Philip Rickman was born in Lancashire, England, a county infamous for its seventeenth century witch trials. His interest in writing began as a child, with “mysteries, spy stories—whatever I was into at the time.” At the age of eighteen, he managed to get a job at a newspaper and began a successful career in journalism, eventually writing and producing pieces for Radio Wales and the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC’s) Radio 4. A documentary he wrote and presented, Aliens, won the Wales Current Event Affairs Reporter of the Year award in 1987. The program, about the rise in English people moving to Wales, drawn by cheap land, and their not always warm reception by Welsh natives, was the inspiration for Rickman’s first novel, Candlenight, published in 1991 after several publishers rejected it for not fitting their template of a horror novel. In an interview originally published in The New Writer, Rickman said that one publisher turned the book down because of its humorous passages: horror novels were not supposed to be funny. With the encouragement of writer and editor Alice Thomas Ellis, Rickman published Candlenight to mostly good reviews.
Crybbe, Rickman’s first novel to be released in the United States (as Curfew), was a more explicitly spooky work that took a satirical look at New Age devotees who come to a sleepy village determined to unlock its ancient magic, not understanding...
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