Interviews 2002 (Part Two)


By [HarperCollins staff], Clive Barker microsite, Fire and, September 2002 (note - available online at

"I used my own house as the model for Todd's place (or rather Katya's place) in Coldheart Canyon because it made the book more personal. My house is old (at least by Hollywood standards) and has a number of interesting stories attached to it. Tales of orgies and drug parties and ghosts. I suppose it was my way of making peace with my house; paying respect to it...
"Is there life after LA? Of course. And one day I'll live it. But for now my house in the Hills allows me easy access to the studios when I'm making a picture (as I am now) and a readily accessed bolt-hole for when the town gets too maddening. Certainly I can see a time when I'll retire from movies completely, and concentrate on painting, writing, photography and poetry. Oh, and raising dogs, rats and parrots."

Once Upon A World...

By Amy Cox Williams, Children's Advance, October 2002

"I have always loved books that take you to other worlds, and not just books: paintings, plays and movies. I like travelling into someone's else's imagination. And I like being able to give that gift to other people, to give worlds is fun to be able to do. I've done it in novels like Weaveworld and Imajica, and I've done it a lot in my paintings. One of my heroes is an English composer by the name of Sir Michael Tippett and he said listening to one of his operas should be like breathing the air of another planet. And I think that's what I wanted to do, I wanted people to be able to breathe the air of my world.
"With Abarat, the trick was to create something that hadn't been created before. A world that didn't look like anyone else's world, but that had its roots in all the other great world creators who inspired me: C.S.Lewis who wrote the Narnia books, Frank Baum who wrote the Oz books and Lewis Carroll who wrote the Alice books. These creators gave me access to worlds that I could not otherwise visit."


By [ ], Barnes and, Fall 2002 (Note: available online at

"What happened was this world started to seep out of my imagination in the form of paintings; about six years ago I started to paint canvases that were utterly unlike anything I had done before. And I began to realize that my world was escaping through my fingertips onto the canvas. Now we put all these points together, and what we end up with is a lot of paintings, which described a world, which I began to realize was the world I'd been planning all along. I thought, Ya know, I'm gonna make this world an archipelago, and each island will be a different hour and it will have the intensity of - it's three o'clock in the afternoon in California right now, and it could not be any other hour. If I were to lead you out, having woken from sleep, and lead you out into the afternoon right now and say, 'What hour is it?' you would get it right within 45 minutes, I'd bet. Because we all know how time feels and we associate with certain times of the day feelings - romantic feelings, scary feelings, feelings of hunger, feelings of expectation.
"The curtain for theater really should rise at eight o' clock, it shouldn't rise at ten, shouldn't rise at six. I'm always disappointed by matinees. I don't want to go to matinees because theater is an evening experience. Some of this is obviously expectation, but some of it also has to do with how our minds work, and if we're going to be in the fantasticated world of a theatrical production we want to do it when we're moving towards sleep. It's not something we want to do at nine a.m. In other words, there are lots and lots of things that happen in our day that are about our bodies, our minds, our culture - that are intricately tied to the process of the hours - and I thought it would be a wonderful structure for a world."

Out, October 2002

Clive Barker

By Michael Musto, Out, October 2002

"I sometimes feel like a stranger in a strange land, absolutely. I visit places in my own head and they seem normal compared to the way the world behaves. It's weird, reaching 50 and looking at the world and thinking people are strange. People's need for validation makes them do such weird things."

Spin, October 2002

A Child's Garden Of Hearses

By Paul Semel, Spin, October 2002.

"I think I've pushed the envelope, I'm astonished at how much intensity I could actually get away with...
"There's a level of strangeness and surrealism in my creations; it's not about trolls and three-headed dogs."

Saint Sinner Sees Splatter?

Fangoria, No. 217, October 2002 By Dayna Van Buskirk, Fangoria, No. 217, October 2002

"[Saint Sinner]'s a damnation and redemption story. It's about a man who is travelling through time to undo a terrible error he made. This being a Clive Barker show, the error involves demons. We've got two female creatures who are the evil in this, and we've got this guy going after them because he needs to redeem himself from this terrible mistake he made, which was releasing these things...
"It seemed like a very manageable piece of work. Manageable, I mean, in terms of its budget and its creative demands. It seemed as though it was something we could do with relatively modest finances, and obviously that influences whether you get a thing made or not. We were keen to get something on television this year; this was a nice, workably sized project and it played out well."

Abarat US press kit

The Books Of Abarat

HarperCollins (US), (i) Abarat US press kit (ii) excerpted at The Books Of, Fall 2002 (Note: available online at (iii) Demoriam's Lost Souls e-zine, November 2002

"Now, more than ever, readers need another world to visit, the comfort of a place where it's easy to see the difference between good and bad, where love still conquers, and death is not the end of things. Abarat is a place of endless possibilities... a world that readers will dream about and reinvent in their own imaginations."

Canada AM

Canada AM

Transcript of an appearance on the Canada AM TV show with Seamus O'Regan, CTV, 2 October 2002 (Note: available online at

"I'm a 50-year-old guy who's got great memories of my own childhood and I feel it's a great time to be feeding those memories into my own kind Entertainment Weekly, 3 October 2002 of fiction."

Stroke Of Genius?

By Jeff Jensen, Entertainment Weekly, 3 October 2002 (Note: available online at

"The fact that I've been in this place [Abarat] for so long has made me more... shy. If you would have asked anyone to give you two words about Clive Barker when he was a kid, they would have said nervous and shy. With Abarat, I like to think I've come full circle."

Art Of Darkness

By Gina McIntyre, The Hollywood Reporter, 4-6 October 2002 (Note: available online at as Clive Barker, Author)

"I think if you look at the kinds of creators I really like... let's look at, say, Stanley Kubrick's career. Stanley Kubrick produced thrillers, science fiction movies, a horror movie, anti-war propaganda The Hollywood Reporter, 4-6 October 2002 movies (and) an erotic thriller toward the end of his life; in other words, Kubrick's career was moving from one genre to another. It's the same with [Steven] Spielberg; Spielberg's career contains 'Schindler's List' and 'E.T.'. I don't believe that any artist in any medium should get up in the morning and worry about whether the work they're doing today is consistent with the work they were doing yesterday; what's important is, is the work consistent with the imagination - is it truthful? Are you doing it for the right reasons? I don't worry too much that Tortured Souls doesn't look like Abarat, and Abarat doesn't look like Tortured Souls; they all come out of my imagination, and I think most people have dark and light places in their imaginations. It's a pity that we live in a culture that tends to want to pigeonhole people, and I resist that as strongly as I can...
"I'm 50 on Saturday. I want to feel as though the next 10 years of my life are going to be as exciting as the last 10. I want to make sure that the things I do in the next 10 years are not faint echoes of what I did when I was 40 but are new, exciting things. The prospect of making 300 paintings for the next three books of Abarat is daunting on one level but also tremendously exciting, because it's not something I've done before; I'm in a whole new area of my life with a whole series of new ambitions and a whole series of new targets for what I can achieve."

Demoriam's Lost Souls 
e-zine, November 2002

Abarat Tour Q&A

Transcript of a Q&A, Milwaukee, 6 October 2002, Demoriam's Lost Souls e-zine, November 2002 (Note: video footage available online at

"I'm going to make an Abarat book once every two years - the paperback of this book will come out this time next year in full colour which again will be nice; to have a full colour paperback - and then the following autumn volume two, and so on. I will do nothing until all the books are finished. My commitment is that we will have, in six years' time, the Quartet finished and delivered."

Horror Novelist's Fans Creatures Of The Fright

By David Sharos, Chicago Tribune, 9 October 2002

"The most joy I've experienced is in writing the sequel I'm working on for Abarat, I must have spent six hours lying in bed, spending time in Abarat in my mind. A lot of what's coming has been laid out already in the first book, and so things have been set in motion for the next one."

Movie Scoop

By Anderson Jones, Yahoo! Entertainment, 11 October 2002 (Note: available online at

[Re: Abarat] "These things leap directly from my subconscious; being in front of those canvasses is a purer fix of Clive Barker than my movies...
"I'm hoping Disney will use the images as a jumping off place. The development process is one in which things change and change and change. I can't be that involved. I think it would be inappropriate. Disney's pretty darned good about this stuff."

The Times, 26 October 2002 New York Times Magazine, 13 October 2002

Where The Really Wild Things Are

By Dwight Garner (i) New York Times Magazine, 13 October 2002 (Note: available online at (ii) The Times, 26 October 2002 (as 'Disney Sees The Future')

[Re: Disney] "Almost the first question they asked me was, 'How much control over all this will you need?', 'Virtually none.' I mean, if Disney wants to do your world, you let them do it."

Saints Come Marching

By Kate O'Hare, (i), 18 October 2002 (Note: available online at (ii) edited as 'Barker's Brother And 'Sisters' Raise Hell',, 20 October 2002

"Our monk is terribly serious, and he's terribly introspective. This is not a classic, throwaway-line, quip, a dagger and a bottle of holy water kind of hero. He's very troubled all the way through, right to the end...
"Horror movies are very often about stand-up guys. Horror movies are very often about people with very clear spiritual or moral values up against creatures who are embodiments of evil, and very often they are about the triumph of the stand-up guy. Often there's a price to pay; certainly that's part of our narrative here. The heart of it is that title, Saint Sinner, that whole moral ambiguity. Our character is going through the whole movie doubting whether he has the moral weight to be the hero that he needs to be.
"I like that. It gives the movie a little more weight. I'm not going to say that it's a profound movie, but I will say that it's about something more than monster bashing."

Horror Master Barker Writes Kids' Book

By Jane Ganahl, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 October 2002 (Note: available online at

"I've seen an interesting change in myself, this book is perhaps closer to my heart than anything I've done before... it's been a big physical challenge.
"There are now 486 paintings, I'm telling you, these paintings almost took over my life... I felt like it was something of a doorway into another world, so I painted another. And then another.
"I think the next five years will be almost exclusively taken up with the Abarat quartet, I have another 150 or so paintings to make."


Transcript of radio appearance on Loveline with Dr Drew & Adam Carolla, 21 October 2002

"25% of what appears in the first draft makes the cut in the final book. That's optimistic... 20%.
"I do three drafts handwritten and then it's typed up... They are different from each other, they are hopefully improvements in the sense you're going back over something. The first time you write it, it's the first thing that you can think. The second time you're trying to shape the dialogue, helping the characters. The third time you're doing it because you want the words to sound nice, hopefully making the prose better, making it more fun to read, making the jokes funnier and the scary bits scarier."

The Wayne Brady Show

By Wayne Brady, Fall 2002

"[Candy]'s in part based on my daughter... Nicole is 14 and smart as a whip and just wonderful, beautiful, and it's impossible to be writing about a heroine, a young heroine, as I'm writing about Candy, without being aware of what I'm being taught by my own daughter, you know? She's a marvellous girl and she's taught me a lot about what it is to be alive at that age, in these times - different times to the times when I was 14."

Amazing Adventures of Adult Authors

By Aileen Jacobson,, 21 November 2002 (Note: available online at

"I want my books to come alive for people... Thief was a pleasure to write, and the fact that it's taught in schools is a whole new joy to me. Clive Barker readers in embryo. [But with Abarat I wanted] something more epic in scale. My model was always Narnia. That's what I read first."

Cinescape, Issue 66 and 67, November / December 2002 Cinescape, Issue 66 and 67, November / December 2002

Saint Clive

By Chris Wyatt and Anthony C. Ferrante, Cinescape, Issue 66 and 67, November / December 2002

"You can't write something you just choose intellectually, your heart has to choose the material as well. If you don't love what you're writing, you're not going to write it. You have to make the work interesting. I've never been able to make creative choices based on commerce. Or even what my editors wanted. I think that if I'd been able to do that, then in a lot of ways my career would have been very different.
"There's no question that my editors and agents would have preferred for me to stick with horror fiction when, instead, I went off to do Weaveworld. There's no question that when I gave them The Thief Of Always for the first time that they weren't happy. But you just have to go with what you believe in sometimes.
"I've written horror. I've written fantasy. I've written children's fiction. Yes, it means that I'm hard to classify. But it also means that after all these years I'm still interested in what I'm doing for work. As interested as I ever was...
"I'm just eager to make stories. If they appear on the small screen, if they appear on the big screen, hey, that's fine. I'm blessed by being able to move from a canvas to a page to a television screen to a big screen... I was on the mixing stage the other day, watching work on the effects for Saint Sinner, and it was amazing. It made me feel like a kid again. That doesn't go away."

Sci-Fi, December 2002

Saint Misbehaving

By Patrick Lee and Cindy White, Sci-Fi, December 2002

"I had wanted very much the look of the picture to be extreme. We had an early look for [the demons] and this is where I intervened, if you will. That's what executive producers are allowed to do. I was not comfortable with the first look they had. It seemed to me too ordinary. I wanted them to be hellspawn. And that required a really extreme piece of design... I think there had been some initial thought that they should be sexy babes from hell. And I said, 'No. Fuck that. I don't want sexy babes from hell. I just want babes from hell. Sexy will take care of itself.'...
"People don't get to see women be bad very often, particularly in horror movies. They tend to be very passive... And it will be fun with Munkar and Nakir, these two demons, to really invert the cliches a little bit."

Todd McFarlane Show

By Todd McFarlane with Seth Everett, MLB Radio, 19 December 2002 (Note: available online in Real Audio at

"Some of the movies which I love, which are really, really intense... aren't necessarily about throwing blood at the screen. Cronenberg's movies are really intense and weird and strange and I'd like to feel that we can learn something from Cronenberg in the way that we make Tortured Souls. Even something like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which I saw a couple of nights ago again because it's just come out on DVD, and I was looking at it and I was amazed at how little really graphic violence is in that movie. What really makes that movie intense is just that it starts at a level of hysteria and it just doesn't stop for 90 minutes! And so you come out of the movie feeling completely wrung out and I'd like to feel that if we possibly can with Tortured Souls we're going to make a horror movie that will feel like horror movies used to feel. You used to go to horror movies and you used to feel slightly clammy-palmed about them because you were afraid of what they were going to show you, and I want to go back and see if we can do that again."

New Children's Book From Author of 'Hellraiser', 'Pinhead'

By Seamus O'Regan, transcript from Canada AM, 26 December 2002

"I'd written a book for children a few years ago called The Thief of Always which had proved very successful and is now taught in schools across North America. And I love the book very much and find that writing for children is very rewarding - on lots of levels. It helps me get access to who I am. You know, I'm a 50-year-old guy who's got great memories of his own childhood and I feel like it's a great time to be feeding those memories into my own kind of fiction...
"I think villains have always been a part of every kind of fiction - children's fiction and adult fiction. And certainly Disney who are making the movie of and actually putting the theme park together for Abarat don't seem to have any anxieties about my villains. I think, if anything, they're excited about how good a villain Christopher Carrion is."

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