British fantasy novelist Graham Joyce has died, his publisher Gollancz confirms. The 59-year-old had been battling cancer since 2013.
Joyce was an award-winning writer, recipient of multiple British Fantasy Awards, an O. Henry Prize and the World Fantasy Award for "Some Kind of Fairy Tale," published in the U.S. in 2012. Several times he was nominated for Locus Awards, and his YA books "Do the Creepy Thing" and "TWOC" were finalists for the Carnegie Medal.
Known for writing dark fantasy, Joyce published "Memoirs of a Master Forger" under a pseudonym, William Heaney. He told the Guardian that because it was "a book about forged manuscripts, faked personalities and literary hoaxes ... it seemed like a fun way of doing it." The book won the British Fantasy Best Novel Award in 2009, beating, among others, Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book."
"Just saw that Graham Joyce has left us," Gaiman tweeted Tuesday morning. "A deep, smart, honest writer and a funny, kind man."
Joyce was born in a mining town near Coventry, England, in 1954. He trained to be a teacher, then later got a master's in English and American literature at Leicester University. Yet his calling was writing. "If I couldn't get published tomorrow I'd still be writing," he told the Guardian in 2000.
"My story reflexes come less from fantasy or horror than from the darker sort of psychological thriller -- not as plot-driven as most, rather more mood-driven," Joyce explained. "My interest in the supernatural is a complication -- though I am less interested in ghosts than in people who see ghosts."
His many books include "The Silent Land," "Smoking Poppy," "Facts of Life," "The Tooth Fairy," "Indigo," "Spirited Away," and "Requiem." He was the author of the novel "The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit," published in the U.S. in August by Doubleday.