Interviews 2020

Plucking Apples Of Silver And Gold

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 9 to 24 April 2020 (note - full text here)

"The problem with me has never been having an idea. The problem with me is finding time within the structure of my life to exploit those ideas and explore those ideas and you know what will happen eventually: when I fell ill and was in bed for such a long time, I had to do some serious conversations with myself in which I said well, I’m not going to write everything that I’ve got in my head so why don’t I just try to dial down those voices? So there aren’t more of them. But it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. You’ve seen that it doesn’t work – a small example of that would be the poetry in the sense that you’ve seen that I continued to make poems throughout the time I was ill.
"I’m not proud of this at all, I feel as though I’ve got a keg of beer which I don’t have a cork for. I don’t think this is valuable for anybody but us but I’ll say it anyway: being ill was not altogether a bad thing. It was bad because I was ill for too long but it allowed me to think hard.
"I read a lot about the history of artists, writers and painters particularly and one of the things you see over and over again is that people just stop. They often don’t have any reason. I mean Shakespeare just stopped – he went on to live another thirty years but he stopped. He actually had one of his characters lay the staff of power, you know Prospero, down and it is ended. I have no sense that it is even possible for me because I don’t have anything to do if I can’t do that."

Exclusive: Godzilla’s Michael Dougherty to Direct Nightbreed Series!

By Grant Hermanns,, 30 September 2020

"[re. forthcoming Nightbreed TV adaptation] It’s exciting, after 30 years, to go back to these characters and find out who’s still speaking to me, who wants their story told. My tongue isn’t in my cheek when I say that as when I start a piece, it’s listening. The writing is a piece of listening, I’ve always said I was a journalist and what I was reporting on was the space between my ears."

Clive Barker Says We're ‘Living Through' A Time Of Horror

By Don Kaye, Den of Geek, 30 September 2020

"We're living through a time of horror, which makes what we’re doing more pertinent.
"[re. US Presidential Debate 29 September 2020] Watching the horror show last night on television, watching two grown men in their 70s brawling — I should say one man brawling, the other man doing his best to bring sanity to the situation — was worrying. Very worrying. That’s horror. The idea that that man with the orange hair and the orange face should be in charge of the nuclear button is horrifying. I don’t care who knows it. It’s just a distressing. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, people are being lost nearly hourly... this is grim stuff."

Nightbreed TV Show Lands Godzilla Director, Clive Barker Returns

By Don Kaye, Den of Geek, 1 October 2020

"Things are cyclical. For a while, I was doing a lot of fantasy, and I did obviously The Thief of Always, and stuff like that. I’ve got a bunch more stories (like The Thief of Always), which are coming. But I also felt the need to go back to my horror roots, and doing it unapologetically...
"To me, the thrill of all of this is reawakening myself... It’s time we got back to our roots. It’s time we got back to genuinely having something to say, something to feel. Something that will genuinely stir us up. I think I’m always going to feel that my chosen form is going to be the written word, because that’s where I started."

Books of Blood Filmmakers Talk Sequel Possibilities and Clive Barker Adaptations

By Patick Cavanaugh,, 7 October 2020

"There's also a story called, 'The Life of Death,' which is a story I'm very close to because it's about the nursing of a medieval plague pit and, sorry to be... if this is in bad taste, but the fact is that plagues are in our head and our minds right now, plagues on our minds, big time. We've seen films taken from the sky of fields filled with graves, new graves. This is something that the medieval mind would have understood completely. And I had a friend whose job it was to get in those hazmat suits and go into newly opened plague pits, where there would be hundreds of hundreds of people who had just been thrown into pits because they had to get buried as quickly as possible.
"And I thought, 'Wow, there's a story there.' And this lady who I was teaching playwriting to, she was an amazing lady and I quizzed her about it. She gave me all the inside skinny, and I told her, I told 'em, I told Brannon at some point we got to do this. We got to go to England and tell this story. So that would be one that I'd love to see Brannon do."

How Hulu’s Books Of Blood Movie Taps The Mind Of Clive Barker

By Don Kaye, Den of, 7 October 2020

"I feel as though I, as a creator, owe my readers surprises. Part of the fun of all of this, I think, is the stuff in [the Books of Blood TV adaptation] that you’ve read before, I should say. But there’s also a lot which comes out of nowhere. It’s really only the story of the physical Book of Blood, which is something which had already existed. The rest of it’s new."

Clive Barker & Brannon Braga Talk Anthology Horror Films And Books Of Blood

By Jonathan James, Daily, 7 October 2020

"Wes Craven... once said to me, 'They've got to feel that you'll do anything to them.' And I remember thinking, 'Wes, you're a genius.' And it's true. You've got to feel going into a horror movie, that almost anything is possible, and I think Brannon gives us that [in Books of Blood]. He unsettles us to the point, where, really, there's a lot of stuff that is incredibly intense, which happens after the first hour of the picture. The most scary stuff comes in a rhythm that you don't expect. Horror movies have rhythms, and sometimes that can make them very conventional, very predictable. And I think this is one of the least predictable horror movies I've ever seen."

Why Clive Barker Calls Hulu's Books of Blood an 'Anti-anthology'

By Matthew Jackson,, 7 October 2020

[re. Books of Blood TV adaptation] "You're doing a jigsaw in a way, and all the pieces have been spread before you. Now they're going to be put together in front of you, but not in the order in which you think they're going to be put together. This is an anthology, which is, in fact, an anti-anthology. It pulls what should be separate narratives into a single energy. Narratives have their own energy, their own force. And this has the force of a single narrative, not three separate narratives. You don't have to begin again three times in the movie. It runs, it flows, and the beginning is at the end, and the end is at the beginning. There are hints everywhere that this is all one reality."

Hulu’s Books Of Blood Cast On Interweaving Dark Storylines & Brutal Horror Make-Up

By Kristen Maldonado, The Fan Club, 7 October 2020

"There have been, over the years, these stories accruing in my head and I really had no-one to tell them to. And along comes Brannon and I say, 'Hey Brannon, I've got some other stories: maybe we should be thinking about these too?' and he said, 'Bring 'em on!'
"[re the 'structural elegance' of Books of Blood] Even I, seeing it for the first time, I had the pleasure of being surprised. Not just by the bloood and the gore and the intense stuff, but also by the subtle things you just said. And that's pretty rare. It's pretty rare because it's very difficult to do. It's wonderful to see - I've seen the picture three times now and each time I see it I find some other Easter egg which I hadn't noticed."

Books Of Blood Interview: Barker And Braga

By [ ], Morbidly, 9 October 2020

"I think, in a sense, [horror stories are] fairy tales for adults. They’re moral tales for adults, fables for adults. And I think that like fables, like fairy tales, they bear repeating. Because every time a teller tells a tale, they tell it in their own likeness. Every teller, every storyteller, has the voice of their story resemble themselves in some aspect. So you never tell the same story twice. It’s like… Was it Socrates who said you never step into the same river twice? Or was it Plato? Maybe Plato. That’s common sense. You never step into the same river twice. It’s always moving.
"I think when horror is at its strongest, it’s moving, and it’s moving into the intimacies of our lives, which are changing all the time... So horror changes, storytelling changes, and the storytellers change."

Clive Barker Talks Books Of Blood Movie

By Majo Pavlović, edited version on Gos Negre,, 10 October 2020

"It's interesting, because the first story, the Books of Blood story, should be at the beginning, shouldn't it, but it isn't, and that is brilliant too, I think, because you realise when you do get to that story 'oh, wait a second, I've seen this movie backwards,' right..?
"There was one story, The Book of Blood obviously, which I had written, yeah, it existed in The Books of Blood, but the other stories were stories that I created for this and told to Brannon in our meetings. And so I had two stories, two ideas really, both of which were based in Britain because they happened in Britain - one of which was about the bodies in the walls, which was something that had happened in England, about twenty-three, twenty-four years ago, and it was a real thing. And the one with the cockroaches, you know, because they also come out of the walls, right? My grandmother, when she was very old, had another friend that was very old who was bedridden, she couldn't move out of bed. And she said, 'Something is talking to me, at night,' and people just laughed, you know? And she said, 'No, no, you don't understand, they have a code, they're talking a code to me, at night.' And it turned out when she died and they moved the bed, that the big bedhead, which was very big - it was an old-fashioned Victorian bed - was concealing a vast nest of cockroaches. So what she was hearing was thousands of cockroaches, not on the walls, but in the walls, sort of communicating with each other by scratching and doing whatever cockroaches do, you know? And so that when the lights were turned out at night in this room, she could just hear them. Through the day, when the lights were on and there were people talking, they were completely silent and then they waited until she was alone, essentially, and vulnerable, so that's the story, and that one was true."

Reddit AMA

By Clive Barker,, 12 October 2020

"In the last month or so, several projects that I’ve always wanted to see as films or television series have been pursued by producers and will be turned into events for television or cinema in the next few years.
"They include: Imajica, Weaveworld, Nightbreed, more tales from the Books of Blood, and also a television series based upon the comic called Ectokid. There are others in the works, but all of those are moving along nicely...
"I suspect that if you look back over some of the questions that I’ve answered today, you’ll find that theme of just doing it appearing more than once. It’s the cornerstone of my creative skills, if you will – that the worst thing I can do is think too hard about what I’m doing and not trust my instincts. Your heart knows better than your head."

‘Books of Blood’: Clive Barker & Director Brannon Braga on Bringing Horror to Hulu

By Christina Radish , Collider, 14 October 2020

"We’ve got Weaveworld coming, which is a big novel of mine. We’ve got Imajica. We’ve got a bunch of things, in terms of the novels being turned into television. Brannon [Braga] and I have got plans, which extend far beyond the end of the century, to produce new works. We’ve been having a hell of a lot of fun, not only developing the stories that were there [in The Books of Blood] but also developing new stories. When we get together, we talk about horror, we talk about shocking stuff, and we talk about feeling closer to the characters...
"It’s been frustrating for me because I’ve wanted to make [Thief] into a movie pretty much since I wrote it. Oliver Parker, who is a friend of mine since he was 17 or 18, and has directed a whole bunch of wonderful movies, is now directing it. David Barron, who is one of the producers of the Harry Potter movies, is producing. And we’re gonna shoot that in England next year. So, yes, The Thief of Always is on its way to you. I’m sorry it’s been so long coming, but it’s on its way. It’s on the slow train."

Clive Barker's Master Comic Class

By Nisad Selimović, Majo Pavlović,, 26 October 2020

"Life is horrible, and I'm not joking. Getting things that are inside you out into the world... This is very important and if we were not able to do this we'd go crazy - I would, I know I'd go crazy. I know the world is fucked-up.
"The only reason I make art is because I am - excuse this, I'm going to sound very dramatic for a moment - because I'm in pain. I don't mean physical pain, I mean psychic pain. We all are, we all are. We're living in a world which doesn't have any explanations left.
"When you read a horror story it's not really happening, you have control over it, yes? You can put it down when it's finished and it didn't really happen, you're safe. Good horror stories show you what the darkness is like but they don't make you suffer it... The best way not to be scared is to understand."

Just In Time For Halloween: Clive Barker’s Back To Raise Hell

By Mike Fleming Jr,, 30 October 2020

"I'm delighted the Hellraiser mythology is seeing a new life. It's time the stories went back to their roots. I'm eager to bring to a new audience the most powerful and ancient elements of horror: the darkest evil invading our human lives and how we must find in ourselves the power to resist it."

Clive Barker Interview: ‘I Woke Up From A Coma, And Everything I Owned Was Gone’

By Ed Power, Daily Telegraph, 26 November 2020

"It feels as though after illness and silence I’m finally back... back where I was. It’s been a tough time. But I’m well now. And strong now. And writing like crazy....
"By and large artists are cursed by parasites, and I’ve had my share of parasites, believe me... When I came out of that coma, I had a lot that I owned removed. And by my friends... by people I [trusted]. Everything I had, had been taken.
"[Deep Hill]’s very dark. It’s set in a small town in Pennsylvania, which has been subjected to a strange invasion. This is a dark, loopy twisted narrative with a lot of rage in it about the way our culture is in decay. And about fighting back against that decay – intellectual, moral, creative decay. We have to stand up. Next time we talk, we’ll know who is President."

On The Way To Heaven, We Had A Picnic Of Ideas...

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 10 November 2020 (note - full text here)

"Writing hurts me. I wouldn’t do it if it hurt me badly enough, but it throws me around in a way that we’ve never really discussed. By the time I’d finished the final draft of Mercy and The Jackal, I was wiped – I am wiped – and I was trying to work out what it is about writing that does that to me, what am I plunging my hand into – and I don’t have an answer to this so it’s not a rhetorical question – what am I plunging my hand into that, when it’s pulled out, hurts? I don’t have any answers. I only know that the fable construct allowed it not to hurt so much because I wasn’t investing in the particularities of the pain of the characters themselves. I was observing them remotely."

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