Born in Liverpool, England, not far from Penny Lane, Clive Barker first began scaring people when he was 10, with his stories around the Boy Scout campfire. When he was 16, a visit to his school by horror author Ramsey Campbell inspired him to write horror stories. Graduating from the University of Liverpool in 1952, where he studied English literature and philosophy, Barker moved to London and co-formed the Dog Company, a theater group that performed, designed, and directed a series of Barker's plays. The plays met with moderate success, but never really made it to the mainstream, though THE SECRET LIFE OF CARTOONS had a run in London's West End. It wasn't until he read an American horror collection that Barker saw a market for his work. Over a few months, he wrote a collection of short stories published as the three-volume BOOKS OF BLOOD. After earning great acclaim in England, the BOOKS made their way to the U.S. where Stephen King gave his stamp of approval with the oft-repeated, and parodied, comment, "I have seen the future of horror, and its name is Clive Barker." Indeed, the BOOKS OF BLOOD stories had a watershed effect in horror fiction, introducing a new strain of extreme violence and graphic sexuality that, coupled with Barker's ability to create strikingly original stories in terse, clear prose, virtually defined the 1980s "splatterpunk" movement. As he prepared his first full-length novel THE DAMNATION GAME, Barker wrote scripts for two films based on his own stories. Unhappy with the finished results, he decided that he needed more control. Adapting a third of his stories, and recruiting some former Dog Company members, Barker directed 1987's HELLRAISER. This film made Barker's name known outside the horror fiction world. Subsequent Barker-related films, including NIGHTBREED, both CANDYMAN and its sequel, LORD OF ILLUSIONS, and several HELLRAISER sequels, have produced mixed results, but, since 1987, each of his fiction titles--among them, WEAVEWORLD, THE GREAT AND SECRET SHOW, and IMAJICA--have been massive bestsellers. Following THE DAMNATION GAME, Barker's novels have moved further away from horror, and more toward epic fantasy--THE THIEF OF EVERVILLE (1992) was even geared especially toward young adults. Instead of short stories, he has produced numerous books of his illustrations, comic book adaptations, and increasingly long novels. He served as executive producer on 1998's award-winning GODS AND MONSTERS, a bio-pic about legendary film director James Whale.