Robert Albert Bloch (April 5, 1917 – September 23, 1994) was a prolific American writer, primarily of crime, horror, fantasy and science fiction. He is best known as the writer of Psycho, the basis for the film of the same name by Alfred Hitchcock. He wrote that "Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk," (a quote borrowed by Stephen King and often misattributed to him). His fondness for a pun is evident in the titles of his story collections such as Tales in a Jugular Vein, Such Stuff as Screams Are Made Of and Out of the Mouths of Graves.Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and over 30 novels. He was one of the youngest members of the Lovecraft Circle. H. P. Lovecraft was Bloch's mentor and one of the first to seriously encourage his talent. However, while Bloch started his career by emulating Lovecraft and his brand of cosmic horror, he later specialized in crime and horror stories dealing with the inner workings of the human mind.Bloch was a contributor to pulp magazines such as Weird Tales in his early career, and was also a prolific screenwriter and a major contributor to science fiction fanzines and fandom in general.He won the Hugo Award (for his story "That Hell-Bound Train"), the Bram Stoker Award, and the World Fantasy Award. He served a term as president of the Mystery Writers of America (1970) and was a member of that organisation and of Science Fiction Writers of America, the Writers Guild of America, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Count Dracula Society. In 2008, The Library of America selected Bloch's essay "The Shambles of Ed Gein" (1962) for inclusion in its two-century retrospective of American true crime.His favorites among his own novels were The Kidnapper, The Star Stalker, Psycho, Night-World, and Strange Eons. His work has been extensively filmed for movies and television.