I knew James Herbert

Well I did meet him once !

In mid ’70s a best friend worked at Charles Barker Advertising.  In those days ‘teams’ were put together to work on accounts.  Nick (my friend) was a copywriter and he worked with Keith, an art director.  They were the junior team to Alan, a copywriter, and Jim the art director.  This was James Herbert.  I distinctively remember going to his leaving drinks where everyone drank beer, except Jim who ordered double brandies regardless of who was buying.  At the time we all thought this a bit over the top.


But what was really amusing was that Alan and Nick couldn’t believe that Jim had, in his spare time, written a book (this was The Rats) when he was the one meant to draw the pictures and not do the word-smithing bit ! ! !

But he did write very visually.  He wrote in chapters – each a story, and then shuffled them into a better order to make a book.  It seemed to work.

I borrowed a copy of The Rats, which I read cover-to-cover in a night.  I did make the mistake of starting it in bed andwhen I needed to go to the loo I decided to put a pair of shoes on (I distinctly remember lacing them up) because you never know where the rats are going to come from !  This happened twice.  Now that’s a good read.

I have been a fan ever since, regardless of the double brandies, and of course he has produced amazing books that have even made it to the screen: The Fog, The Survivor, Fluke, Haunted, and recently broadcast on the BBC; The Secret of Crickley Hall.

We will remember Britain’s Stephen King fondly . . .


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