Peter Hook on why he decided to write Hacienda and Joy Division books

From Q Magazine:

Truthfully, I never really had any ambition to be an author but I suppose I was always considered very good at telling stories because some of the stories we had were so wild that people refused to believe them. When I was doing the sleeve notes for the first Hacienda compilation in 2006, Claude Flowers who was helping me said: “You’ve got so many anecdotes you should write a book”. That got me thinking so I chatted to a few people and someone suggested a literary agent, then it all went from there.

I put it into a treatment and we got signed. Originally the publishers wanted to do it as one book on my whole life and I refused because I felt it wouldn’t do justice to any of the particular episodes. I thought I’d start out quite small with The Hacienda and then once I knew that I could do it and knew that people liked what I was doing, it was actually quite logical to move onto Joy Division.

I have to admit I wasn’t confident at the outset. You sort of live in hope, you always live in hope, I was sort of taught that what we were doing was right and I hoped that other people would agree and thankfully they appear to have. It’s an odd one really because even if the reviews had been really bad, I did my best in the way that I thought was good. There’s no accounting for taste but it does meet my tastes perfectly and I feel that I couldn’t have done either book any better if I tried because I really did work hard on it.

I find I have to do a lot of research. The trouble is that everyone has a very different opinion so you have to stay true to what you believe. It is hard to delve into the past, it becomes very draining. For the Joy Division book, I did nearly 50 hours of interviews and then we put it into a timeline and create a book so you literally are creating it from thin air.

The process is exciting but the tough bit is waiting for it to come out, to see what people think as you are a little bit conscious of it because of the nature of the subject, especially with Joy Division and you don’t want to shatter anyone’s mystique. People have these impressions with Joy Division that they were incredibly arty and mysterious so I was very worried about that. In fact, there’s actually a few myths that I would have been sorry to see the back of so I have to admit I was a little bit selective about them.

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