Author Philip Taffs, formerly a senior copy writer at agency Mojo, has released his first novel The Evil Inside.
Described as The Shining meets American Psycho, the psychological horror is set in New York and centres on an Australian protagonist who works in the advertising industry.
Published by Hachette Australia, the book follows the journey of Australian advertising creative Guy Russell who on 31 December 1999 arrives in New York along with his fragile wife and their young son. A painful tragedy has led them to swap Melbourne for Manhattan and seek a fresh start. With a new job secured at a thriving midtown agency, Guy feels that now is the time to lay his troubles to rest. Yet something won’t let him.
The inspiration for the book came from an unlikely source. Taffs said: “A psychic – who had no idea I was a writer – told me 17 years ago that I’d write and publish ‘a Stephen King-type book and go and live in America’. I did unexpectedly go to America to work and live.”
When asked why so many people from the advertising industry end up having a crack at writing books, Taffs said: “Advertising men and women on a daily basis learn to write to deadlines, suffer endless rejection, invariably get sent back to the drawing board and are often asked to reimagine things. So they have extra resilience and are far less sensitive than writers who perhaps haven’t done it as a day job before.”