Who Sups With The Devil, by P. McCartney, was the focus of a childhood obsession for me.
Published in 1975 and priced at OZ$1.25, I found this New English Library paperback -- an original publication -- in Melbourne's 'The Bookshop of Charles Dickens', a favorite book nook of mine alongside 'Space Age Books' (on Swanston St.).
For some stupid bloody reason, I was convinced that this book was written by Paul McCartney of The Beatles. I guess I had a mind back then that invented ridiculous crap like that.
Closet horror writer Paul McCartney; behind that smile is pure evil
and a future fetish for one-legged, Gold-digging wives
The reason the book was credited to "P" McCartney and not Paul was that Paul didn't want Beatles fans (especially easily frightened girls) knowing he wrote horror. He wanted to keep that side of his life secret. So, the best way to do that was abbreviate his first name because nobody would ever figure that "P. McCartney" was, in fact, the famous Paul McCartney. Clearly the Beatle was hiding in plain sight. That's why he didn't call himself Billy Gravestone or Lionel Blood. The "P" was brilliant because it skirted so close to the truth that it couldn't possibly be true.
Further proof, I reasoned, was that the book was published in England. Now, that's where Paul lived. Back then, my comprehension of the world must have been that you could only do business in your own backyard.
McCartney's story involves black masses, Satanic rituals, scary, subterranean tunnels, and a school for girls. I always liked anything set at a school for girls because you got to imagine them changing for bed and experimenting with lesbianism. Mix Satanic rituals AND girls and you've got a winner.
I did many ludicrous things as a child, but what I did in an effort to expose Paul McCartney as the "P. McCartney" behind Who Sups With the Devil? truly established a new benchmark for my early teen nonsense. I sent a photocopy of the book's cover to the head honcho of Paul's UK record company, Apple Records, and included a letter informing him that one of his Beatles was writing horror books... and I knew it. He wasn't fooling me. I don't have the letter, but I asked the following question: "Did you know that Paul McCartney, a Beatle (it was shrewd of me to include that fact in case he needed reminding), is writing horror books for New English Library under the secret name P. McCartney?"
I waited about two years for a reply before concluding that my letter had been "too hot" to warrant a response. I had exposed Old Blighty's favorite musical son as a closet horror writer, a purveyor of Satanic fiction involving secret caves and boarding schools for girls -- no wonder they didn't want to talk to me. I could have ruined everything for them.
Now I'm older and marginally more sensible. I'm not so focused on exposing musicians as horror writers these days... although I'm a little suspicious of those horror books on my shelf by B. Bacharach. And who the hell is K. Richards? Probably not the bloke I'm thinking of. This book's about boarding schools for drunken girls... and the men who love them... nah, wrong Richards.