Clive Barker made an Appearence on AOL July 16, 1996.
The Following is a Transcript of the Event

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OnlineHost: Copyright 1996 America Online, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
OnlineHost: Center Stage is the largest gathering place on the service, bringing celebrity guests right into your home, and offering a host of entertainment events led by a team of talented emcees. It's capable of accommodating thousands of guests and is truly the showplace of the America Online service.
OnlineHost: Your emcee is AOLiveMC2 (LouMD).
OnlineHost: Clive Barker, the author of numerous worldwide bestsellers, including THE BOOKS OF BLOOD, EVERVILLE, WEAVEWORLD and many others, demonstrates once again why he has become one of imaginative fiction and fantasy's most beloved novelists with the release of SACRAMENT (HarperCollins). To learn more about the man and his work, please greet author Clive Barker!
AOLiveMC2: Welcome to the Odeon, Mr. Barker!
CliveBrker: Hello everybody! I am ready to answer all of your questions!
AOLiveMC2: We will begin with our first question:
Question: How were you involved in producing such movies as Lord of Illusions and Hellraiser?
CliveBrker: I directed the first Hellraiser movie back in 1986 in order to protect myself from truly appaling adaptations of my short stories for example, RAW HEAD REX, which is one of my favorite tales from the books of Blood, reduced to a mockery of a picture back in 1985. I decided to direct pictures to protect myself from BS like that.
Question: In most cases your books have turned out much better than the movie. Except Hellraiser, I like the movie better
CliveBrker: I would agree! I like very much the directors cut of LORD OF ILLUSIONS, which is available on laser and video, but by in large I much prefer books to movies.
Question: How did you come up with the idea for Candyman?
CliveBrker: My grandmother used to tell me very terrifying tales when I was a kid. One of them concerned a supernatural figure who, she warned, would sneek into public toilets and cut the wee willy off little boys. It left a significant impression on me!
Question: I recently caught a re-run of Politically Incorrect - really enjoyed seeing/hearing your opinions (especially the gay vs. crackhead parent debate!) Will you continue to make appearances in that (and this) format? Thanks, and have a great evening!
CliveBrker: I enjoyed Politically Incorrect. It's a fun context in which to - once in a while - present some semi-serious points of view. I was particulary entertained watching Bill Maher respond to the conversation about being gay!
Question: Hello, Mr. Barker! I was wondering if/when the final chapter of the Great and Secret Show will be released? And are there any plans for a movie or miniseries?
CliveBrker: The final part of the Art Trilogy will be published before the end of the century, I promise! It's going to be a huge book, and with the large volumes of prose I have to warm up like a marathon runner before I set to work.
Question: What do you think of the present state of the horror market?
CliveBrker: I like some of the work that is out there right now, but my focus of late has not been upon horror fiction but upon fantasy and children's literature. Sacrament doesn't fall into any of those catergories. In a sense it's like nothing I've really written before.
Question: When did you decide to come out and what prompted you to do so?
CliveBrker: I was never really in. I've been signing at gay bookstores for many years (I think my first signing at A Different Light in N.Y. was in 1988) and I've featured gay men and women in my fiction since the first short stories. I've never really felt it was an issue. I am delighted, however that the new novel - which features a gay hero - has been so warmly received.
Question: Mr Barker, do you feel that the movie adaptations of your works accurately portray what you are trying to write or is something lost on the big screen?
CliveBrker: Something is always lost when words turn into celluloid. Literature is a medium which invites a co-creation with a reader, whereas movies are always and inevitably literal.
Question: When will Hellraiser 4 be released in the states?
CliveBrker: Hellraiser 4 has been released in the states. It's not very good. I think they are making another one. Oh god!
Question: What do you think of your artwork being used as tattoo designs?
CliveBrker: I love seeing my artwork inscribed in peoples flesh. Last night in Boston a number of people came to the book signing with illustrations of mine permanately inscribed on their bodies. It really is an extraordinary (and often very sexy) experience seeing images that you put on paper now moving on peoples skin.
Question: Hi, Clive! Let me ask: How did you make the transition from short fiction to novels, and was it easy for you? Ditto movie work. Thanks! Drew Bittner P.S. Jeff Mariotte would say hi...
CliveBrker: I began with short stories because they seemed easiest to write, but I very soon drempt up stories that needed a larger canvas. Inevitably I turned my attention to novels which grew in scale as my ambition grew. One of the extraordinary things of being an artist, whatever the medium, is that really there is no definitive moment (at least in my experience) when you say to yourself: I know how to do this. To be perfectly honest, every movie I make, every book I write, every painting I paint, feels like an experiment.
Question: Welcome Clive, We met at the Lord of Illusions Screening, and your signing at Bess Cutler. Will you be doing a signing in NY or Philly and will you be doing a show of any Sacrament art?
CliveBrker: I already did a signing in N.Y. and unfortunately this tour doesn't take me to Philly. Perhaps next time. I will be exhibiting new paintings in N.Y. and L.A. in the early part of next year.
Question: Do you actually write the screenplays?
CliveBrker: Which screen plays? I wrote the Hellraiser screenplay, as well as Nightbreed and Lord of Illusions. The Candyman screenplays were written by other hands, based upon my concepts.
Question: My screen name is MicheleCP. I help with a Horror Writers Group on AOL. I have two questions: What advice would you give to new writers? And would you be interested in being a guest at one of my group's weekly meetings?
CliveBrker: People often ask me what advice I have for writers, and I reply that the most important responsibility I believe a writer has is to his or her personal truth. Don't be misled by the best seller lists. Just do what feels true to you. Speak your heart, however strange or revelatory it is. Don't be ashamed of how your imagination works. What a reader wants to discover in a book is what you hold uniquely in your head.
Question: How extensively do you revise your fiction?
CliveBrker: I write at least 3 drafts of every book, each one of which resembles the version before scarcely at all. In other words, I revise extensively, even obsessively. The first paragraph of Sacrament, for instance, probably went through 20 drafts.
Question: Do you have much contact with other writers of your subject?
CliveBrker: No. I meet other writers very rarely. I keep long hours writing and painting in my house in LA, and unless I am on the road ( as I am now) I keep my circle small. Most of my friends are in the arts, in some form or other, but few of them write fantastic fiction.
Question: How long did Sacrament take to write?
CliveBrker: Sacrament took 14 months from beginning to end.
Question: Where does such vivid imagery for your works come from? Do you have an inspirational source?
CliveBrker: I keep a dream journal, which is a repository of images and ideas that spring to mind in sleep. I jot down any and every stray notion that pops into my head during the working day, however irrelevant they may seem. I am always waiting for the connections to occur to me. The threads of narrative which tie these disparate and unconnected notions and images together.
Question: What do you think of the short story magazines in America?
CliveBrker: I don't really read them. Wait a minute, does Playboy count?
Question: Mr. Barker have you ever considered making a movie out of The History of the Devil or remaking Rawhead Rex?
CliveBrker: Yes we have considered a movie of the History of the Devil, but with theatrical productions of the play springing up across the country, I think I will leave the movie life of the piece for a little while. Unfortunately I can't remake Raw Head Rex. The rights still belong to the SOB who made the first version.
Question: God the father recurs in your work. . .care to expand on the why?
CliveBrker: I consider myself a man of faith but the conventional Christian structures of belief - which value a male and judgemental god above a more protean vision of the divine, is for me, too simple, too crude, and frankly, too suspiciously like a notion whipped up by a male priest-class obsessed with keeping itself in power. So...I critique the god of Israel at the same time as conceding His extraordinary power over our imaginations.
Question: I though Weaveworl was your best book - chilling images, complex world, etc. What were you thinking about while you were writing it?
CliveBrker: I was thinking about Never Never Land. I was thinking of the dreams I had as a child, of a place of Edenic perfection, to which I would one day be removed by some passing balmy breeze. I was thinking of heaven. And of course, I was thinking of how - growing to adulthood - we lose our grasp of that perfection.
Question: 2nd question: Is there another book to follow Everville? I can't shake the feeling that the Children of the Nuncio aren't entirely accounted for...
CliveBrker: Yes, there is a third book to come in a couple more years.
Question: Do you think it's more difficult to make a good film or book?
CliveBrker: I think making stories which touch people deeply is always hard. I've been writing plays and books for 20 years and I still go to my desk every morning with a mixture of excitement and dread.
Question: which would you say is your best book?
CliveBrker: I love the new book SACRAMENT very much, because it's so intimately connected with who I am. I am also intensely proud of IMAJICA.
Question: Just finished Sacrament. It was great, unlike anything else youhave done. Was any of Sacrament autobiographical? The Neph, (Paul)
CliveBrker: Yes there are significant portions of Sacrament which are autobiographical. Details of geography, portraits of people, ideas, doubts, and images of faith that are spoken from some place very deep inside me.
Question: How does the fact that you are now only gay influence your writing, besides in the obvious way-- ie, writing aboiut gay characters.
CliveBrker: I have had plenty of girlfriends in my life, so it doesn't limit my vision of heterosexual experience that I now identify myself as a gay man. The constants in our lives are the same whatever our sexual orientation. We feel desire and desperation, we feel love and rejection, we feel posessed by those we love and feel a need to be, in our turn, posessed. Whoever we sleep with, whoever we feel love for, these feelings are universal. That said, I am immensely gratified that my straight readers have no problem identifying with a gay character. We are all human. Well, most of us.
OnlineHost: All good things must come to an end. Time is up for this event!
AOLiveMC2: At this time, Mr. Barker will be asking a trivia question.
AOLiveMC2: The first 6 correct answers will receive a prize. There will be five signed copies of "Sacrament" and the Grand Prize will be a special hardbound copy of "Everville." You will be sending your answers to the comment queue.
CliveBrker: Where does the character of Harry D'Amour first appear? (hint: it's in a short story)
AOLiveMC2: We have our winners.
AOLiveMC2: The Grand Prize winner is Morpehus5.
AOLiveMC2: The winners of "Sacrament are: Vassago, TeslaArt, Nephilum, BarnabasO and Salzy Cans. Congratulations to all of you.
AOLiveMC2: Thanks, Mr. Barker, for being our guest.
CliveBrker: It's been a pleasure. May I add that when I am on the road it's wonderfully invigorating to connect - as we have tonight - with people who are so passionate about what I do. I will admit that a 20 city tour, which is what I am on, is exhausting and sometimes a little depressing. It's hard to be a sound bite on the lunchtime news in Kalamazoo! But I've come away from tonight's meeting of minds feeling encouraged and ready for the road! I hope to see some of you in the next few weeks at book signings accross the country. For a list of where I am going to be, check the Web of Lost Souls.
CliveBrker: Thank you all.
CliveBrker: Sweet dreams.
AOLiveMC2: It's been a great pleasure having you here to take our questions.
AOLiveMC2: Thanks, Audience, for being here and submitting your questions.
AOLiveMC2: Goodnight, Everyone!

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