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James Herbert, who lives in the village of Woodmancote near Henfield, is made an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
The writer of novels like The Rats, The Fog and Haunted said his award gave him a "shock" of his own.
He said: "I am totally staggered and deeply honoured. I never ever imagined I would get one, particularly because I write horror stories and I didn't know it was particularly respected in this country."
Herbert, 67, has been given his award for services to literature. Despite almost four decades as a leading writer, he claims modern techniques have not affected his writing process. He said: "I still can't type after all these years. I write it down in my own handwriting and my wife types it out."
Among other Sussex celebrities honoured by the Queen is the veteran Brighton cookery writer Margueritte Patten who is made a CBE.
Elsewhere, Hastings coastguard volunteer, Paul White, is awarded an MBE and there are OBEs for Sian Rees Jones, head teacher at the Bognor Nursery school, and Angela O'Connor, the head at the Sacred Heart primary, Hastings.
Ms Angela Sibson. Chief executive, National Academy for Parenting Practitioners. For services to Children and Families. (Pulborough, West Sussex)
Nigel Saxby-Soffe. Formerly Finance director, Action Aid International. For services to International Development. (Barcombe, East Sussex)
Michael Brooker. For services to the Hotel Industry. (East Grinstead, West Sussex)
Mrs Mary Constance Elizabeth Green. For services to Children and Families in Hastings, East Sussex.
John Richard Kemish. For services to the community in Worthing West Sussex. (Worthing, West Sussex)
Robert Ian Lipscomb. Senior Aviation Security Policy Adviser, Transport Security and Contingencies Directorate, Department for Transport. (Crawley, West Sussex)
Richard Pain. Assistant Traffic manager (Special Events). For services to the City of London Corporation. (East Grinstead, West Sussex)
Malcolm Norman Pratt. For services to the community in Winchelsea and to Heritage in East Sussex. (Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex)