Colin and Jacqui Hawkins, with help from a Ghost writer (they say) describe a typical workinq day.
The sun has risen, and back in the crypt all things slimy and smelly have crept (after a hard night’s haunting). Now is the time for something far more terrifying. Something to make the hairs stand on end. something almost every human fears… a Monday morning!
Our day begins with a bump and the gnashing of terrible teeth. Max, our faithful hell-hound, wants his walkies. Well, at least as far as the local bakery so he can collect a sausage roll for his breakfast. This is our first decision of the day: who exorcises the hybrid-gargoyle and who makes coffee strong enough to keep a vampire awake. Rising from the grave on Mondays used to be a lot easier. This was when we had two little monsters to turf out of their dens, ready for ghoul school. But, thankfully, they’re now grown-up monsters, and have escaped to terrorise the world.
The post arrives. A couple of nasty looking bills to plague us and an invitation to visit a school. Colin especially likes these – making children hysterical is a favourite hobby of his. Or is it just the British Rail breakfast he craves? We still await an invitation from Count Dracula, however. But not today, maybe tomorrow – in the meantime the taxman makes a good enough substitute.
The hours scuttle by happily; perhaps Mondays aren’t so blood-curdling after all. Some artwork is finished and a courier is summoned. He arrives, leather-clad, and frightens the dog (or was it the other way round?), then speeds away like a bat out of hell. We return to our lair to stir up some ideas for a frightening new tale. This spell of work is shrouded in secrecy. All we are prepared to say is that these dark-doings involve the gnawing of pencils, strange mutterings and mysterious scribblings. We used to dance round the cat, but he left in a huff. Perhaps we should never have let him out of the bag…
Our dabbling continues into the afternoon. What is it that scares you most? Everyone has some kind of hidden fear. Is it mirrors in dark rooms? Or the misshapen shadows that crawl across the bedroom floor? Or perhaps the slow creak of a door, when you’re all alone in the house? It might even be the bank manager – many people, we’ve discovered, share this one. Scaring people is one thing, but making them laugh at their own fright is another. Horror can be hysterical. You can have a wail of a time.
Jacqui used to be afraid of hairy hands grabbing her from under the bed. Colin would prefer not to comment. When Jacqui was a little girl she used to take a running jump from the bedroom door to the safety of her bed in case something hidden and wicked tried to catch her ankle. Fortunately she stopped doing this a couple of years back. Now it’s only the creepy black depths of plugholes and the unearthly potential of manholes that give her a chilly thrill.
Colin used to have a recurring nightmare that a skeleton was standing at the foot of his bed wearing his dressing-gown. But these days the skeleton just gets bored and wanders off to watch the late-night horror movie. Colin also remembers his mother saying that if he looked too long in a mirror then the Devil would appear. For ages, Colin went around with uncombed hair and a dirty face.
For both of us, the `fear’ we’re trying to get into our books is the kind experienced on roller-coasters, fairgrounds and old B-movies on TV…
Evening is creeping slowly across the lawn and it’s almost time to think about brewing up for supper. Our hell-hound is growling that he’d like to be fed. We decide to let him in for the evening, as long as he promises to wipe his paws at the door.
Another day has yawned and put itself to bed. Night hurries in. . . late again. We decide that we’ve probably gnawed enough pencils and scribbled plenty for a Moanday. we wonder if anyone out there has a fear of Tuesdays. Good night, sleep tight and… don’t let the vampires bite.
Colin and Jacqui Hawkins have written many books to give littlies the creeps… here are details of a few:
Monsters, 0 00 664020 6; Witches, 0 00 662574 6; Spooks, 0 00 62576 2; Vampires, 0 00 662575 4, all available from Collins at £3.99 in paperback and as `Little Screamers’ Pop-up books.
Come for a Ride on the Ghost Train, Walker, 0 7445 2171 8, £8.99