Nell Anne “Charlee” Jacob (June 6, 1952 – July 14, 2019) was laid to rest Saturday, July 27 in Oak Grove Memorial Gardens in Irving, TX among family and friends. Charlee was married to Jim Jacob in January, 1983 at Meadowbrook Baptist Church, where the memorial service was held yesterday morning. In recent years, she suffered from a number of ailments, including fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, and narcolepsy. She was a Texas native, born in Wichita Falls in 1952, a poet and horror author with over 900 publishing credits, 18 books, and four Bram Stoker awards to her name.
She began publishing fiction in earnest in the mid-1990s, but had credits dating back to 1981. Her earliest work was published under the name Charlee Carter Broach, including poetry in small press magazines such as Electrum and Orphic Lute. Her first published short story, “September Street,” appeared in the October 4, 1990 issue of the Dallas Observer under the name Charlee Jacob.
Charlee was a prolific poet as well as an author of stories and novels. In the early 1990s she was frequently published in the magazines Prisoners of the Night, Palace Corbie, Black Lotus, Star*Line, Thin Ice, and Midnight Zoo, among others. Her first poetry collection, An Ancient Death is the Most Beautiful was published by Shadowfire Press in 1997, and her first novel, This Symbiotic Fascination, was published by Necro Publications in 1997. Her collection of short stories, along with the title novella, Dread in the Beast, came out the following year from Necro Publications. She later expanded the novella into a full length novel, which won the Bram Stoker award in 2005. Delirium Books published her collections Up, Out of Cities that Blow Hot and Cold and Guises in 2000 and 2002. In 2002, This Symbiotic Fascination was published by Leisure Books in mass market paperback, followed by Haunter in 2003. An expanded version of Haunter was published by Delirium Books in 2004 as Soma in signed limited hardcover editions. Charlee continued to be published by Delirum Books, Bloodletting Press, Dark Regions, Wilder Publications, and Necro Publications. Necro remains her primary publisher today, with most of her back-titles reissued in attractive and affordable editions. Her latest novel, Containment, was released in 2017.
I first met Charlee and Jim in 2003. I was searching for like-minded souls in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area when I heard about a book signing with a group of local horror authors around Halloween. I had joined the HWA not long before that, saw that many chapters had formed in other regions, and was intent on forming one in our area. I drove to the Borders bookstore (now long gone) on Lovers Lane in Dallas where I met my future wife Angeline, plus Steve Wedel, Richard Weber, John Paul Allen, Elaine Cunningham, and of course Jim and Charlee. I stayed for a couple of hours, we all got along great, and everyone was on-board with forming what came to be known as the DFW HWA. We had our first formal meeting a few weeks later, and were joined in 2005 by Dean Andersson, Brian Moreland, and a handful of other members. Those were fun times, when horror seemed to be on a comeback. We had well-attended events, sponsored tables for signings at local conventions to help our authors publicize their works, hosted authors from other regions, and received strong support from Deborah LeBlanc, a Louisiana author who served as president of the HWA from 2006 to 2010. Our chapter regularly attended FenCon, ConDFW, and Texas Frightmare Weekend as guests, with Jim and Charlee as anchor members. Alas, life happened, personal interests turned elsewhere, and the DFW HWA shut down in 2012 after many good years promoting awareness of locally crafted horror fiction.
In our years together in the DFW HWA, Charlee was kind and always gracious with her time, advice, and support. She was happy to chat with fans and open to conversation on various sundry topics from history to mythology to the stars, from the meaning of life to the meaning of death. She’s now found her place in the great beyond, leaving behind a loyal following of fans and devotees. Her official obituary is available here. Those interested in visiting her grave site to pay their respects can find it here.
During the DFW HWA years, I was webmaster for Charlee’s site. It included a complete bibliography up through 2005, which I can’t seem to find on the web elsewhere, so I have made the bibliography available for download, albeit incomplete.
The following scans are from the library of Christopher Fulbright and the featured art for this post is by Travis Anthony Soumis. To browse the list of Charlee Jacob titles currently available on Amazon, click here.