Sunday, 20 February 2011

Of Devils and Demons

As I've said before in this blog, I didn't read much as a child. But I do remember getting this book. I was on holiday. This is a 1973 edition so I would have been about 10. I remember it sitting in a holiday gift shop in one of those book stands that twirls round. I used to be fascinated by book covers even if books held little attraction. The Pan Book of Horror Stories always drew my eye. I couldn't look away from them. But wanted to!

The cover for "A book of Devils and Demons" also caught my eye. And no wonder, being drawn by Brian Froud! I didn't realise this until I picked the book up today. I've been a huge fan of Froud's illustrations and his designs on Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

The stories inside are from all over the world. The demons aren't always all-powerful, they are folklore devils, pompous, full of self-importance, wily and yet stupid too. Sometimes they are kind and put right injustices. Other times they are blustering bullies who get outsmarted time and again.

When I wrote the Demon Collector, it was these creatures I had in mind. So thank you Ruth Manning-Sanders.

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