When I was young my parents played the Oúija board and had to get a vicar to get rid of unwanted presences. Growing up with accounts of poltergeist hauntings meant an interest in the dark side was unavoidable. I’ve been writing stories since I was four years old, although they didn’t start off as dark as they are now.
- I am a lifelong horror film fan If you met me you’d never imagine that. I look perfectly ordinary, but have been writing about horror films for magazines since 1992 and was one of the first female genre journalists. Obviously in the cellar I’ve got a wicked film collection.
- I met my German husband Ingo at a horror film festival in Montreal. He sat next to me at FantAsia and I barked at him. That’s way since 2001 I’ve been living in Hanover, Germany which was home to Germany’s most notorious serial killer, Fritz Haarmann.
- I once played a naked Satanist. It was an extra role in the Brian Yuzna film Faust: Love of the Damned. A fan doesn’t just want to write about it, they want to be part of the scene. I’d hoped for a gory screen death but there wasn’t time to do the FX so I opted to play a Satanist. It involved stabbing myself with a fake knife.
- I once sent the video Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer to Ian Brady. My religious studies teacher Alan Keightley became close to the Moors Murderer and used to ask me for tapes to send to him as he knew I was a horror fan. Learning about serial killers was part of the curriculum. It was of much more use than learning maths.
- I used to visit islands for a living… for most of my life I’ve done creative jobs: working as a photographic coordinator, for a corporate video company, and the British Film Institute, but just once I had this marvellous well-paid job working for legal and financial publisher Mondaq and had to meet clients in glamorous offshore financial centres every month, like the Cayman Islands, Nevis and the Bahamas.
- It’s taken me seven and a half years to publish my debut thriller Night Driver. Despite being represented by the US’s biggest literary agency, editors got nervous of a novel that featured a heavily pregnant heroine and a gay serial killer. Pitching to indie UK publishers I sold it myself five times, but it only worked out with Urbane Publications. Finally.
- Shortly after writing a novel about a nervous driver and landing a big NY agent, I managed to run myself over with my own car. I didn’t realise the car moved in first gear if the handbrake wasn’t on. I was trapped under a 1.5 ton car for about fifteen minutes, sustaining six broken ribs and on my left hip had a hematoma the size of a hippo. Friends said, “In your next novel write about winning the lottery!”
- One of my passions is medical history, with my first publisher I pitched a book about Creative Mavericks from the worlds of computing, medicine and science but they offered me other non-fiction choices: gambling, marathon running, NFL or sex. I had no option but to write Incredible Orgasms. Reader you understand….
- I’m a keen gymnast Despite being forty-eight and having, shall we say, curves, I’m still doing adult gymnastics in the TKH club in Hannover. Last year, just before a competition, in a ridiculous easy move on the bars my hands slipped and I fractured my spine. Nonetheless, on Fridays I still go to training. Because of my injury I had to take a lot of time off so I look chubbier than I’d like in my recent author photos…
- As well as having two children I’m a guinea pig mom. I am just bonkers about piggies. They’re the nicest people in the house and entertain with the way they move.
Night Driver by Marcelle Perks is published by Urbane Publications.