Equally inspired by a childhood diet of Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and M. R. James, Barry began writing paranormal stories initially as an exploration of ghosts as manifestations of the unconscious psyche, before experimenting with the wider aspects of the metaphysical, dream interpretation and urban gothic.
Like Montague James, he began performing them to select small audiences and then on BBC Radio Cumbria. His tales began seeing print in the Lancashire Post and American anthologies such as Dark Gothic Resurrected and The Horror Zine. His involvement with the Spooky Isles website led to two stories published in its first anthology, The Spooky Isles Book of Horror (2018). He then edited their second collection with David Saunderson, Shadow of Pendle (2019), before deciding it was time to anthologise his own stories.
“Ideas for tales come mainly from dreams, the gateway to the unconscious,” Barry explains. “This is probably why a lot of my stories tend to revolve around bridges opening between the natural world of the protagonists and the unknown territory of a darker dimension. It is not always clear whether these other worlds are extraneous or internal. Sanity and the supernatural poses an intriguing equation, and a question I might leave for the reader to deal with.”
Barry is also the editor of Parnassus, the art and literature journal for Mensa International, a regular feature writer for the magazines This England and Evergreen, and the horror film periodicals Scream and The Dark Side. He continues to broadcast his stories on BBC Radio Cumbria and Lancashire, and was more recently resident historian across BBC Midlands local radio.