Clive Barker began his career in the arts as a playwright, actor and director, but was first recognized as a master of storytelling when he sold his first collection of short stories, The Books of Blood
in the U.S., in 1984. In 1987 he directed the cult hit Hellraiser
(1987), adapted by Barker from his novella The Hellbound Heart
. Although hailed as a visionary innovator of the genre, Barker has reached outside horror with fantasy (Weaveworld
(1987); The Great and Secret Show
(1989) and the children's book, The Thief of Always
(1992), which features 27 of his own illustrations.
Barker returned to the director's chair for Lord of Illusions
(1995), an unusual film noir inflected story of how real and deadly magic sometimes fuels the art of illusion. Barker also served as producer and adapted his 1985 story The Last Illusion
. He has continued to alternate between film and book projects.