Clive on Candle in the Cloud

"What's it about? The book," asked Gwen.
"What's any book about? The same old things. Being born, falling in love, and dying of course. What else is there?"
Evening came. The sun poured from the sky like liquid gold. The wine had gone to the children's heads and once they lay down on the bracken they were asleep. Darach sat by the fire, and having attempted and failed to come to an amicable agreement with his last chapter, gave up, and sat gazing into the embers for the rest of the night, thinking.

"I wrote a novel for children called The Candle In The Cloud. It was a fantasy book, set both in the here and now and in an invented world. I did send this book off to a few publishers and one of them was interested in it. However the publisher wanted some changes made and I was about to go to university, so I put off polishing the novel until the following summer vacation. When I went back to it almost a year later, the enthusiasm I had felt for the story had withered away."

Introduction to Clive Barker's Thief Of Always,

By Clive Barker, 3 August 2001

[On the revisions] "I was about to go into university and I just wasn't up for it."

Hydra Rising

By Douglas E. Winter, Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic, 2001

"The first novel I wrote, which was called The Candle In The Cloud, I wrote when I was seventeen and it was a novel for young people and nobody would publish it, of course - and probably very good for my reputation that they didn't! - But I've always loved children's fiction..."

Barnes and Noble Stage Presentation

By Brein Lopez, LA Festival of Books, 25 April 2004

"I do remember the working title for Candle in the Cloud was Company of Dreamers; it was this idea that we were all these dreaming characters. Us as a little gang, a little group; people dreaming with their eyes open is how I would now understand it - shamen - I didn't have that vocabulary back then. But we definitely figured out there was something about this dreaming thing which was eloquent and important to us. I suppose we got it from Yeats. We got it from all kinds of romantic poetry and you can go back to painting; we were very much into symbolist painting and into pre-Raphaelites and there are constant references there to sleep and to dreams."


By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 22 July 2004 (note - full text available here in 'Liverpool Lives')

"I wrote a novel called The Candle In the Cloud when I was seventeen... And I sent that off to a couple of publishers. I actually had one publisher who wanted to publish it but wanted changes made. I, at that time - by the time I'd started the novel, finished the novel, had it typed out, had it copied - which was all much more difficult back then, I actually paid my father's secretary the money to type out the novel - by the time I'd done all that and received the letter saying, 'Yes, we'll take the novel,' but they want to change it, I was about to go to university and it just was impossible to contemplate a university career and taking on the job of reworking the novel so I politely declined and said, 'Hopefully when my university career is over we'll talk again.' And by the time university was over The Candle In The Cloud felt so remote and I was so changed by the university experience, not necessarily for the better. I studied English and Philosophy and had drowned in words and my theatre company at that point, as you know, became a mime company - which tells you something. You know, I was just not interested in words; I'd just had too much of it. And the notion of going back again to the novel, or even starting a new one was unthinkable."

Sowing The Seeds Of The Story Tree

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 28 August and 4 September 2006 (note - full text here)

"The Bacchus book looks beautiful: I've seen what you've seen which is Richard Kirk's gorgeous, gorgeous, obsessive illustrations - and he is also going to design and do the illustrations for the Roy Robbins edition of The Candle in the Cloud [note - this edition not ultimately published]. And you are responsible for that! I would still be digging around in my boxes of old manuscripts for something that approached a decent copy were it not for you guys...
"Are you familiar with Fellini's Roma? You remember the scene where they go down into the catacombs and they find all the paintings on the walls and the wind comes in and the air and the images dissolve? That's what instantly came into my mind when you said that - the manuscript fading - that is one of the most poignant scenes, it's so beautifully, beautifully done; the touch of contemporary air peeling the magic of the past. What is nice about Bacchus and what will be nice about Candle in the Cloud is I have done nothing, I mean I have been very truthful to the impulses that first made me create these - yes, of course I've corrected grammatical errors and spellings and whatever but I have done nothing at all to the text itself."

The Bleed Between The Apprentice And The Master

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 28 February and 7 March 2009 (note - full text here)

The Candle in the Cloud bibliography...

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