Abarat. Abarat. Abarat. Abarat... Abarat!

The Twelfth Revelatory Interview
By Phil & Sarah Stokes, 13th & 20th March 2006

With thanks to Kurt, your help is warmly appreciated.

Clive : "Hello, my friends... let's talk through these things, shall we?"

Revelations : "Yeah - and I think this was one where you wanted to de-brief a little on everything that you've been up to..."

Clive : "It's impossible to actually de-brief on the Bert Green exhibition, because we continue to sell paintings! We sold two paintings last week from the exhibition - we're now up to about eighty per-cent of the paintings that were on the walls - it's amazing really. It's certainly the most successful exhibition which Bert has ever had, certainly the most successful exhibition that I've ever had - not just in terms of the fact that pictures sold, but it's also the fact that it's a lot of pictures in a range of styles, I mean the erotic pictures have sold, the scary pictures have sold, the pictures which are just darned strange have sold!
"And I'm excited: I have begun work on a deck of Abaratian tarot cards - and I'm telling you this before I announce it to anybody else, so you're first with this - well, not quite first because I actually mentioned it to Bert and I actually said that if I continue with this and do all seventy-eight, which will, of course, all be the same size, it means that we will have an exhibition next year, which will be two years after the last one, of seventy-eight paintings, all of which will be exactly the same size - which will be very exciting, very exciting, because each one won't be so radically different from the others. So that's an exciting exploration for me. Bert has been an extraordinary host to me; has made me and my paintings and everybody surrounding me feel very welcome - which isn't always the case with a gallery - and I've thoroughly enjoyed the relationship and I look forward to it going from strength to strength. I'd love, I'd love to find somebody who would exhibit me in London - I mean it's deeply frustrating for this ex-pat to have had a lot of exhibitions, now, here in LA and New York and Chicago and various other places in California and not to have had an exhibition Full painting - Icon Close-up - Icon in London, you know, so that's an APB out to anybody that I would like somebody to come over from London and look through the pictures and find a bunch - because there are six hundred of them now! Despite that fact that we sold so many, still I've added to them fast enough that the number has still gone up! We've got a lot of pictures and I think it would be nice - oh my gosh, it wouldn't be 'nice' it would be wonderful for my English readers and people who like my painting to be able to look at them - you guys know - "

Revelations : "Yes, we can testify that they are entirely different up close."

Clive : "Yes, absolutely... however beautiful the reproductions are - and they are beautiful in the Rizzoli book, no question, and they're even lovely in the much smaller version in the Abarat books - but there's a sense of physicality to them..."

Revelations : "Well, we've taken some close-up photos that show that physicality; the blobs of paint and the scratchings."

Clive : "I've got nineteen paintings in flow in my studio right now - "

Revelations : "You see, this is where people think you paint one at a time!"

Clive : "Right, yeah - put one down, pick up another one..! Now, none of those, I should say, are as large as the classic size that I've chosen for the big Abarat paintings - which is 60" x 48" - all of these are rather smaller just because I wanted to give myself a bit of a rest after the exhibition, so they're 36" x 36 ", or they're 30" x 30", or they're this larger size which I want to say is 48" x 30" which is the tarot card size."

Revelations : "And did you get to meet some of the people who bought some of these?" Full painting - Humidity Close-up - Humidity

Clive : "Yes - and they were wonderful meetings with people of every kind and to me it's very moving; you know how much I put into the paintings. When someone is putting a lot of their hard-earned cash into buying one of these paintings, or in a couple of cases two of those paintings, and are taking them home to have as part of their family, to have something that has all those bobbles and blobs and marks that you were just talking about now which will only become apparent to the purchaser, or will become more apparent to the purchaser the longer that he or she lives with the painting, that to me is extremely moving and I get a little bit teary-eyed when somebody comes up and proudly says, 'I bought that,' and points to a canvas. I get teary-eyed on two levels: one level for the sense of loss, the fact that that picture with all its bobbles and blobs and everything I fought over and the history of the days and nights that went into it will now become the property of somebody else and disappear, effectively, from my sight; but also, and more importantly, I am moved by the fact that somebody is excited to take this presence home, and the best of the paintings have that presence."

Revelations : "Yes, it's the difference between this and all your other media - however many books or films or toys you sell, they still remain your own; you merely share them. But the paintings you give away."

Clive : "Yes, there is no universality, there is no sense, even with the giclées which Hans is doing - beautiful as they are - they can't achieve what the painting is. The painting is a sum of all the frustration that went into it and curse words and moments of lucidity that were part of its creation and I feel very blessed to have been able to take so many of these pictures in so many different modes out into the world and to find people willing to embrace them. It's one of the most pleasurable and gratifying eperiences in my creative life.
"I'm in a faintly, not a philosophical place in the Scarlet Gospels, but I'm waking out of a dream of transformation which is what's going on on the pages - on page... I can give you a number! Page 1,209 of the final draft."

Revelations : "But you've got to give us a clue, though, 1,209 pages out of how many expected?"

Clive : "Three thousand and something..?"

Sketch of Pinhead by Clive Barker

Revelations : "You're back to only a third of the way through!"

Clive : "I know, I know - but you know what? It's going to be a big book - look on the bright side!"

Revelations : "Just on creative process, then, as you go through - this must be, what, the third pass at it..?"

Clive : "Yeah - well, third and a half..."

Revelations : "...are you changing words or substance?"

Clive : "Everything, everything. Except the names."

Revelations : "Everything but the names will be changed..."

Clive : "Yeah - everything but the names will be changed to protect the guilty! I'm not one of those people - I remember having a long conversation with the late and much-missed Michael McDowell. Michael was a dear man and the second gay man (me being the first) that I met in the community and we sat drinking Long Island iced-teas at a convention in Tucson and I said, 'Oh gosh, do you think there's anybody else out there like us?' Michael was soft, slow and Southern and he introduced me to Tim Burton and a whole bunch of wonderful people - he was a great, a really great friend and super guy. And we talked about drafts one time and he said, we were speaking in whispers to one another as if we couldn't bear quite to confess the truth to one another: 'Do any of your drafts resemble one another?' and I said, 'No!' and he said, 'Oh, thank God for that, neither do mine!' and I think part of it is that you're digging through what you don't want to find what you do, and you don't really know what you do want 'til you've dug through what you don't. And of course you leave things, of course you leave things, but very often you refine things or - I was in the middle of painting yesterday, Sunday afternoon, and a piece of dialogue sharp as a nail clear in my head came, came into focus and I wrote it down in paint on a piece of paper and it went into the book today! And, you know, I think the mind is constantly thinking on this and I'd certainly been thinking for a very long time about how I would eventually bring eloquent and respectful closure to the life of a character who has been very good to me. But then I realised that to be respectful and all that good stuff, I also needed to be epic because there was a sense that there was an epic structure somewhere behind him that the films didn't show and my original thought was that I would simply tell a tale of closure that was the size of the tale which introduced him - thirty thousand words - and then I thought that does him a terrible injustice, because we are teased over the films with a sense that there is something, some huge structure there in which he belongs, in which he has a significant part and how can I write that, how can I bring him to his final act without first taking him, taking my readers through what that system is - in other words, taking them down to Hell and showing them what the Order of the Cenobites are and where he belongs in them and what the consequences of rebellion on his part might be, and so on and so forth."

Revelations : "And are you sticking to the mythology that, for example, Pete Atkins developed or are you writing it off on a different stream?"

Clive : "It's very hard because there's a lot of contrary stuff!"

Revelations : "You can tie yourself up in knots - it's like a comic-book world."

Clive : "Right, and I can't get my head around that. You can start this book and have read nothing, seen nothing - it's fine. If you have seen the first movie, that's fine. If you've seen the second movie, probably that's fine too. If you've read the novella - The Hellbound Heart - surely, that's fine too. Beyond that, I cannot really... I need to create for Hell the kind of scheme of power and domination and hierarchy, the kind of Byzantine goings-on which I think people find have such fun, have such fun with elsewhere in my fiction and, good God, if it's happening anywhere it's happening in Hell! And so I have, I think, three or four huge surprises in the novel which are about what Hell is and who its architects might be and so on - I don't want to give too much away - all of which are then married to Harry, Norma Paine - the blind medium who appears in a couple of stories with Harry - and of course with the Hell-priest, Pinhead. And by tying these characters to this pretty enormous mythology, which is as significant a re-writing of it from what a medieval scholar would have recognised, but is not a violation, it's a development from ideas which you would recognise from paintings of Hell or illuminations of Hell in a medieval book."

Revelations : "Will Barker's Hell bear resemblance to Dante's Hell or Milton's Hell or..."

Clive : "The thing, particularly about Dante's Hell is that it was a scheme of damnation and you know, he was naming names - OK, level seven, here we go - "

William Blake - The Schismatics and Sowers of Discord: Mahomet, from Dante's Inferno

Revelations : "It was a roll-call."

Clive : "A roll-call, and I'm not interested in that - yes of course you could name names and you could get, I suppose, a quick frisson out of saying Ronald Reagan is up to his arse in ice, in some lake somewhere, but that's not my style, it's not the kind of book I want to write."

Revelations : "But the films have always nodded towards a schematic."

Clive : "You're right, there's always been a sense of, well, damnation and sinning, but I've always felt there were contradictions built into the system deliberately by me at the very beginning - like, 'Pleasure gets you pain, but you want the pain in a way because it gives you pleasure' that are worth going back to and looking at again as a writer in going back to Hell. So I've just got five people and an animal are about to enter Hell - the second half, the second two-thirds of the book are set in Hell and they are the most mis-matched bunch of people - a dirty half-dozen!"

Revelations : "Who would come together only in a Barker novel."

Clive : "Absolutely! Trust me, I would love to list them because you'd be entertained but it really, really would spoil it. When you come to that moment in the book you'll have a quiet giggle to yourselves; you'll realise what a totally mis-matched bunch of freakoids these guys are! Wonderful people, but they're all oddities, they're all people who are in some sense or other at the edge of culture, of our culture, like so many of my characters and now they're all together in what I suppose I would think is the largest adventure that I could conceive of that did not take place in another world, unless you view Hell as another world, which in some ways is what I'm doing."

Revelations : "Now, an announcement - Books Three, Four and Five of Abarat is some big news."

Clive : "Yeah, it is."

Revelations : "It's growing like Scarlet Gospels - everything's growing out of it's box - are you ever going to finish another book?!!"

Clive : "Now, well, that's just mean!! "I had two weeks over Christmas where I sat down with myself and examined what I knew I wanted the narrative journey, the shamanistic journey, that Candy Quackenbush takes from being an errant schoolgirl in Chickentown to being what she will become at the end of what will now be the fifth and final book of the Abarat series. And I realised I couldn't get it in four books; I couldn't get the characters in four books! I mean I deliberately had a night of the long knives in the second book, killed off a bunch of people, thinking, 'Ah, that'll leave some room!' but, Jesus... This is the joy of not really, well, you've known from the beginning how much I've been in service to the energies of this book - how they have seemed from the beginning to have been pre-ordained - that's altogether too pretentious, but they seemed to be - the paintings came along when I didn't expect them - when I started to create a world round them, the world began to proliferate at a speed that I had never experienced in my life before. And I have grown to love this world, probably more than any other that I've created and I want to serve the rising scale of this drama and the conflict and the revelation of what Candy is, of what Abarat is, of what it is to us, as human beings, what we are to it. I want to serve that rising in a - I don't want to rush it. I've heard a lot of people say - and I'm not sure I actually share this belief but I've heard it said that people don't feel that the end of Phillip Pullman's brilliant trilogy really - it's all a little too quick for them - and I think that's a danger, I think sometimes there's an exhaustion factor that creeps in and the act of imagining starts to become overwhelming, you start to say, 'OK, I'm going to close the door on this.' And I don't feel as though I can or should do that with this - this is, in one sense, the closest thing I will do to my idol, Blake's, work in the sense that it's a marriage of my painting and my poetry and my writing and it's for all audiences and it's metaphysical and it's comical and it's demonic and it's of Heaven and Hell and all things in between and if I'm going to do that, Man, I've got to do that the best way I can and I'm not going to fuck it up. That was what the conclusion of that fourteen days was; it was, 'You know what, Barker? You can't do this in four books - own up!' "

Revelations : "And we've seen all the piles of notes, each time you start some notes, you write on its cover page which book it relates to, either 'Abarat III' or 'Abarat IV' - when was the first time that you actually put 'Abarat V' on the cover of something?"

Handwritten cover to Abarat V notes

Clive : "Probably sometime towards the end of December - in that two week period."

Revelations : "Because that's a big step..."

Clive : "A huge step, a huge step, but you know what it did? It was like I had a toy train engine going and behind it in the dust, lost, was the engine of the Titanic. And, by simply saying, 'Five', the dust was blown away and this huge engine moved into motion, and I realised how the mechanism of the smaller engine that I'd been playing with served its place absolutely in the larger one. And that my subconcious had been at work in a very generous way, but you're right, Phil, it's a moment when you say 'Oh...' because you know what each of these books is."

Revelations : "Well, you know it's another hundred paintings and another year of writing."

Clive : "And, to be perfectly honest, it won't be that for the final book - it'll be a hundred and fifty, a hundred and sixty paintings and it'll be a year and a half of writing; it's a huge book. And yet, what am I going to do? I'm not going to undercut this thing which is so important to me."

Revelations : "Was it actually a relief to say to yourself it's going to be five?"

Clive : "A huge relief, because I saw the bigger engine, and there must have been a part of me that knew the bigger engine was there all along. And when I talk about 'engine' I actually mean a narrative engine; I mean a huge narrative machine that was waiting in the shadows to fold it's great cogs and pick up this smaller machine I'd been dealing with and fold its mechanisms into the greater machine and plough forward and take Candy places I simply couldn't have got her in four books.
"I think I would have done something which would have been uglier, frankly, I would have shoved as much as I possibly could into three and four such that they become very ugly, aesthetically ugly, books. Now, when in seven, eight years' time we stand back and I will have sufficient distance on the five to be able to look at them, the obvious thing is, I now have a middle book - I have a wheel and I have a hub of a wheel... and God bless them - that's Joanna Cotler and her team - for embracing that."

Revelations : "We've turned the pages of some of those Abarat notes and I never realised quite how numerous the drawings were as compared to handwritten notes - sketches of various scenes with very little notation, just the picture, just as a memory-jogger."

Clive : "Yeah, well that's exactly right, I find that words will not jog pictures but pictures will always jog words, so it's not an exaggeration to say that - I'll pick up one of those, I mean you saw how rudimentary many of those marks are - some of those pages have, yes, there's something there but it's scarcely a finished drawing, but it's enough for me to know I was... sometimes it'll be about the size of a piece of paper, sometimes it'll be about the medium, if it's drawn in oil crayon then clearly I was in bed, because I keep oil crayons by the bed outside, just because they're messy, you know, I mean the bed on the balcony because I sleep out there in the summer and in the long summer evenings, one of my favourite things, when I'm wiped from the physical part of painting but I've still got lots of energy, and creative juice in me, is to go down there, get some lights going and sit and draw with oil crayons - and out of those things will Sketched notes, March 2006 come sometimes twenty things, five of which, perhaps, will be useful and I'm pretty rigorous about getting rid of the pictures that aren't there and then because otherwise you just have a hopeless accrual of stuff, so that means that all the stuff that you saw was stuff that had already made its way through at least one and probably two culls."

Revelations : "I'd somehow assumed that the paintings had taken the place of the sketching or visual note-taking that you've always done."

Clive : "It's a question of circumstance. You know, when the idea comes - firstly, lets go to the very simplest thing, I have masses and masses and masses, too many, visions going into my head than I could ever get onto canvas, or that will even go onto a piece of paper, probably - and visions was a pretentious word, I didn't mean it that way, I meant more like shit going through my head! There're not visions in the Blakean sense..."

Revelations : "How does the process follow on from this visual to become a written character?"

Clive : "If I can find a voice, if a voice appears quickly, then I know I'm onto a winner. Candy's easy because it derived from Nicole's voice. Some are more difficult because they are characters who are almost in a period of change - Malingo was one; I mean I didn't want Malingo (the beaten-slave part of it was easy) but when Malingo started to change it became harder to keep the voice and find the voice, crack the voice."

Revelations : "And do you mean more the written voice or the sound of the voice?"

Clive : "They're sort of the same, in a way, because I speak them; do you know what I mean?"

Revelations : "Right. And as well as writing and painting, you're planning to get out and about outside Los Angeles, and indeed the US, later this year..."

Clive : "I am coming to England, I am going to do the convention in September and that's very important to me."

Revelations : "Fantasycon will be your first convention in England for what, fifteen years? You've done short book tours but I'm not sure you've been back for a convention since you moved to LA."

Clive : "You're absolutely right, I think you're absolutely right. I had not realised that it had been so long. Even the large-scale signings that I used to do, HarperCollins sort of started to pull back on just as a matter of course for all their authors, and I talked to them about this and the last large one I did was just after Dad died - what was that with?"

Fantasycon

Revelations : "That was The Essential coming out."

Clive : "It was, that's right, and it was great, it was a really good turnout but they said that they'd had times when people hadn't turned up even for well-known names and they felt as though audiences had too many claims upon their attention - now I'm not sure that's actually true, obviously I just did the Visions of Heaven and Hell signings and we had huge crowds everywhere, and at the exhibition, huge crowds there. I think it's a change in policy in publishing."

Revelations : "And it's to do with letting people know about these things - we often hear about author events by chance at the very last minute."

Clive : "Well, I just think they're very bad at that, I mean publishing houses generally, have been slow to pick up on the way that people get their information these days, which is online, you know?"

Revelations : "It's an interesting dynamic though - because there are many more signed copies of books in bookshops than there ever were before, but there's nothing quite like meeting the person who wrote it."

Clive : "Absolutely right - and there are things I've been doing here to ring the changes; I've been doing the public paintings which has been absolutely fantastic - it's just a completely different thing, you know? Are any of the paintings that I've painted publicly masterpieces? Absolutely not, but I think people have had fun watching and it's been tremendous fun for me, and I've really enjoyed it and it tied in nicely with the change of priorities where I'm looking at my life with a lot more painting in it than I thought there was going to be - especially with the fifth book of Abarat. And you know, I spent the weekend - I wrote a nice hefty chunk of The Scarlet Gospels over the weekend and I painted, and I didn't turn on the television! You know, I went to bed, I read a little bit and fell asleep with paint all over me! The fact of the matter is those large canvases are buggers and if you're actually buzzing between - I counted out seventeen canvases on the go right now in the studio - only four or five are 48 x 60" but nevertheless, moving a bunch of these things around... Painting has become so much more important to me and I've got just so much that I want to communicate through the word and through the paint and, yes, through the film too, but I'm very happy letting Kelly Asbury deal with Fox and moving towards making Thief of Always, even if it's a slow progression, it's in the right direction. Midnight Meat Train we're casting this week, so it's all starting to fall into place for the guys, meanwhile Haeckel's Tale was shot and Valerie on The Stairs, which is the one I originated for the second [Masters of Horror] series, is about to be shot."

Revelations : "You've described it as a fairly lengthy treatment that you've done for that."

Clive : "Yes, actually it was Mick Garris, God bless him, who said it was the first time he'd received a 45-page treatment for a 60-minute teleplay! But it was a story that I liked and that I wanted to do as a story for a long time and never found the time to do it and I thought, well it's got lots of visual potential and it's something the guys might like over at Masters of Horror so I took a chance on it, told Mick, Clive Barker and Mick Garris on the set of Stephen King's Sleepwalkers, 1992 'Please trust me - I think you're going to like it.' Bless him, he did - I didn't pitch anything to him, I didn't tell him anything about it, he just held the space open for me."

Revelations : "And he's lined up someone to direct?"

Clive : "Yeah, I think it's going to be him - I'm almost certain it's Mick."

Revelations : "And Valerie on The Stairs started as a short story idea that didn't get realised in that form?"

Clive : "Yes, I think it probably would have been a long short story, even maybe shading into a novella."

Revelations : "As they tend to do!"

Clive : "As they tend to do - yes, with a large erotic element - and it was really the fact that the erotic elements of Haeckel's Tale had worked, I thought, so very well; the casting of the girl was amazing, and the scenes involving her in the cemetery were, I thought, very intense and certainly a benchmark really - you hadn't seen that on television for sure! I liked this mingling of the erotic and the horrific and I had this other idea and when I say I'd been dawdling around with it, I mean I'd been dawdling around with it for probably five or six years - very clearly it needed to get used up and what better place for it? You know, I love Mick - he's been an absolutely loyal and loving friend since before I moved here and all the time that I've been here, through thick and thin, through bad times for him and bad times for me and I thought, if there's one person I would like to just go the distance for and really write this out and make this a real thing of love that I would then pass along to him to turn into something that could be put on television, it's Mick. And I just could not be happier that it's turned out that way. There are things to get up in the morning for (and there are things that keep you in bed...) but there things that get you up in the morning and one of these things is the prospect of - Wednesday it's the prospect of comics! - but in the longer term it's the prospect of one morning I'm going to get up and I'm going to go down to see the set of The Thief of Always, one day I'm gonna get up in the morning and there'll be a DVD here and it's going to be marked 'Valerie on The Stairs'. And the interesting thing is - I can tease you with this - Valerie on The Stairs is about a house which has been given by a now-dead writer, a failed writer, over as a kind of hospice for failed writers. They take rooms and they can stay there and the moment they get a piece of work published, they're out, OK? I think in the story there are nine rooms; it's a big house and nine fervent and fevered and desperate imaginations working each in solitude can do strange things to houses..."

Revelations : "I'm sure you're closer to that than we are!"

Clive : "Beautifully put!"

Revelations : "We bow to your superior knowledge - and we're suitably teased..."

Clive : "Well that's as far as I really could go - the thing that's fun about it is it's about writers and it's about the agony of it, really, it's about the pleasure of it and it's about the things that haunt you."

Revelations : "More insight into the Barker-psyche to come!"

Clive : "That's exactly right, Phil, I really tried to make this - Valerie on The Stairs - because obviously there are a number of writers here, of both sexes..."

Revelations : "You mentioned comics - and you're about to launch back into the comics world again, this time with The Great and Secret Show."

Clive : "I'm really delighted by this - Chris [Ryall] is just a perfectly great guy and he fought very hard, as did I, to make sure that we could The Great And Secret Show - Clive Barker sketch cover, signed The Great And Secret Show - Quiddity cover The Great And Secret Show - Trinity cover get this in twelve issues, not six, so that we really do have a chance of telling some of the nuances of the story. I've seen the first two issues, both of which look really great and Gabriel [Rodriguez] has achieved some effects in the art which are - the lovely moment towards the beginning when the Jaff comes up and finds his enemy sitting looking at the window, looking out of the window - I don't know if you recall the moment but it's an incredible moment of stillness in the middle of all this drama and magic and stuff and he's just achieved something really lovely. And when the violence comes along, as it does early on in that story, in the Dead Letters Room, it's graphically told and efficiently dealt with and then we move on - it's just damn good storytelling. And I think when it's collected up into a single volume it will sit very nicely beside the regular edition, the literary edition, as a film would sit, as it were, beside its literary source; a different thing entirely brought from the same place and it's a bloody hard thing to do, with a novel that big. And I have not yet seen how things develop when we get to Quiddity, which we only do very briefly in Great and Secret Show, obviously if this Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman goes well we'll speed on to Everville. Meanwhile, I'm talking with Chris and his team about doing some other things where I might originate some material for the company. Comics are such a source of pleasure to me. It's nice to be able to give some of that back and one of my favourite thinkers, living thinkers, in the world - Alan Moore, and I'm talking about his metaphysical thinking - have I ever suggested that you might want to look at that conversation..."

Revelations : "Yes, you have, the conversation between Moore and Dave Sim in Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman... It's very dense, isn't it."

Clive : "Oh, it's unbelievably dense, Phil - what I did was I eventually ended up separating it out from the book, copying it and actually blowing that up just a little bit for my aged eyes, but you will find it immensely rewarding."

Revelations : "And it's a reprint of a series of letters that they had, isn't it?"

Clive : "Yes, and they are phenomenal in the reach of, their imaginative reach - it's just a pleasure to be in the company of these men, as brilliant and as brave in terms of where they will take their imaginations to. I have read this thing through, maybe five times? and I don't believe I'm yet even close to squeezing fifty percent of its meaning out. But I find that stuff very important to my internal workings - oiling up my own internal workings. I had just finished re-reading that material just before Christmas and it was in the two-week holiday when we all close down for Christmas - have I described that to you?"

Revelations : "You've described the LA shut-down."

Clive : "Right, exactly - nothing moves! Except the traffic! And that two weeks, Sarah, that I really looked closely at what story I had to tell; what the metaphysical story of Abarat was to me, where in the cycle of Clive Barker's imaginings it belonged, that questioning was informed hugely by a re-reading of that exchange. And then there was this mounting sense that if I was going to make of this very demanding, over a period of time, on your imagination and your energy - not to mention the love and ingenuity and skill that had gone in from HarperCollins and the team to make the Abarat books what they are - that all came together to make me realise that I had to do a fifth book. So, the dialogue, the Moore/Sim dialogues were influential there too - they put more air in the head and as soon as there's more air in the head there's more places to fly kites - and I realised there were kites I was not flying; Abaratian kites I was not flying! And they were actually the ones which were the most precious to me and I knew that they were there and I was deliberately not looking at them and I had notes on them and I sort of figured out, well that's just not going to fit, I can't do that. And that was why, when the end of the year came round, I talked to Joanna, I formally asked her for a fifth volume to which she gloriously and readily agreed, and as I said to you before there was that sense of liberation - suddenly all these kites were flying..!"

Abarat Book Three
Abarat Books Four and Five
The Scarlet Gospels
Masters of Horror II - Valerie On The Stairs
Hellraiser movies
Great And Secret Show graphic novel
Luna7's art giclees

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