Me, Masturbation & Clive Barker


I just finished an essay for Peter Crowther and Pete von Sholly’s latest project coming out from a British publisher. I’m not sure I can talk about the project yet, but my contribution is an essay that’s an R-rated literary romp about my former film mentor and favorite horror author. The first line of the piece is:

“My first masturbatory fantasy was Clive Barker.”

It sort of goes downhill from there. So to speak.

When Pete asked me to write about Clive, I knew couldn’t write a dry-as-dust bio. It had to be shocking, personal, and entertaining. I wanted to reveal Clive the man alongside his work: his kindness and generosity, as well as his diabolical imagination. Clive as both the shaman and sinner. To reveal both his sense of humor, as well as his profound spirituality.

There’s even a funny anecdote that involves Neil Gaiman and big noses.

When I learned Clive had been in a coma last year, my world stopped. Yes, in some ways he’s immortal because his contribution to horror is so sweeping that he’s touched generations to come. But he’s human. And I want people to know about him, the person you might not guess he is based on his writing alone.

It’s a love letter–agape love, that is, not eros, although it reads more like the latter than the former. I don’t know that anyone else would have published something like this.

Anyhow, I’ve seen von Sholly’s illustrations and they’re incredible. Many other amazing authors are contributing, too. I’ll be sure to announce when you can pick up Pete & Pete’s creation.

Now back to the completely wicked book-in-progress and the thriller short story cooking in my head.

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