Books: Inspirations The Novelist and Filmmaker

Christopher Fowler On His Sources
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The music

Michael Nyman. Its hard to choose one piece, maybe Musique a Grand Vitesse (1993) written for a French train. I play music when I write to create a 'must do four pages a day' atmosphere.

The play

Red Noses by Peter Barnes. It's bleak and comic, set during the Black Plague. Barnes is a neglected playwright. I can't believe he's not up there with Patrick Marber.

The place

Waterloo Bridge crops up in three of my books: it's important to me for its historical connections and as a crossing place. It's part of my life - I remember letting go of ballooons there as a child, and now I go to stand in the middle and be calm.

The film

Witchfinder General, directed by Michael Reeves. I saw it when I was 17, and was struck by the genuine sense of the past in this macabre film dealing with the breakdown in law and order after the English Civil War.

The artwork

Anything by the Pre-Raphaelites. I wrote Darkest Day using John William Waterhouse's The Favourites of the Emperor Honorius, 1883, as a symbol - the emperor prefers feeding his pigeons to talking to his counsellors.

Christopher Fowler's 'Soho Black' is published by Warner, paperback original at pounds 8.99