Five Pieces of Story Research That Still Haunt Me

1) Crawling along a tunnel barely bigger than a coffin more than two hundred feet beneath the ground, one person in front of me, one person behind, around one hundred feet from beginning to end – impossible to back out if you got stuck. It linked two main tunnels in a now-defunct coal mine in North West Leicestershire. The sense of the vast weight of rock and earth above my head was palpable. The claustrophobia reduced my throat to a pipe-cleaner.

2) Interviewing gangsters. Not the most psychologically stable of people, at one point they got paranoid for no visible reason and held me in the back of a locked shop at gunpoint.

3) Watching an autopsy (or Post Mortem if I want to use the Brit terminology). However much you prepare yourself, it’s still traumatic to see a once-living person reduced to component parts.

4) Interviewing a family who have undergone an exorcism and hearing tapes of same. However much of a rationalist you might be, those sounds and images will still pluck some ancient dread from the deep unconscious.

5) Travelling in excess of 240 mph in a race car. Exhilarating? Not when you haven’t got a seat belt and there’s a madman at the wheel…

0 thoughts on “Five Pieces of Story Research That Still Haunt Me”

  1. Crawling through a narrow tunnel underground is a big fear of mine. I went caving once..hated every minute of it. When you turn off all the torches it’s incredible how dark darkness can be..I know that sounds daft but you know what I mean.

    Gansters…nope not had experience of them..big burly blokes swearing and threatening me, yes, not fun.

    Autopsy..hmm I’m ok with that, but that goes with my job

    Exorcism..scary, very scary..Testimony is a very thought provoking book.

    Fast cars…not tried that fast……fast bikes…oh yes :D

  2. ‘Crawling through a narrow tunnel underground is a big fear of mine.’

    Don’t watch ‘Descent’ then!

    Only Five pieces?

    I heard about one where you set yourself on fire, Mark!

  3. Well Breakfast, I guess that factor is yet another reason why Mark’s books are a cut above most literary works. ^_^

    Scary stuff, man. I would love to see an autopsy, it has to be said. Although it would probably haunt me. Same goes with the exorcisms…

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