Sunday, January 13, 2013

James Herbert on his daily routine, writing The Rats and how he hates violence

From The Telegraph

The horror writer talks to Angela Wintle about his working day, the inspiration for his first novel, The Rats, and how horror writing just pours out.

James Herbert at home in Sussex

James Herbert at home in Sussex Photo: Harry Watts


Mother This is a sepia photograph (pictured above) of my late mother. She came from a poor background in Manchester and travelled to London to make a new life. When she got off the Tube aged 21 the first person she met was my dad and she asked him to take her to the nearest Catholic church. He accompanied her, even though he was an agnostic, and they started dating. She had an ability to see things with a child’s eye and told us wonderful stories. I’m sure that is where my love of storytelling came from.
Horror I hate violence and I didn’t plan to write horror; it just poured out of me. The great thing is that you can write humour, romance or political thrillers under that genre. You can write about a mundane situation and take a mental leap to something outrageous. When I started out, horror was suggested by other writers but never fulfilled. I wanted to do something different. Unfortunately, some writers took it too far and I took the rap.

Photo: Harry Watts
Drawing I drew this picture of Dracula (pictured above) for a charity auction at Bonhams in aid of the Prince’s Trust to celebrate Status Quo’s 40th anniversary. It was inspired by the film Nosferatu, and depicts Dracula climbing out of a crate of earth after his transportation to Whitby. I have drawn him with clawed hands and a Fender Stratocaster guitar strapped to his back. The caption reads, never too dead to rock.
OBE In 2010 I was awarded an OBE (pictured below) for services to literature. The Prince of Wales, whom I’ve always liked, invested me at Buckingham Palace. He asked whether I was writing a new book and I said, ‘Yes, I’ve just finished one, and you’re in it.’ Well, if you’ve ever seen anyone blanch, that’s what he did. I said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s OK, it all comes out fine.’ But he was completely stunned and that was the end of our chat.

Photo: Harry Watts

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