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The Brentford Mercury

The S.F.X. Interview

The full text of an interview from SFX magazine

by M.J. 'Simo' Simpson



M What about these short stories? Are they still in existance?

R No, Iíve used them all. Iíve fed them into all the books. They went by the time the first four books were over. All those little bits that donít make any sense, all those little asides. Theyíre all based on all the people I knew in Brentford. The first books were based on everybody I knew, so it was easy to write them.

M Have you had any negative comeback from anybody who has recognised themselves?

R Only here. The Greatest Show Off Earth was set here in this village, and I had my windscreen shot out of the car. I know who did that, that was Rick the Poacher did that. Everybody knows it was Rick the Poacher. He was making his point: donít fuck with me, was the basic point. And the chicken farmer, who unfortunately told me later that he actually did screw the chickens. That was a bit unfortunate, wasnít it? So I donít go up to that pub any more! I had no idea. Back in Brentford, people laughed. Down here, they didnít laugh. Oh no, down here they were vicious. If youíre going to live with the rednecks whose eyebrows meet in the middle, you need a big gun and a security fence! This is why James Herbert keeps out of the village, because he only lives a mile from here. You never see him in the village ever, because he got threatened a couple of times in the pub by somebody, and he said ĎFuck that, Iím going homeí. Heís got two of Aleister Crowleyís chairs. The only writer Iím actually jealous of is James Herbert because heís got two of his chairs. Iíd like to know where he got them from because I canít believe thereís anything in existance. John Symonds was his literary executor, and all he got was a roomful of gear from a boarding house in Hastings. I donít believe thereís two ceremonial chairs, unless he bought them off Jimmy Page.

M Are they actually ceremonial? Theyíre not Just his kitchen chairs?

R No, theyíre the big lads used in the rights of ... Ilucius? Lucius? Well, one of those boys, anyway!

M Your writing technique: are you still using the pencils and exercise books?

R Iím on number 13 at the moment. Twenty exercise books equals a novel. 4,000 words to an exercise book. Itís the only way I know. Iíve found a woman up the road who types, so I donít even have to have a typewriter, so itís perfect. No word processors. How could I have a word processor? Itíd look pretty stupid! People have this belief that youíll write better if you have a word processor, but thatís the same belief that youíll drive better if you have a Mazarati. I donít believe itís real.

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