Revelations : "There seems to be a lot that we're picking up and letting people know about - you're all over the place suddenly again!"
Clive : "It's funny, isn't it? You know, nothing, nothing, nothing, everything! There's lots of things going on - lots of good things, actually."
Revelations : Is there anything you particularly want to let people know about?"
Clive : "Why don't you go first from what you know and let's just fill everybody in on everything."
Revelations : "Well, why don't we go to the thing we keep getting asked, which is if you're off doing all of this other stuff, how is Abarat Three's timetable coming on?"
Clive : "Well, right in front of me is the type-written text of Abarat Three which I am doing the final polish on and which will then go to Chris to insert the final polish into the draft, at which point it goes to HarperCollins."
Revelations : "So let's just get that clear, you've done draft, draft, final draft and you're doing the polish of the typescript."
Clive : "Exactly right, which is exactly what I always do - it's actually draft, draft, draft, I do three drafts, then this, then you want the numbers for entertainment's sake, I've got the pile to hand - it's actually 2,195 hand-written pages - now you know the way I write those handwritten pages with the text way open, so there's not a lot of words on a page. I mean, because I always want to make my own notes on these things."
Revelations : "More importantly, how happy are you?"
Clive : "Very. Very, very, very. With life, with the book - if you're asking specifically about the book, I'm fucking ecstatic!"
Revelations : "Excellent! That's the new title for it, presumably?!"
Clive : "Yeah! I do have the title for number four, which nobody knows. So, I don't know if you want to let that out? You know, the thing is, titles change all the time, titles change and change and change and eventually you get to one which seems like the final one and then, you know, it changes again! But I think this is the final one, just because everyone's response to it has been so positive. What tends to happen is the other titles then become part-titles - that classically happens. What did you last have?"
Revelations : "You gave us 'The Eternal' a while ago for Book Four, but that was way back when you were just doing four books so we guessed that title would shuffle back and become the fifth and final one./p> "
Clive : "Yeah, I'm thinking 'The Eternal' is either going to be a part-title or the title of Five, but I'm not really sure. Then, this is definitely going to end up being a part-title, 'All Things, Out Of Time'."
Revelations : "And then the one we talked about last week..."
Clive : "Ah, that wasn't so much a title as a reference, a location...shall we take the next 3 or 4 minutes of the conversation off the record?"Which we did - although we ended up spending half an hour at that location from Book Five, talking about what happens there and why...
Revelations : "We've talked about that aspect before but we've always kept all of that off the record so I don't think anyone is expecting any of this to head in that direction at any stage."
Clive : "No - I think it's wonderful in a way that we've got this. I mean, I think it'll be kinda wonderful when everyone realises we've been talking about it for years!"
Revelations : "What we do when we have these conversations is, we take the parts that are off the record and we type them up and keep them in a corner so we can go back at the end and say, right, here's the retrospective of everything that we talked about in the process."
Clive : "I think that's fucking awesome actually. And presumably we have dates attached to them? That's very exciting because, it really excites me just in terms of what we have, what you have, in terms of things to pull out when Book Five comes along. I mean, when Book Five comes along to be able to put online this incredibly comprehensive 'making-of feature.' It's going to be another four years before the book comes along and is finished. That's very exciting, we're going to have something like a decade of conversations, you know? And I think that's one of a kind, I think that's awesome, I really do."
Revelations : "We'll be able to track from a combination of things - when you look back over some of the things that we have put online; conversations and interviews where you were happy to talk about things right at the beginning of Abarat when you were writing Book One, even there, among the things you are following through on there are also paths you've decided not to follow because the story's mutated. Those are interesting too, although these separate conversations are great... You were mentioning the fascination you see on the faces of some people when they watch you adding depth - shadow and light - to your paintings?"
Clive : "What I've come to understand about most people (that sounds like a huge generality) but it's my experience, when you say 'most people', most people that I meet, obviously, but people who come into my studio, they're a very select group and they're a very smart group - and yet they have no sense of shadow and light."
Revelations : "Hmmm..."
Clive : "I know, I did the same thing, Phil."
Revelations : "I wonder whether you use a metaphor there because what we're really talking about is light and shade in how people view the world as well."
Clive : "We are - I wasn't thinking that way at all, actually."
Revelations : "A lot of people deal in black and white and don't deal in the ambiguity and just wandering down the steps into your studio introduces ambiguity."
Clive : "Yes - that's very smart, Phil."
Revelations : "People aren't always curious and if you don't have that natural curiosity, if you take things at face value, you don't see the subtleties."
Clive : "But that's where I'm puzzled because if you take things at face value, the first - this is where I get confused because I would have thought that the thing we'd first understand about the world, as a viewer, as a spectator, and somebody who even looks at their own hand sees that it is formed of dark parts and light parts and its solidity comes of that interplay of light and dark which is exactly why the metaphor for Abarat of night and day, light and dark is for me the richest, profoundest metaphor available to us as a species. Because, you know, what is more fundamental than night and day?"
Revelations : "Yeah, until you get to Pixler's island."
Clive : "And then you're fucked up - yeah, yeah! That's absolutely my point, yeah, and you know there are going to be stakes, you know, the eight pages of the Abarataraba which is the definitive book of Abaratian magic, but it's also the book of tarot cards, in other words it's a general term in a way that refers to all Abaratian magic. There are eight pages of this thing, this, I suppose you'd call it a Bible - you know, the Abaratian book of being... Just in passing, I forgot to tell you the title of Book Four! The title of Book Four is The Dynasty of Dreamers."
Revelations : "Ah, a nod to the Company of Dreamers... Just so I've got you right, are we still on Absolute Midnight for the third book?"
Clive : "Yep."
Revelations : "And the fourth, The Dynasty of Dreamers - and the title Dynasty always makes me think of shoulder pads, so the fifth book will now be called Dallas, right?"
Clive : "Yes, that's right - I was thinking it might actually be Love Boat..!"
Revelations : "Excellent! So, we were in light and shade and then we went to the Abarataraba, so is that eight pages in the story or eight pages of something you've written?"
Clive : "It's actually eight pages of something I've painted - I've only done six of them so far..."At which point - apologies! - we dived off for another twenty minutes on the contents of the Abarataraba and its place in the unfolding narrative...
Clive : "...because this is all part of the religious writing, yes?"
Revelations : "I'm delighted to say, this will be the shortest published interview ever!"
"Oh, shit! Maybe we should stop now - I just wanted to say that I think this will come as a huge shock to the reader in Book Five.
"Book of Blood is being screened this week in LA for the first time and I've had wonderful responses from studios that have seen it. I guess now we have to wait to see who's going to end up with it and I hope it's not a big studio, I hope it's someone small. But that's where that is.
"I had delivered to me at midnight last night the dailies for the first week of Dread - I guess there was some screw-up in the way they were transferred and though I had them the day after, they had to send them back and order new ones and so now I have them all and this phone call precedes my going to look at them. So there's five days' shooting there which is great.
"There's so much going on here - it's all good, it's just there's lots on. We are going back into business on some incredibly exciting projects which obviously when I can talk, I'll talk first to you about. With Todd McFarlane, he is going to be doing (and this is something we can talk about), he is going to be doing large resin forms, versions of the first series of Tortured Souls, which is very exciting."
Revelations : "We get a lot of people writing to us about Lucidique still..."
Clive : "Oh, yes, I get a lot of very strange mail about Lucidique! Very strange mail - I'm really glad many of those writers are behind bars! That's why the screenplay - which I think has great life in it - is about Lucidique, is about exchanging a human wife for Lucidique. Not something to be done lightly..."
Revelations (Phil) : "I was just obsessing on that for a moment..."
Clive : "On the exchange [for Sarah]? Oh, that's cruel! It would be very cool to do a male demon... hmm... I'm actually writing that down right now, I think I'm going to do that for you, Sarah."
Revelations (Sarah) : "Thank you, Clive!"
Clive : "I think it's time Sarah had - "
Revelations (Phil) : "Choose your words carefully..."
Clive : " - a male demon all of her own. I don't think that violates anything sacred to your marriage?"
Revelations (Sarah) : "I don't think so."
Clive : He may have two dicks, but then again, I don't think that violates anything sacred to your anatomy, Phil?"
Revelations (Sarah) : "You haven't seen... "
Clive : "Yeah, well I was waiting for you to say that and you did! I was waiting for you to say come on, he has a gorgeous dick - Lord, this conversation has been some places!"
Revelations : "Enough..!"We broke there to allow Clive to go off and look at the Dread dailies and reconvened the following day...
Clive : "So, what shall we talk of?"
Revelations : "We should pick up on the fact that you're going out to do a couple of Midnight Meat Train appearances, plus it's showing on Fearnet."
Clive : "That's right. A lot of people seem to be watching because I've had a lot of mail on it and I did some interview stuff for Fearnet - it was very pleasurable, I mean they were very informed and enthusiastic, it was a real pleasure to do."
Revelations : "And Bert Green's selected some more pieces which will be going off to Chicago to accompany the screening there."
Clive : "Yes, for the one-day exhibition. I said I would go to give a little feature at the cinema and, well we could probably do an exhibition at the same time... Just one day."
Revelations : "And the last one with Aron Packer was so successful there."
"Yeah, so successful and it was a nice thing where we were deliberately doing really, frankly, very cheap and very nice drawings. I think he's made nice choices for a couple of hundred bucks here and there and I like that - for people who are perhaps starting a collection or people who have a painting but want a drawing and don't have too much money right now in these difficult times, maybe this is the time to get a drawing. It seemed like a smart idea.
"And then I'm looking at the dailies from Dread and I'm excited as Hell! They're really very wonderful. Mr Diblasi has fallen into this new job of his - he's like, you know... "
Revelations : "A fish in water?"
Clive : "Perfect. So the first five days are extraordinary and it's just amazing that these are the first five days that this man is directing a real movie, a full movie and he's just taken to it like a duck to water."
Revelations : "That's great - and he's expanded the cast with Abby in it as well."
Clive : "Yes, he's expanded the cast and I think he's even darkened the tone, to be honest. I think dark as the story was, it's darker now, I think the movie will be darker than the story. That may in some part be because you're not inside the heads of these characters in quite the same way - do you know what I mean? You know, you're watching them from the outside and, God!, there's so much cruelty in that story, and madness and breakdown and it really is quite a thing."
Revelations : "And you bring your own fears to it and play that through it."
Clive : "I think that's right: everybody watching the movie will say, 'What would I do if I was, you know, what would Quaid find in me? And would I survive?'"
Revelations : "You're not going to be able to avoid the lazy comparison with Saw. How do you plan to approach that?"
Clive : "Well, I think it's a completely different thesis. Firstly, of course, we came twenty years earlier! I just have to say that for the record! But yes, you're absolutely right. Saw's thesis is a very different one, however. Firstly, it's a revenge thesis. Secondly, Quaid is essentially researching fear, he's researching the nature of dread and Jigsaw in Saw is not interested in that, he's interested in watching people break down. He's interested in watching the test - testing their ingenuity, if you will, when there's a bomb attached to their testicles. And that's a very different idea. I'd be surprised if the writers of Saw hadn't read Dread, but who am I to know..? And the tone - I'll give you an example. One of the memorable things for many people in Dread is the meat, you know the girl who will not eat meat being left with a piece of meat which is slowly decaying and becomes more repulsive. As the days go by and as she becomes more desperate you know her chance of being nourished by it becomes more disgusting - that isn't the stuff of Saw. I don't know what Saw would do in place of that - probably something like put a bomb in the food or something. But this is much more about that, I'd like to think that Dread is an elegant movie about terror and in times it will be brutal and, of course, it's rooted in things that are very close to me: I went deaf for a period in my life and I know what that terror's like and I am disgusted by certain kinds of meat, to the point where I'd actually throw up at the sight of it."
Revelations : "Oh right?"
Clive : "If someone brings mutton within smelling distance of me - or lamb - I have to leave very quickly!"
Revelations : "We've talked before about the deafness. I'm not sure we knew about the meat thing - is that rooted in childhood?"
Clive : "Yes. It was rooted in scouse. You're familiar with the fact that Liverpudlians are called Scousers. And you know why they're called Scousers? There is a local 'delicacy' called scouse. Its origination, Anthony Burgess told me once, is lobscouse, which is something Scandinavian but it comes to us as scouse. Blind scouse has no meat in it, it's the ultimate poverty food, but the scouse that my mother was able to make for us - it is poverty food - had scrag leg of mutton in it, grey, fatty meat, with carrots... "
Revelations : "With whatever you had to hand..?"
"Yeah, what we had was very little, really, I mean I can taste it, even as I'm talking to you now I can taste it, and I can see the little pools of yellow fat that formed on the top of it and I know, I can watch my brother loading his plate or having Mum ladle his plate down with second and third helpings and the smell of it... My Mum is a superb cook, don't get me wrong, she really is a superb cook and she, I'm sure, was doing her best with what she had which was damn little. And God bless her, you know? But I couldn't do it. On those days I went hungry. Have I never told you that?
"Smell, more than anything, smell has the Proustian power more than any other sense. The figures are astonishing - I don't have them to hand - but in terms of how the synaptic gaps respond to smell is extraordinary. And, by the way, is totally at the heart of Weaveworld because if I think about a book like Weaveworld, if I think about Abarat, actually, it's filled with moments of epiphany; memories of moments of epiphany in which I have been woken up to a glorious or painful - mostly glorious - memory by a smell. And the most frustrating thing, and I'm sure both of you have had this experience, you get the smell but you don't remember what it fucking is - right? I'm usually good with it but just on the very few occasions when it fails it is immensely frustrating because everything in your body is sort of primed, I think, to recognise the sense of this."
Revelations : "And smells are often totally personal, it's not like a word so you can't go to someone else and say, 'What do you get from this?' or 'what does it mean?'"
Clive : "And very often the most painful of these experiences are scents which come and go so quickly, you know, something the wind brings and takes away in a moment. There is night-blooming jasmine around our house and when the warm winds come off the desert - actually this is the beginning of Coldheart Canyon but it's true, it's absolutely my experience of the warm desert wind carrying the smell of the night-blooming jasmine - that is to me the joy of living in this house embodied in a smell. You know, when I go out onto the backyard and that smell is there, everything that is the move that brought me here is embodied in that lovely smell."
Revelations : "I get the same when I walk past Midnight on the way out of the house - the smell of the oil paint takes me into the gallery house. And for the boys, too, they say, 'That smells of Clive's house.'"
Clive : "That is so nice, so nice. "We haven't talked about the Roy Robbins edition of Maximillian Bacchus - have you seen any of the Richard Kirk illustrations? You know there's just endless stuff [in them]... and I love that profligacy - it's glorious and obsessive and you know, I'm the first one to raise my hand when it comes to obsessions, obsession isn't something unhealthy."
Revelations : "And your own style for Bacchus had something of the same when you did drawings at the time of the text."
Clive : "Right, and I think the one of Jozabiah Bentham and his Theatre of Tears is actually in many ways incredibly close to this style. When I discovered Sumi brush my life changed because I had no interest thereafter in crafting a work as generous and as profligate as the work which Richard's drawn. I began to be interested in how I could get a single line to express as many things as possible. The 26 images for A to Z of Horror and the stuff I'll be doing for your book (don't worry, I haven't forgotten!), you know, those stand at the other end of a spectrum."
Revelations : "And I think they show emotion."
Clive : "OK, that's interesting. What you're responding to, I think, is when a line changes thickness it speaks of emotion - right? If you watch somebody writing their signature, for instance, right? You know the place where, particularly if they're writing with a really good fountain pen or nib - "
Revelations : "And you see the sweep and the motion of it - "
Clive : "Exactly, and gives you a thickness when you need it and a lightness where you don't - my father's signature, which was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen and absolutely identical on every object he ever did it, a glorious thing, was full of fine sweeps and then thick undertows: it was a work of art, it was glorious. It's silly, describing my father's signature in this context, but what's interesting to me is this issue of thickness of line..."
Revelations : "To put your mind at rest, I don't think it's wrong to compare signatures to this stuff at all."
Clive : "OK."
Revelations : "When I was ten or eleven we used to have a bookfair that came down to Exeter where I lived and I was on the organising committee, as a mere eleven year-old! And we'd get to meet all the authors and I can still remember there was a magician who wrote books - a guy called Peter Eldin - who, his signature took longer than any other person I've ever met in my life and was beautifully and finely crafted and the way he did the 'P' of his Peter is the way I now do the 'P' of Phil in my signature because I was so impressed with the sweep of it."
Clive : "Have you ever shared that with the folks online?"
Revelations : "No."
Clive : "I urge you to do that because, certainly because it's a very moving story and, secondly, it says something very powerful about the influence of excellence upon young minds. You wouldn't happen to have a copy of his signature?"
Revelations : "Of course I do! I have my autograph book from my earliest years! It's on the same page, I believe, as Laurie Lee and David McKee who drew Mr Benn."
Clive : "Oh Lord! I think that is a glorious story - I think in so many ways that's a glorious story and I think the fact that you have your signature and his signature... You know the most elaborate signature I can think of is Elizabeth R., you know, the first Elizabeth and, I don't know, do we know if she actually did them? I've always assumed that she did. They are works of art, aren't they? I mean, I have no idea if there were the same number of loops under each one, do you?"
Revelations : "And I don't know what the style of the time was either and how much that would have dictated - "
Clive : "I do know that is the most elaborate signature I've ever seen of that time."
Revelations : "As the monarch, she probably killed anyone who had a better one!"
Clive : "Well, that's probably true - yeah, yeah - that was probably her bitch with Mary, Phil."
Revelations : "Yeah, forget the religion..."
Clive : "Yeah exactly, that's a fantastic signature, get her head off right now!"
Revelations : "Although you were using the Rötring pens and a very detailed style for those Bacchus drawings, there's also a portrait of Bacchus which is in a very different style and looks very, very much like King Claus... What's the dating on that one?"
Clive : "It's actually consistent with Bacchus, that is to say it's sort of, maybe two or three years later - it's probably when I'm twenty-five, but - and I think you went for twenty-two for Bacchus?"
Revelations : "Yes, the winter of the year you left university based on the material we've been working through."
Clive : "Yeah, even though I have notes, I know, which go back much earlier and - "
Revelations : "Why have we not seen those notes yet, Mr Barker?!"
Clive : "Well, because they're attached to other pieces... It's very interesting: when you do eventually get all this stuff, you see there are bits and pieces, there are pages... I've actually just found some that contain names that appear in Weaveworld, names that appear in Imajica and some names that have not yet appeared anywhere, so therefore stay in the collection. I have this big box with the word 'Names' on it and, actually, I have two of them! Let's just have a dig through and see if I can give you an example... And the reason I have it out is because I have to do the short form name collection for Abarat Three otherwise I'll just go crazy and yeah, you see I've got stuff here that, names that - the newspapers are completely yellowed. Let's just see what we've got here. I've got things here - this is very fun - I've got something here which is actually in Doug Bradley's handwriting because we were trying to name Erasmus Sugarman from Dog and: Mr Sweetman, Mr Bonhomé, Mr Callet, Mr Gribbon, (this is all very - ) Mr Hisbut, Mr Conroy, Mr Sugar (now we get closer), Mr Canderman (OK, so we can hear...), Mr Chanderman (very close to one another), Mr Headland, Mr Peace, Mr Lament, Mr Ladyman, Mr Cakebread, Mr Sales, Mr Funt, Mr Thistlewaite, Mr Prudhoe (and, finally): Mr Sugarman!"
Revelations : "And Prudhoe of course crops up later... and that's playing around with names to try to find something but, if you've got newspapers in there too, you're also mining real names and combining things? Didn't you find Domingo D'Ybarrondo on a gravestone?"
Clive : "Yes. Domingo D'Ybarrondo is, firstly, one of the most beautiful names I've ever heard, and it is written on a gravestone with no information whatsoever. I actually went into the church to try and find just something but the people in the church knew nothing. This is in Liverpool and, when Doug and Lynne first moved into an apartment together down in Aigburth, almost opposite their road was this church and I can't remember the name of the church right now but it has quite an old, probably edging into the 18th century graveyard and I've always loved graveyards as you know and this one - not really well-kept, not terrible, but not really well-kept - and I wandered around and I came to, and many times I will take a notebook and I will take names from headstones. You find so many extraordinary names and very often wonderful combinations of names - I'm always amazed what people will call people, people will be very alliterative in their names for children and very, you know, Peter Peace, it's extraordinary to me, it seems positively malicious, but they do it. And Domingo also appears in Cabal... "
Revelations : "Right, at the very beginning, that little quote at the beginning. And it looks like it obsessed you for a while because in the notes we've been working through from those days, you were constructing an entire storyline around the character."
Clive : "Absolutely right."
Revelations : "And around the same time as The Fish God as well."
Clive : "Right. And the Fish God got waylaid because the Fish God got stolen, the actual object itself. It was actually something I inherited from my grandmother. It belonged to my grandmother and sat, all the time that I knew her, bang in the middle of her mantelpiece, you know, where she warmed her Guinness and there sat this, I'm sure it was very common, statuary. I'm sure I could find something very close to it, but it was about five or six inches high, it was this obese, white, bald Chinese man sitting cross-legged with an immense red fish, an immense red fish, it was almost as big as he was, across his lap and I've told you about the difference between dockwork that was made for sailors, yes? In the collecting, in looking at the objects that were in my grandmother's house, my father discovered that my grandfather bringing most of the stuff back from China or Indonesia or the Far East was buying essentially pieces that were made for sailors. It was totally indigenous, but just of an inferior quality."
Revelations : "Like buying tourist stuff?"
Clive : "It's exactly like that and so it was called dockland quality or something, I think that's the phrase, I don't think I've got that wrong but I'm sure the Fish God fell into the same category. Certainly the two vases - I have one, Roy has the other - though I cherish it, I'm sure it falls into the same category! It doesn't matter. You know, it's wonderful! And in a sort of weird way, rather more marvellous that this thing which has very little monetary value totally enchanted me. I'm talking about both the Fish God and the vase. The vase, I'm surprised I've never shown you this vase, have I? I need to show it to you - would you remind me next time you're here? I took the gold finish one, Roy took the one which has a beautiful ceramic blue on it and it has these sort of piped figures, sort of 3D, but only just. When I say 'piped' I mean it's sort of, well I'll show it to you... It's just that I looked at that object over and over and over again. It has a seascape behind it, the figures on a seascape behind them, that seascape is the origin of the Izabella."
Revelations : "Wow, you see that's why we like digging back through those old papers - it all flows through, it all comes back."
Clive : "You're absolutely right. Well, it doesn't all come back, Sarah, I wish it did. What happens is, it comes back in pieces and you guys are glorious enough to put the pieces together! It does come back but I wish it could come back in a more simple way for everybody's sake - truly! It is a massive jigsaw though, and I know huge, huge, huge parts of it we are yet to find because I've yet to lock my head on them. I mean there are... I'm looking at my notes for Galilee 2 and I'm looking at my notes for Art 3, you know. I'm moving towards the end of the Abarat series and I'm looking forward to, literally looking forward in both senses to, you know, finishing the trilogy and finishing the second of the Galilee books and what I find, I didn't realise, I don't realise, because this is a repeated thing, until I come to these things just how much there is. You know in the case of The Art, you know those big folders I have, the sort of grey ones, well what are they, about four inches, five inches thick? There are four of those filled with notes on The Art. I'm sure you're not surprised to hear that."
Revelations : "Well, we've seen how many notes you put together for something like the first book of the Abarat or the second book of the Abarat and each of them with the idea together with a nice cover page to say what it's for, so we know your place is littered with those kinds of things. The encouraging thing is that these are in some sort of logical order so that you can go to a file... "
Clive : "They are. I mean not within the file, once you're in the file it's fucking chaos, but yes, they are in the right box, you're absolutely right. I put together the poems for Abarat Three, I put together the ones I am going to choose from, maybe twenty-five or thirty poems from which I'll end up choosing, you know, six or seven, I guess."
Revelations : "And so do you then take notes that haven't found their way into a book and just shove them across into a different box? Because some things do translate and things do move - do you physically say, 'That note hasn't worked here but it might just work for Galilee...'?"
Clive : "Absolutely right, yeah. But it's actually not something that my mind is set up to do because most of the time I'm deliberately willing myself not to think beyond the fenced limits of a certain project because if you open the gate, as it were - I'm thinking of my Uncle Hugh and his cows for some reason - if you open the gate the cows get out and you're fucked! Hmm... But it's more like letting stuff in - once you open the gate and let stuff in from another place, God Almighty! Where do you stop?! You know? And this is one place where I do really have faith in my instinct - I have to believe that I have, roughly speaking, elected to put the right things with the right things and if I didn't believe that I think I would just go insane."
Revelations : "Most of your notes are headed up with the title for the project you think it's for, so at least you've got where you think the initial inspiration is coming from as to why you think those things went together."
Clive : "And often I'll put a date even on it so, because it's so easy to just get, you know, when I'm... I mean I've never stopped juggling Art III, never, and I've never stopped juggling Galilee - and we have a superb cover for Galilee, part of the US re-releases and there's a cover of Thief of Always as well, with all the illustrations back in."
Revelations : "We've seen that one, but we were kind of confused that Thief of Always was being pitched with a tagline at the bottom which said 'author of the Hellbound Heart and Mister B. Gone...'"
"I think they're rightly feeling that this has an adult life, and there'll be a separate children's edition of it. Consistent with that in style is
Galilee - I gave them the series of pictures of a model of mine, Dennis Johnson, who's an extraordinary man and who I've been photographing for a while, and they chose an awesome photograph of him. You know, finally we have a black man on Galilee!
"Last thing for today, hey? Because this is kinda fun, I think. The man who organises all my images for me brought a friend of his round on Friday who made a proposal which I think is wonderful. He's just done a box of Alex Grey's images - they're called artboxes - and you know who Alex Grey is, yes? You'd certainly know his paintings, they're paintings of sort of metaphysical anatomy. Bodies from which light is pouring. He's done a box of these and they've been very successful and you know there's an image of Alex's on the cover and text on the back and he's invited me to do the same with my photographs, with my paintings. "So I think we'll do some Abarat characters in a box with their life-stories on the back and hopefully a chance to put a lot more that I don't get in the book on the back. The cards are about, I want to say five by three and a half inches? Much larger than a playing card and larger even than the largest of Tarot cards - really, really, really beautifully reproduced - so, that's very exciting and that's something we will be doing very soon because he wants to do them by the turn of the year. And you know, I'm going to drop into the twenty-three a couple of characters who appear for the first time in Book Three - and who have significant lives hereafter..."