BLOT sat down with Garry Kilworth, author of the novelised Highlander to find out all we could about his impressive career.

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Q1. What’s one interesting fact about Highlander that people might not know?

They sent me three possible endings. They made three endings of the original film hadn’t decided on which one to use yet.

So I made my own up. 

 Q2. You’ve talked about travelling with your father a lot, did you have a favourite country?

I did love being in Aden. It was a very boyish dream with, you know, running around with no shoes on and swimming every day and stuff like that.

Q3. You’ve travelled quite a bit, what has been your favourite country to visit?

Probably Malaysia. I’ve visited 70 different countries. I’m always trying to get to new places – I love travelling. 

Q4. What has life been like since semi-retirement? 

It’s nice, not having to earn a living. But, I do get really annoyed that they (people in the industry) actually don’t take any notice of me now.

There are different people there, you see. All the editors that I knew– and I wrote for quite a few different publishers– they’ve gone, and there’s a new sort of culture in the publishing houses. If you don’t sell books, then you’re gutted.

Nobody’s really interested in an 80-year-old. They want to take somebody younger and build them up. I can see their reasoning, but it still annoys me that they don’t answer any of my letters now.

 Q5. Why the pen name Richard Argent?

I just like the word Argent – silver, and Richard is my son’s name so I just put them together.

 Q6. You have two degrees: English Literature and Business, how did that happen?

Before I left the RAF, they sent me to university and I did a business degree– that got me a job with Capable and Wireless telecommunications company and at the same time.

When I left the company eight years later, I was with a big group of writers, but I was the only one who hadn’t been to university – a business degree didn’t really count in those days.

I was going to workshops with people from Cambridge and Oxford and I felt a bit under-educated. After all, I left school at 14, so I didn’t have a really solid education. 

So I did English literature at King’s College London

Q7. What are your thoughts on the publishing industry?

I’m not bitter but I am annoyed at all the celebrities who write books as well because they know they’re going to sell copies just because of their name, not because of what they’ve written. Their books could be crap, and often are crap, but they’d still sell.

It wouldn’t hurt me so much if they wrote about what they did, you know, if a bake-off cook wrote a book about baking that’s fine, but when they start writing novels… I think what they’re doing then is taking the bread out of the young people who are writing and want to earn a living.

They don’t have another set salary like a television star has. They need to sell their books and there’s only so much shelf space. If you’ve got three or four celebrities taking up shelf space, how are the young people going to get in there?

If you liked this post then read Author tips: The smart way to use pseudonyms for books or Quickfire with: Kathleen Glasgow next. 

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Garry Kilworth

Garry Kilworth grew up with his father on remote RAF stations, which expanded his creativity and left him without much else to do but explore and read. After establishing an impressive career as a sci-fi and fantasy writer, he was approached to write the novelization of the film Highlander. His novel Rogue Officer won the Charles Whiting Award for Literature and The Ragthorn, written with Robert Holdstock, won both the British Science Fiction Award and the World Fantasy Award.