Kirkcudbright, January 2011. My wife and I are standing in the office of John Burke, author of over 150 books best known, perhaps, for his tie-in work, including Hammer Horror Omnibus volumes 1 and 2, The Man Who Finally Died, Dad s Army, A Hard Day s Night and Dr Terror s House of Horrors. While John is in his wheelchair, struggling with a blue and white cardboard boxfile (stubbornly not accepting any help), I am looking in wonder at the very first book I edited, which contains two stories by John. Back From the Dead: The Legacy of the Pan Book of Horror Stories is sandwiched between two collections, those of M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft. It s a strange but very humbling feeling. You might be interested in seeing this, John says, placing the box on his desk. I turn around and look at what is written on the side in calligraphy pen. THE SORCERERS I open the box and pull out the screenplay Terror For Kicks, John s original name for the film. I look through it, seeing where things had changed in Michael Reeves finished film, as well as lines that I recognise. My hands are trembling. I pass the screenplay to my wife and delve deeper into the box, bringing out letters that John had written to Michael Reeves regarding the screenplay, contracts and the treatment for the film. Not only did I come up with the initial idea, I wrote the screenplay. Even the shooting screenplay that followed has my name on it, John says quietly.
August 2013 : UK Hardback