A HAWORTH-BASED writer and photographer will release two new works featuring controversial illustrations supplied by a serial killer.

Paul Hartnett, who publishes his creations under the name PP Hartnett, will release Full Screen and Ferris Wheel Kiss in August. Both works include visuals made by imprisoned murderer Dennis Nilsen.

Mr Hartnett said: “These aren’t shock horror tactics. There is a lot of substance to this, and a lot of craft has gone into it.”

Nilsen was convicted of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder, all of which were carried out in London between 1978 and 1983. He is believed to have killed a minimum of 12 young men and boys and is now serving a life sentence.

Mr Hartnett, 56, engaged in a ten-year correspondence with Nilsen between 1993 and 2003, during which time the killer asked him if he would edit his autobiography.

Although this project was not completed, Mr Hartnett, who lives in the Brow area of Haworth, said Nilsen gifted him with artworks, poetry and cassette tapes of music.

Nilsen’s felt-tip sketch of a 'beast' illustrates Full Screen, a collection of short written pieces Mr Hartnett has described as “thought grenades”.

Ferris Wheel Kiss, an LP featuring a collection of spoken word pieces in which Mr Hartnett adopts the mindset of a range of “sex monsters”, includes a print of Nilsen’s own lips that forms part of a painting sent to Mr Hartnett by Nilsen.

Mr Hartnett is himself a survivor of attempted sexual molestation by Catholic priests at his school, and has written extensively about the profoundly traumatic impact of all kinds of abusive behaviour.

“I’m trying to shine a light into areas that are usually kept dark,” he said.

“We spend so much time away with the fairies with Hollywood rubbish, so I try to produce something raw and real with my fiction and photographs.

“As a writer and artist, my job is to make people think and feel, and what I write about is desire, distress and disturbance."

“We live in an age where we can see a pixelated image of a beheaded soldier in a newspaper or hear in court cases about all sorts of abuse people have been through – yet these things are often stripped of all emotion.

Mr Hartnett added: “I first contacted Nilsen because I was working on my first novel, Call Me, and I wanted his viewpoint on the manuscript.

“His views were extremely useful. I thought there was nothing wrong in seeking his opinion – unusual and unexpected but not sick or evil.”

As reported in last week’s Keighley News, Mr Hartnett is about to publish an e-book about the experiences of survivors of sexual abuse. Deletion is due out on March 30.