The Hero’s Journey of Andrew David Barker

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

I love the process, the act of creating. Whether writing or filmmaking, I love being deep in the story I’m telling. Writing is a solitary act, for the most part, and I love to be alone, immersed in the story, whereas film is collaborative, with many people and moving parts, and I love that as well. Both complement my nature as sometimes I need the seclusion and sometimes I need to be surrounded by creative people, but the throughline is that I always need to be doing something. I always need to be creating something. It’s the best drug I know of.

What is my idea of happiness?

To live a fulfilling creative life surrounded by family and friends. Or lying on a beach reading a good book. Although I know that would only last a day or two before I’d feel the urge to write again.

What is my greatest fear?

At the moment, I fear that A.I. is soon going to make what I do irrelevant. Make us all irrelevant.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Imposter syndrome.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

The two Steves – Mr. Spielberg and Mr. King.

What is my greatest extravagance?

I’m not a very extravagant person. I have three pairs of jeans, but do have a shelf full of books.

On what occasion would I lie?

I find white lies often help to get a project moving.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

I don’t think I’ve fully realised my full potential yet. Everything still feels like a work-in-progress.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

Making stupid films with my mates on Saturday afternoons when we were teenagers. I’m probably still chasing that feeling.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

To have taken more chances when I was younger.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

To have connected with readers across the world with my books, most notably my first novel, The Electric, which many people have told me moved them.

Where would I most like to live?

In the past.

What is my most treasured possession?

My imagination.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Determination, even in the face of failure.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

My house.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

I like any old English pub with a lot of history, of which there are a lot where I live in Warwickshire. Bonus points if it has a ghost.

What books influenced my life and how?

Too many books to mention really, but it was the aforementioned Stephen King who

set me on the road to being a writer.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day?

‘Hairshirt’ by R.E.M.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Too many to mention really, but Johnny Smith in The Dead Zone springs to mind.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Nurses, doctors, paramedics, the fire service – true heroes in our society.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

It’s a Wonderful Life.

What role do stories play in my life and work?

Stories are everything to me. To show us how to live, to wonder, to dream. Stories are magic.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ mean to me?

I think it means that you have to forge your own path, create your own opportunities, and embrace all the creative possibilities that come your way. As Mark Duplass said – the cavalry is not coming. Don’t wait for anyone’s permission, just go and do it. Write your own success story.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My wife.

Which people or companies would I like to work with?

Apple TV, BBC, Shudder, Amazon, Netflix, Blumhouse, Reece Shearsmith & Steve Pemberton, as I’d love to direct an episode of Inside No.9, Nira Par. And, of course, the big one: Steven Spielberg!

What project am I looking forward to work on?

I’ve co-created, with Matthew Waldram, a crime/comedy series called Empire Amusements. Think Martin Scorsese’s Casino, but set in an English seaside town about two rival arcades. We have a pilot script, a fantastic pitch desk, and a wonderful short film version ready to go.

The other thing is I want to write and direct a feature film in 2024. It’s a ghost story based on a short story of mine called The House on Lidderman Street. I hope I can bring it all together.

The story is available here:

Where can you see me or my work?

My books are available on Amazon and various other sites. My micro-budget post-apocalyptic feature film, A Reckoning, is on Prime, and a few of my short films are on YouTube. My latest short, Here Lies…, will be out soon. Links to almost everything are on my website:

I am also currently writing a Production Diary charting the journey of my short film, Baby on Board. Here’s the link:

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

I’ve never heard it put like that before, but it rings true. This stuff is either in you or it isn’t. My drive and ambition is a constant. I can’t see it ever going away.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?

Susan Stokes-Chapman, Dan Howarth, David Bryant, Chris Crow, Laura Rollins, Cassie Leedham, Mick Walker, John Blythe, Ashley Price, Adam Park

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