The first thing, Heide and I had to decide was what could we possibly write that would play to both our strengths. I had recently read Heide’s novel, ‘The Million Dollar Dress’ and, whilst I loved it, it was a world away from the stuff I tended to write (body horror, ghost stories and metaphysical drivel). So we sat down and chatted about what we both liked reading and writing. Neil Gaiman was an obvious point of joint interest, as was a number of other comic fantasists. That seemed a good place to start.
When it came to thinking of ideas, probably the biggest problem was thinking of one which wasn’t ‘Good Omens 2’. Having said that, our current project (which in my head is called ‘Mr Clovenhoof’ but will have a far cooler title) is not a world away from Good Omens. We considered a number of black comedy scenarios before settling firmly on comic fantasy set in contemporary England.
We bandied about some ideas including Shaun of the Dead but with trolls, the monster-slayer department of Birmingham City Council, the labyrinth in my cellar but the one we kept getting drawn to was the idea that Satan has been fired and relocated to earth to live life as a human. We had the high concept. All we had to do was populate it with characters and events. And humour and emotion and a sense of place and its own unique style. OK, we didn’t have a lot but we had the concept.