April 1999

Letís start with an update from the desk of Seraphim Films:

This will be Cliveís next writing / directing project. Still in the early stages of development, the film will be set on the American railroad as it expands westward in Illinois and Wyoming, in or around 1866.

Awaiting notes from Universal on Matthew Jacobís latest draft. Everyone is very excited as Matthew was able to convey the magic of the book into the screenplay.

MGM / UA has hired Clive to come up with three ideas based on or around Edgar Alan Poe. The first will be a combination of Poeís "Murders in the Rue Morgue" and Cliveís "New Murders in the Rue Morgue." The second is titled "Canes Bone," and the third will be a story based on Poe and his relationship with his editor Rufus Griswold.

This is a series for HBO. Written by Matt Wilder, this is Cliveís re-telling of American History.

This project is set up with the Action / Adventure Network and DirecTV. Michael Hamilton Wright is currently polishing the pilot script.

The last three episodes of this six-hour mini-series for Showtime have recently been completed by Peter Lenkov.

We pick up with the interview now in progress as Robb Humpreys answers some questions from Lost Souls members.

L.S: Letís go through the e-mail questions to Clive.

Robb Humpreys: Alright.

L.S: What exactly is an executive producers job?

Robb: Clive worked with Bill for the script on Gods and Monsters until they both thought it was great. Then Clive, Bill and Gregg Fienburg, one of the producers, took it around town and pitched it to companies until they got it set up. Clive was kind of the godfather, giving his opinion whenever he thought it was needed or asked.

L.S: The second part of the question is, "Did you meet Ian MacKellan and Brendan Fraiser?"

Robb: The answer is yes. We went to the set a few times to watch them shoot.

L.S: Do you have any plans to work with them in the future?"

Robb: The answer is no, not at this time.

L.S: Has there ever been any discussion about putting together a collection of your un-produced original screenplays, such as American Primitive, Eden USA and Cliveís and Mick Garris draft of the Mummy?

Robb: No we have no plans right now.

L.S: The majority of your plays have been published, but there are still some that have not been published yet. Are there plans?

Robb: The answer is perhaps.

L.S: A member was curious about if you were still planning on working on The third book of the Art. If so, when might it fit into your schedule?

Robb: The answer is yes, he will work on the third book of the Art. He doesnít know when it will be coming out, but he said it will be a very large project, and he underlined very large!

L.S: The last question is What Brand of cigars does Clive smoke?

Robb: And the answer is, drum roll please...Romeo and Juliets.

Robb then turns over the phone to Clive.

Clive: Hello Lost Souls.

L.S: First I want to apologize for the loss of our last interview.

Clive: Donít worry about it. Itís happened to the best of us. Iíve actually done interviews with people that call back later and say, Ďabout my tape recorder.í It happens.

L.S.: Thanks. How about we just start of with "The Essential Clive Barker."

Clive: Let me just give you an update. The whole notion of this book was to go to my books and plays, short stories, etc., and chosen the material that I felt was the most essential. Iíve written about a twelve thousand word introduction in which I try to trace my approach to writing and to offer some insight. I have divided the book into thirteen chapters, each of which is
devoted to different areas, sort of doorway. The idea is that if you want to read the book from beginning to end, hopefully it will be elegantly constructed so you may do so. On the other hand, if you want to sit in the bath and read three or four pieces, you can do that as well. What I found out about my writing, is that I tell stories within stories. What IĎve been able to do very often in this book is pluck stories out from within stories; short stories that were imbedded inside novels in a way. I think itís going to be a real pleasure to read.

L.S: What about "The Scarlet Gospels?"

Clive: This is cutting edge Clive Barker. A wonderful woman by the name of Andrea Danese from Callaway Editions, who did the Madonna sex book, is a great fan of both the painting and my writing. She asked me if I would like to do something, of which I said I would really love to do something. What I would really like to do is something erotic and strongly and unapologetically erotic and comprehensively erotic. I wanted every conceivable element of the human erotic urge; gay, straight and then some. So what we are constructing is a book which will have about a hundred illustrations, painting, photographs and drawings. There will be perhaps forty pieces of fiction, some of them very short, some of them longer, all of them very sexy. The idea is that we will have at the end of it we will have a kind of compendium of erotica which is both imagistic and literary. I believe it will be laid out in a way which I think will be completely fresh and interesting. Iím very excited by the project because I believe itís going into new territories, not just for me, Iím speaking generally. Thereís not an awful lot of us that are around making paintings and writing. The chance to do something where you can pull those areas together and make a single statement, using painting, photography and writing and I want to thank Callaway for giving me the chance to do this. Harper-Collins has bought the book from Callaway, so Callaway will create it and Harper will distribute it.

L.S: Does that shock you?

Clive: What that Harper-Collins bought it? No it doesnít. My original editor had rejected it. He thought it was too strong for Harper-Collins tastes. Since that time, itís nearly a year and a half since he said that, the feeling at Harper towards me and my work has changed incredibly for the better. I have a new editor, Paul McCarthy, who is marvelous. There are new people heading up Harper-Collins; Cathy Hennings, who is a wonderful lady and really understands my vision completely and what I want to do. She understands the commitment I have made to make work which crosses boundaries. As soon as she heard this book was available, she said ĎI want this.í I think what this reflects is a new, fresh, exciting feel at Harper. I feel very blessed because I believe I have people in Paul, Cathy and Jane, who trust me to do my thing and they know that itís going to be strange and extreme sometimes. However, they are willing to celebrate that, which is great. This is going to be in many regards an extreme book. There are a lot of eye popping images and ideas. I have delivered ten or eleven of the short stories and the response is really strong, which is great and what I want. So thatís the Scarlet Gospels.

The Essential Clive Barker comes out in England, the English will be the first. Look for it late September, early October in England. I do plan to tour England but donít have dates or places yet. It looks as if it may be around the last ten days of September. I will get those to you so you can get them on the web. The Essential will come out in America in December. I wonít tour here, because I toured in America for Galilee. I might very well do a limited number here, but we havenít talked about it. And to add to that the Scarlet Gospels is tentatively for next summer.

L.S: The latest news is that you have decided to film next year!

Clive: I have. I think itís time to get behind the camera again. With the success of Gods and Monster and just enjoying seeing people taking pleasure in that at the Oscars is tremendous. We were enthused from the reaction and I came up with a story that I love. Iím going to do that for New Line and hopefully we will get before the camera next year.

L.S: We talked on the last tape about doing a convention.

Clive: Yes. I am completely up for that. I just feel like the sooner we can get it into the schedule the better. I want to make sure that itís doable. When you canvass opinions, get back with me and letís try to pin down a date we can get together!

L.S: There you have it. If that isnít a invitation to all the fans to let us know what you think, I really donít know what to say. Letís get in those comments so we can get planning!