The Occult Detective’s #LastWrites with…John Linwood Grant



Welcome to the thirteenth installment of LAST WRITES.

The premise is simple. My guests face their final rest, but before Death claims them they are granted a few earthly pleasures, the memories of which will travel with them into the great unknown.


Today’s guest is John Linwood Grant, who lives in Yorkshire with a pack of lurchers and a beard. He may also have a family.

He writes a range of supernatural, horror and speculative tales, some of which are actually published, and is co-editor of Occult Detective Quarterly, which as luck would have it, is currently available to those amicable to such things.

You can find John every week on his website which celebrates weird fiction and weird art,, often with his dogs.



Normally I’d go for an anchovy-laden pizza with mushrooms, extra mozarella and dark olives, probably Kalamata ones, but in this case, I’d be tempted to go for a large roast duck with crispy skin. I haven’t eaten duck for years. Sorry, duck, but we’ll go out together and you can argue the case with me elsewhere. I’ll listen, honest, and maybe next time round you can have crispy Linwood Grant. I’m a fair man, and I can get a whole orange in my beak, easy.

Oh, and a good bourbon or a crisp, citrus-finish pale ale to wash it down with. And some salt-crusted aged cheddar and a decent biscuit or two. No bland cream crackers or matzos. If I end up with one of those rubbishy water-biscuits, I’m coming back to complain.

I forgot a starter. Do I get one? Sesame prawn toast, then.


Hmm. I’d like to pick something deeply literary, which would impress everyone and demonstrate my abiding love of challenging fiction which exposes the heart of the human condition. The sort of thing real authors drop into the conversation when interviewed. I won’t though, because I rarely manage to finish that sort of thing. Still haven’t made it past page 112 of Anna Karenina, either, in almost fifty years of trying. So I’ll go for Roger Zelazny’s ‘Lord of Light’, one of the most enjoyable, creative and humane books you could meet. Hindu Gods, mysterious alien powers, a tale of centuries and why people should have access to flushing toilets. Mind you, I quite enjoyed those Gogol stories I read, don’t get me wrong…


Two ways to go here. If I want to go out happy, then the three part ‘Lord of the Rings’ but with most of the hobbit parts chopped out. Especially Frodo looking miserable and doomed all the time, scrabbling about like a minor civil servant with too many forms to fill in. And no green mist of phantoms suddenly taking the point of the struggle away on the Pelennor fields. Why not just mail the oath-bound phantoms en masse to Mordor and get it over with right away?

If I want to go out thoughtful, then possibly ‘Waterloo’, with Rod Steiger and Christopher Plummer. A horrifying film, which satisfies the boy with its militaristic moments of grandeur, and the man with its scenes of doubt, madness and futility. Nothing is more terrible than the aged, determined Blucher’s arrival for vengeance, Steiger’s face in defeat or the battlefield afterwards, as wounded horses die and the dead are picked over for their teeth and boots.

No, too depressing. My last movie would have to be the full version of ‘Red Cliff’. An utter delight, one of the best epics ever made. Within half an hour I wanted to be the strategist Zhuge Liang. Or at least look like he does in the film. Did you know that he was credited in China with the invention of the wheelbarrow? That’s real fame.


‘Dominion’ by Sisters of Mercy. Every bit of swirling Goth threat and promise that you need in a song. I like to feel a touch defiant now and then, and with ‘Dominion’ in my ears, I’d have my sleeves rolled up for anything the after-life had to offer.


This one was taken by someone else, but I don’t care. All my dogs, but especially Twiglet, the best and most obstinate dog you could ever have. We’d also need a pint mug of tea to share, because that was what we did. And some cheese. Maybe Wensleydale this time, though.


You can find out more about John from his official website, Amazon Author Page, twitter, and facebook.

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