novel, Strange Seed, was published by Playboy Press in 1978 and nominated that year for the World Fantasy Award. It was followed in 1981 and 1982 by The Woman Next Door and The Playground. He also wrote two monster novels, The Changing and The Devouring, under the pen name F. W Armstrong in the mid-1980s. His novel Cold House was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award in 2004. Wright was diagnosed in 2012 with Parkinson’s Disease and spent several years in a nursing home in Corning, New York tended by wife before he passed away in the early morning hours of Halloween in 2015.
To browse the list of his titles currently available in print and eBook editions, click here.
The featured image for this post is from cover art by Jill Bauman. These cover scans are from the library of Christopher Fulbright.