The Sucking Pit: Book of the Month – May 2015

‘The Sucking Pit’ was my second novel, published in May 1975. Its origins however, go back to my early childhood.

The book’s location is in Hopwas Wood, Staffordshire. The wood bordered my family home, ancient woodland of approximately 180 acres.

During World War II enemy bombers targeted the nearby railway which they failed to hit. One of their bombs fell in Hopwas Wood resulting in a large crater. Gradually this filled with rainwater and its surface was covered in thick algae.

On Sunday afternoons my grandfather used to take me for a walk in the wood when, at around the age of five, I became fascinated with this flooded bomb crater. Fearing that I might sneak off to it on my own, he told me that it was a bottomless pit and that anybody who fell into it was never seen again.

This disconcerting thought remained with me throughout my childhood. Then, decades later, it became the basis for the plot of ‘The Sucking Pit’. The latter had several reprints, sold in the region of 100,000 copies and was resurrected as a Signed Limited Edition in hardcover by Mansion House Books in 2011.

In 1984 I wrote a sequel ‘The Walking Dead’ in which the undead still inhabit ‘The Pit’.

In 1981 Stephen King wrote in his book ‘Danse Macabre’, (his analysis of horror, ‘a moving rhythmic search for the place where we live at our most primitive level) that “Guy N. Smith, the author of paperback originals beyond counting, has written a novel whose title is my nominee for the all-time pulp horror classic: The Sucking Pit.”

Kind words indeed and who am I to disagree!

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