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Interview

Peter Normanton p3

Peter Normanton recommends some books by authors of horror and weird tales...

READERSVOICE.COM: What are some books you’ve liked in recent years, whether about movies or novels or anything else?

PETER NORMANTON: Thomas Ligotti’s Teatro Grottesco was a revelation; he has a truly dark vision, one to rival that of Lovecraft himself. He continues to take the horror genre into territories new; I defy any director to bring his work to the silver screen.
English writer Mark Samuels’ The Man Who Collected Machen: And other Weird Tales places him in the same vein as both Ligotti and Lovecraft. He is a particular favourite, reflecting upon some of my own furtive imagining as I walk through darkened streets on my way to work on autumnal and winter’s mornings.
Ramsey Campbell’s Creatures of the Pool is a stunningly written tale, merging the city Liverpool’s dark past with the modern day. This is one of those stories which emphasises why Ramsey is so highly regarded.
Matthew Levi Stevens’ The Magical Universe Of William S. Boroughs comes highly recommended for anyone with an interest in Burroughs. This examination of the aspect of magic in his life is truly inspiring.
Anna Funder’s Stasiland draws upon my interest in the years of the Cold War. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, Anna set out to interview former member of the reviled Stassi and those affected by their intrusive policies. Her writing will make you laugh and then cry, but it also leaves you wondering just how we in the free west have been manipulated. This is a very different kind of horror.

RV: What were the biographies you were writing, mentioned inside the Slasher book?

PN: I wrote a series of short biographies for the Harvey Horror series published by Pete Cowther’s PS Artbooks, covering the lives of about fifteen Harvey horror artists. It was a pleasure to be involved with a project of this kind, as this is a beautiful collection, reprinting all of the Harvey horror comics from the 1950s. For considerably less than the price of a single back issue, you can buy one of these books, containing five issues, and they won’t crumble in your hands.

RV: It was interesting reading about the directors, like the ultra-low budget director Nathan Schiff. What avenues exist for people wanting to make a low budget horror feature? There aren’t that many drive-ins anymore, and cinemas are mainly multiplexes.

PN: I’m not really sure, because technology has changed and the internet has become so powerful. Youtube seems to be a good avenue, at least to get noticed. Maybe if this gives your film some recognition one of the many horror film festivals could get interested. This is an area about which I know so little. I never had the wherewithal, or the money, to get involved with making films.

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– copyright Simon Sandall.

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