Essex Girl made good

When I read Mo Hayder’s PIG ISLAND a little while ago it was, to be frank, scary as hell. If horror’s well and truly making a comeback then she really has to be at the forefront. But writing such books means you have to have an off-kilter way at looking at things, and it seems as if the Telegraph’s Mary Wakefield wasn’t sure what to do so this profile ends up being your typical “what’s a nice beautiful supermodel-looking woman doing writing such horrible things”:

The answer, as far as I can tell, is buried somewhere
in her childhood. Though Hayder insists she’s just an average chick –
"Basically, whisper it, I’m an Essex girl. I’m a shopper and a slapper.
I’m terrible!" – a little light sifting through her past begins to turn
up skeletons.

"My family seemed pretty perfect on
the surface – but yes, underneath, there were tensions. My mother
wanted us to have a perfect existence and was terrified of ruffling the
surface. I remember walking through New Orleans when I was about five
and seeing all these drunks and going ‘Wayhey! At last. That’s more
like it.’ But my Mum dragged us away. I remember rubber-necking a
car-crash and my mother being appalled. Of course, it only made me more

Poor Mo, didn’t you have siblings to
sympathise with? "Yes, a brother." That’s nice. She takes a breath,
"Well, we’re very, very different people." What do you mean? "Oh, OK
then. I hated him, I tried to murder him when he was born. Literally –
I pushed him down the stairs and my grandmother caught him."

Hayder then goes on to talk about her time in Tokyo and celebrity cannibal Issei Sagawa, whose story is too bizarre to be believed – and yet, it happened…