The PikeCast will be covering Witch next, and for reasons which will become apparent shortly, this seems as good a moment as any to tell y'all about the time your humble webmaster saw Christopher Pike on television.
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I started reading Pike in 1990, when I was 12. The first would have been either Slumber Party (in a boxed set of Point Horror titles) or Chain Letter (published here by Hodder, with a glorious Paul Davies cover--Davies was doing Stephen King's UK covers in that period as well). Here in Australia we had the UK editions of Pike's books. In those days, Hodder would publish Pike's books 6 months to a year or more after their US release by Simon & Schuster. This was pre-internet, too, so we Aussies were pretty much blissfully unaware of his upcoming titles.
Witch was published in 1990 in the US. It's a book in Pike's ouevre that not a lot of people talk about. Die Softly and Monster, the vampire books--those ones get a lot more chatter.
In 1992, when Witch was first published in Australia, we also got the American S&S editions of Die Softly, Bury Me Deep, See You Later, Whisper of Death and Chain Letter 2. There they were, all of them on the same day, suddenly appearing on Christopher Pike display stands in bookstores all over the place. I got them all on the same day that I found out I was a finalist in a national short story comp. (Ended up winning, hooray!) That was a gooood day and a great year.
Shortly after, my grandfather says to me "Do you read Christopher Pike?" and it turns out the previous night he had seen Pike on a TV show.
Pike appeared on an arts program (now long gone) called Review, on ABCTV in Australia. He was out here to promote the publication of Witch, which explains the sudden appearance of all those S&S books and the big Christopher Pike stands in all those bookstores. Luckily for me they replayed the episode later in the week. They interviewed Pike at night, at a new outdoor video game arcade near Darling Harbour in Sydney. They asked him questions as he played one of the arcade machines. Also intercut it with pieces of an interview with Robert (The Chocolate War) Cormier. The angle of the story was an examination of the YA horror trend. (Sidenote: Cormier was good friends with the American branch of my family. Lived in the same town, I have some of his books signed. Small world!)
I only clearly remember one Q&A from the interview. It was along the lines of "What kind of responsibility do you feel when writing books like this for teens?" and Pike's response, almost verbatim, was "I think my responsibility--if you want to call it that, I don't particularly like the term--is that they get their money's worth." He also spoke about how he enjoyed writing teenage characters because "they're so extreme."
Pike came across as an everyday guy, perhaps a little more thoughtful than most, and he looked just like a slightly older version of that back cover author portrait you might've seen.
I videotaped the segment... AND LOST IT years later.
The horror. The horror. I still kick myself.
Also wrote to his publisher that year, and they sent me a bunch of news clippings, a publicity release about his trip, a Witch bookmark and other items. The press release mentioned that 3 of Pike's books had been optioned for film, Bury Me Deep by Wes Craven; I think Chain Letter and Remember Me were the other two. Obviously none of those projects came to pass.
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I wish I still had the video. Or the articles. I feel like the only human on Earth who remembers seeing Christopher Pike on TV. I've brought it up on his Facebook page a couple times, and thankfully the man himself was able to confirm that I didn't hallucinate the whole thing.

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