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 . . .