På bussen in till centrala London började jag återläsa Vålnader (originaltitel: 20th Century Ghosts), Joe Hills debutarbete, en novellsamling som jag finner lika spännande som Stephen Kings novellsamling Night Shift. Vid evenemanget senare, på Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Place, frågade jag Joe om hans böcker, och undrade vilken som var hans egen favorit. Ingen särskild, sa Joe, och förklarade att han gillar alla sina böcker, kanhända på olika sätt. Det är ett mycket bra svar från en författare. När filmregissören John Woo utfrågades om favoriter bland hans egna filmer, svarade han på ett liknande vis. Woo jämförde sina filmer med sina barn. Och man rangordnar inte sina barn, eller hur?
"Mina filmer är som mina barn. Var och en har sina styrkor och svagheter och jag älskar var och en av dem individuellt. Jag behandlar mina filmer som en konstnär och hans målning eller som en författare och hans dikt.” – John Woo
In connection with the literature festival GollanczFest 2015 in London, I got the opportunity to shake hands and converse with Joe Hill (Joseph Hillstrom King's pen name). His father changed my life, many years ago. Stephen King made me discover the joy of reading (a detail I kept to myself during the meeting in London). Joe Hill made his breakthrough as a writer before anyone knew who his father was, and his well-crafted prose speaks for itself. Hill has received numerous literary awards and honors, such as Ray Bradbury Fellowship, AE Coppard Long Fiction Prize, William Crawford, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Bram Stoker and the International Horror Guild Awards. His novels Horns, Heart-Shaped Box and NOS4A2 are New York Times bestsellers.
On my bus journey in to central London I started re-reading 20th Century Ghosts, Joe Hill’s debut work, a collection of short stories that I find as exciting as Stephen King’s Night Shift collection. At the event later, at Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Place, I asked Joe about his books, and wondered which one was his own favourite. None in particular, Joe said, and explained that he likes all his books, maybe in different ways. That is a very good answer from a writer. When the filmmaker John Woo was asked to mention his favourite among his own films, he responded in a similar way. Woo compared his films to his children. And one does not rank one’s children, right?
"My films are like my children. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses and I love each one of them individually. I treat my films like an artist and his painting or a writer and his poem."
– John Woo
Joe Hill signed the cover (photo below) of my DVD copy of Horns, a dark horror fantasy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple. The adaptation was directed by French horror-thriller specialist Alexandre Aja.