So three shoots in one issue of Bizarre. No arguments from me…;-)
First up, time with Terry Pratchett, a living legend. We’d met once before, at the time he was doing a book signing in the old home town of Leicester and as he signed my book, I remember moaning at him about how certain other fantasy writers. Well one actually had a tendency to repeat whole chapters of one book in another. David Eddings I love you, but come on explain why the first chapter of The Diamond Throne is pretty much repeated word for word in Domes of Fire!
So we had a lot to talk about…well actually nothing in fact lest I come across as his number one fan. Despite him signing my book back in the day, before the shoot I’d not read any of his books…more into the aforementioned Eddings and Raymond E Feist.
I bought his first book The Colour of Magic. I was looking for something to give me a bit of inspiration for the shoot. So I came across the fact that Octarine is apparently the colour of magic, of course it’s not really a real colour as I found to my slight humiliation. The chap in Calumet was quite insistent that they don’t sell it as a gel. So it’s a kind of purple green colour according to some bloke on Wikipedia, even though you have to be a magician to see it…hmmm.
The shoot was at a bar in Mayfair, and Terry greeted us with a warm handshake and an offer of a cocktail. Which I would happily have accepted were I not about to shoot one of the grand old men of fantasy.
As Terry and the journalist started shooting the breeze, I couldn’t help but notice what my editor had decided to sit on.It was a black sheep, that’s not an analogy. There were real black sheep all over the bar.
I had to convince Terry to sit on one for my photo. Had to. There was no other way we were both leaving this place until he’d posed on a sheep for me. It had to happen…end of.
I’d done some picture research on the great man to see what he might be up for. That is if I asked him to do something daft would it be likely I’d get the thumb or the middle finger*and he seemed pretty game for most things so long as you don’t take all day doing it.
Me and Lauren, my assistant shifted one of the sheep into a corner of the bar and as the interview came to a natural break, I took the cocktail advantage and asked the legend if indeed he wouldn’t mind to sit on the sheep for some photos. For a second he wavered, I explained that this is Bizarre. I can’t get away with a plain shot of you sitting on the couch like another publications might settle for. He agreed and straddled the sheep.
I started to explain that I had started reading the Colour of Magic and he snorted slightly. “you’re a bit of a slow starter aren’t you” Yep can’t argue with that. The book was first published in 1983 and we were there to talk to him about Snuff published in 2011. There are another 48 books between those two, pretty incredible.
I was done within about 15 minutes, the shots in the bag with my assistant using the Octarine gel to the fullest advantage.
*Terry would never be so rude, he is the soul of courtesy
For more about Terry Pratchett, see his website
The feature is in the March issue of Bizarre magazine out now.