My ears have gone all 1980s. I’m diligently tapping out my book on the computer, with a set of headphones on and a stack of Jean Michel-Jarre LPs taking their turns on the platter. Right now the LP ‘Zoolook’ is there. Christ on a motorbike, this stuff screams 1980s like no other bouffant poodle permed mullet could. Get out the animal print pink lycra leg warmers and the puffer jacket over the boob tube, because we’re going to party like it’s 1989!

In around 1995/6, long before any of the books that I currently have in print were written, I was writing a book that was simply called ‘Syndicate’ (Scenes and the core ideas of this book later went on to be reused in bits of a later book entitled ‘Syndicate Dawn’ which wouldn’t appear in print until 2008). I had a tape of a compilation of various JMJ tracks that I liked. They were all moody and suggestive of dark emotions. I used to play them over and over again as I wrote and they were helpful for helping to set the scene. The tape is long gone, but my record collection now contains most of JMJ’s albums from Oxygene in the 1970s through to Chronologie in 1993.

It is strange how inspiration can turn full circle; here I am writing a book and listening to JMJ once again to set the scene and the mood.