Bestselling novelist Graham Masterton on his horror success, garda inspiration and 'How to drive your man wild in bed'.
You have had 135 books published. Which has been the most successful?
Some of my early horror books sold very well. I wrote The Manitou in 1975. It was quite left-field, because nobody had really written about native American magic before. It sold half a million copies in six months.
When did you start writing?
When I was nine, I wrote little books - copies of Jules Verne novels - and then I wrote horror stories that scared my friends. I was expelled from school because I was more interested in girls than Shakespeare.
So what happened then?
At 17, I went to work as a newspaper reporter before becoming editor of Penthouse. I left Penthouse when I fell in love with my editorial assistant, and we later got married. I worked on a pornographic magazine in Sweden. But porn is hard work and becomes very boring.
How did you move on to books?
To begin with, I started writing 'how to' books about sex. I wrote 29 sex manuals. The most successful was How to Drive Your Man Wild in Bed. It's still banned in Ireland. I was writing the sex books, but then the bottom fell out of the market. So I concentrated on horror.
How did you end up in Ireland for five years?
It was 98.3pc down to tax and 1.7pc due to scenery. We rented a rambling Victorian house in Cork overlooking the Lee and made loads of friends.
And that inspired your crime novels about Garda Detective Katie Maguire. Is it true your stories sometimes predict real events?
It has happened a few times. I wrote one story about men who drown when they are driven down a ramp into the River Lee. Soon afterwards, two men were found in a car in exactly the same spot.
If your weren't a writer what would you be?
A stand-up comedian.