Extras - Inspiration for the Tales of Terror

Inspiration for the Tales of Terror

Uncle Montague’s tales reflect my love of ghost stories and chillers, a love that possibly began when I was read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by a teacher when I was eight or nine and was haunted by the clanking chains of the spectral Jacob Marley and the terrible, faceless, black-robed figure of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.

When I was a teenager there were few books designed for that age group and like many of my contemporaries I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, much of it in the form of short stories by authors such as Ray Bradbury or Philip K. Dick. As time went by I discovered more and more fantastic short fiction, new and old, by all kinds of writers,
from all over the world.

I was an avid reader of comics when I was younger (and they have never lost their appeal). I read superhero comics of course, especially if they were drawn by Jack Kirby, but I always liked the ones on the weirder fringes, like Kirby’s The Forever People – or Dr Strange which, like Spiderman, was initially drawn by the incredible Steve Ditko. When I was about fifteen I dreamed of becoming a comic book artist.

I may not have fulfilled that dream (yet!) but I did go to art college and did work as an illustrator and cartoonist for many years. One of my first jobs was to provide posters for the Dog Theatre Company of Clive Barker, the fantasy/horror writer and film-maker. Clive was one of the first people I ever dared show a story to and the fact that he did not think
me deluded was one of the things that made
me think I might one day get something published.

I really enjoyed comics that contained several creepy or fantasy short stories – sometimes illustrated by the aforementioned Ditko, if I was lucky – and sometimes with a narrator. It is a formula I always enjoyed and one that I am shamelessly employ in my Tales of Terror.

Television was always a source of enjoyable frights for me, whether it was watching the original Dr Who as a boy in grainy black and white or discovering the great RKO and Universal horror films of the thirties and forties. There was a lot of supernatural TV in my youth, the most memorable being the BBC Ghost Stories for Children series in the 1970s, which is where I first came across the name of M.R. James. Read on for more information on the inspiration behind the individual short stories in Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror.

Chris Priestley

Inspiration for the Tales of Terror

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Registered in England No. 1984336
Registered Office: 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP, tel: +44 (0) 207 631 5600

www.bloomsbury.com Privacy & Cookies