Guy N. Smith


Guy had his first story published in a local newspaper at the age of 12, followed by another 55 by the time he was 17. It was a good start to his writing career and he owed much of his early success and productivity to his mother (historical novelist E.M. Weale) who gave him every encouragement. His father, however, insisted that he follow family tradition by going into the banking sector.

As a result, it was twenty years before Guy became a full-time author – and had some catching up to do! The 1970s were a boom time for pulp fiction and he made his debut with Werewolf by Moonlight (NEL 1974). However, it was with Night of the Crabs that he established himself as a recognised writer – virtually overnight – in the hot summer of 1976 when the title was dubbed a ‘No.1 Beach Read.’ The book saw numerous reprints and spawned many sequels along with several short stories, as well as interest from film makers such as Amicus Productions writer and producer Milton Subotsky, among others.

Night of the Crabs enabled Guy to go full-time as a writer. At the time, he and his wife Jean and their four children had been living a conventional life in Tamworth, Staffordshire. But it was time to move on. In 1977, they relocated to what would become a ‘forever home’ in a remote part of the Shropshire/Welsh border hills, where they enjoyed life on a smallholding with livestock and organic garden produce.

Guy was no stranger to country life, and the further away he was from town and traffic the more prolific he became. For many years he wrote for Shooting Times and several other sporting publications. Then, in 1999, he accepted the post of Gun Editor of The Countryman’s Weekly which involved delivering a handful of articles every week. Ever the hard grafter, he relished the challenge. By that time, pulp fiction was largely out of fashion, so the renewed focus on countryside journalism suited Guy, who could always adapt his writing output to changing demands and circumstances. His pulp horror readership has nevertheless remained steadfast, up to and beyond his passing at the age of 81 in December 2020.

Since losing Guy, the Smith family has taken on the running of his publishing company Black Hill Books, turning it into a limited company. The ebook and Black Hill Book publications are being reworked as a consequence and will start to make a comeback in 2024. New developments include a newsletter, a YouTube Channel and a presence on most social media platforms. Future plans include audiobooks, audiodramas and GNS fan conventions.