Ten More Things You Didn’t Know About My Books
1. In the cinema commercial we shot for my novel ‘Roofworld’, the neon set we used came from the National Theatre’s production of ‘Guys and Dolls’ because it had just finished its run and was going cheap.
2. In my collection ‘Demonized’, the story called ‘The Green Man’ is mostly true. It was written after I was attacked by macaque monkeys in Malaysia. Even the strange ‘piggy-backing’ moment at the end of the story is true.
3. Many people think I started writing with the Bryant & May series because those are the ones listed by Transworld, but many regarded ‘Spanky’, ‘Psychoville, ‘Disturbia’ and ‘Soho Black’ as a quartet, which makes sense as they were planned that way.
4. Martin Butterworth, who first turned up as a character in ‘Roofworld’, was the artist who painted the cover for ‘Personal Demons’. He wasn’t happy with it and did a second version which replaced the first after its initial print run, so there are two different covers of the same edition out there by accident.
5. Maggie Armitage first appeared in my book ‘The Ultimate Party Book’, after we threw a party, took photographs of everyone drunk, then traced over them to make the illustrations. I’m not the only person to have made her a character in a book. The author Tom Wakefield also used her in several novels.
6. My least successful novel was coincidentally my longest. ‘Red Bride’ had a national poster campaign and got great reviews, but sold disastrously. In the US edition there’s a hilarious photograph of me in formal evening wear for some obscure reason.
7. In ‘Calabash’ the town of Cole Bay is modelled on Herne Bay, but the cover was shot in Brighton, which was where I had the idea for the book, because the onion-turret pavilion seemed so incongruous in a rundown seaside town. The cover picture features a mate of mine who eventually became Maggie Armitage’s model agent. See how incestuous it all is?
8. The original title for ‘Rune’ was ‘Prayerdevil’, but my publisher didn’t like it. The original title for ‘Full Dark House’ was ‘Looking for Lucifer’, then ‘Lucifer’s Footprints’, which became the title of one of my Sherlock Holmes short stories.
9. The man on the cover of ‘Spanky’ was really called Fritz Kok. The last we heard of him, he was recording an album called ‘Rhythm of Saliva’ (I know, makes no sense, ESL, what can I tell you) with producer Otto van den Toom (who sounds like a Jack Kirby character from ‘Fantastic Four’). All I can remember about touring with him was that he was incredibly bored. Rupert Everett was almost signed to play Spanky in the film beside Liv Tyler and Joaquin Phoenix, until the director met him and found him ‘appalling’.
10. The hardback of ‘Roofworld’ was so successful that it went out of print before its official publication date. It’s why the publisher commissioned a cinema commercial for the paperback release. Unfortunately, the commercial went out with ‘The Fly 2’ which nobody saw.