Kensington Gore speaks candidly to author, model, actress, soon to be Gore scream Queen. Kim Culpepper. This interview was first published in 2016:
This interview is set in a blood bath, literally a blood bath, or to be more precise a bath filled with blood. I am doing a sponsored 24 hour sit in a tub of blood to help homeless zombies or something, I've been in here so long I bloody forget I have a key interview with fab horror writer, model, actress all round good egg Kim Culpepper.
Kim is a new addition to the Kensington Gore Publishing stable and I can't wait to take her for a ride on the moors.
I best turn my dic off, as I am getting blood in the works and my battery is going down faster than a porn star on a submarine.
Greetings dear reader. You join me yet again in my bath of blood. I'm another hour into my charity effort and feeling a bit lonely to be honest. But who is this? “I’m to be joined in my very own "Bloodbath" by the lovely stunning young writer, model, actress, entrepreneur the ever lovely Kim Culpepper.
KG: Kim, thank you for joining me in my blood bath. May I say my darling the bikini my wife Marge leant you looks simply stunning on you. It's the very one warn by Ursula Undress in the Bond film Dr No. Don't worry it's been cleaned.
KG: Is this the strangest place you've done an interview?
KC: I think this is the strangest place I’ve ever been period.
KG: I hope the temperature of the blood is to your liking? It's not real blood by the way, it's fake, named after me. Kensington Gore. But it's my secret recipe. I'd tell you it but then I'm afraid I'd have to kill you my darling and that might make for a bit of a bad interview. It's kind of like Colonel Sanders chicken. Think my blood actually tastes better. Speaking of blood baths a little bird tells me you'd love to get into writing horror movies?
KC: I do love lots of gore and blood! Excited to be working for the British master of all that is horrifically hilarious.
KG: Well I do like to raise a titter or two. Tell me my dear what scares you in horror and real life? What makes you scream dear? Don't worry about that, it's only a loffer.
KC: Horror only ever excites me. It never scares me, although the situation you’ve put me in today is a little frightening. Bugs make me scream. You’ve got none of those creeping about do you?
KG: Nothing crawling around my body, sadly. You say all of your life you've been around death. Well you're in a bath tub full of blood with me the master of death, horror and gore. Death doesn't scare you dear?
KC: I’ve got more to be afraid of here than on the other side. Death doesn’t scare me, in fact we are really good friends.
KG: I try to avoid death like the plague, or should that be until I've got the plague?
KC: You're funny Mr Gore.
KG: Why thank you. Now, can we talk books? You are a very good writer, when did you first start writing and what inspired you?
KC: I was twelve when I started writing horror. Life inspires me. Many would say death inspires horror or pain but, I think even in the happiest of times fear and horror lurk just beyond the shadows waiting to steal your light away and nothing is more terrifying than that. Being alone in life is terrifying to most and once you take away the people they love and the things they find comfort in is when true fear lies.
KG: What's the best thing you love about writing? To me it's the royalty cheque!
KC: Oh you mean the one you’ve not sent me yet? Yea that’s all good but what I love about writing is the release of what I feel inside. Being able to put anger or sadness or whatever I’m feeling down on pages is almost orgasmic.
KG: (at this point I spat out my cocktail which I was taking a drink of) Oh, my! Orgasmic!! You've written a novel, The Blood Talisman, I'll be honest unlike some, I haven't read it but I like by the title alone as it's got blood in it and what's it about?
KC: Most werewolf stories you follow a journey of how one main character deals with turning into a raging beast nightly but this is about more than that. I’ve delved deeper into my characters and they get thrown into a battle for a special piece of jewellery, the blood talisman. Only the witches are immortal so between non-immortal vampires, werewolves, and some other supernatural creatures thrown in there it makes for an interesting pull between good and evil.
KG: I do like a good pull! Will there be a sequel? I do love a good sequel, so much so I often do the sequel first.
KC: Yes there will be a sequel. Lots of sex and betrayal in the second instalment between characters that you would not expect to be getting together. Also lots of twists and turns in the supernatural end of the story as well.
KG: You are working on some very exciting short stories with none other than me, I've read a lot of them and they are very fabulous. A lot about zombies and, spoiler alert people getting shot in the bloody head. What inspires your warp twisted mind to write horror?
KC: I do have an innate obsession with shooting people in the head. Quickest way to end a life permanently is the best way I can put it. Promise I’m not a psychopath. I like writing horror because it plays on an emotional we all have. Every single person on this Earth is scared of something. There are endless possibilities when it comes to horror.
KG: What other writing projects have you got coming up? When can I have you on my device? My e-reader I mean.
KC: I have a short story coming out in October with a ton of other fantastic indie horror authors. The anthology will be The Dark Carnival and you can look at more about it on Pen & Muse blog. I also am working on a novel that is rather spooky. It’s a ghost story about a young woman that can talk to ghosts. Her special gift has never haunted her until her memories escape her and she fights for remembrance of a horrific incident that her hometown hides from her.
Alex Jacobs gets bitten by a werewolf, and that’s only the beginning of his problems. When his wife is kidnapped and turned into someone beyond recognition, he not only struggles with letting her go but saving her life.
Selene is a powerful witch that not only teaches Alex the ways of the wolf but, also teaches him about restraint and purpose. Her shy innocence quickly attracts him to her and he struggles with feeling torn between the two women. Their feelings for each other are complicated by their battle for the blood talisman, the key to immortality. The Blood Talisman to some means ultimate power to others a way to live forever.
In Kim Culpepper's debut novel, the first in her trilogy, it is quickly learned that immortality comes at a price to all of humanity.
KG: The Blood Talisman, is your first novel with KGHH Publishing, what can you tell us about the story; without too many spoilers of course?
KIM CULPEPPER: The Blood Talisman follows the main character Alex as he transitions into living with being a werewolf. There are a lot of other characters that really make this story easily readable and it tackles adult themes in love and tragedy. It is set in the South mostly with various undertones of southern charm and moralistic beliefs that make it interesting given the supernatural state of the story itself.
KG: I’d like to get a deeper understanding of your writing, what writing inspires you and what do you enjoy most about your writing?
KIM CULPEPPER: With the availability of reading at the tip of my fingers on my phone, laptop, or tablet, I read a lot of every day true stories of violence and hauntings and true every day horror. The realness of it inspires me to write stories that people can really relate to. I consider writing as a release of my own emotions onto paper so it is like therapy for me. I generally enjoy having that creative release.
KG: What are your strengths in your writing style, what makes you stand out from other writers?
KIM CULPEPPER: I feel like I am strong in creating twists you won’t see coming. I really love to intertwine story themes and I have been complimented on my prose and even been compared to Dean Koontz. I stand out from other writers because I have the capability of expressing emotions and thoughts into words that are understandable on a different level from other writers and in the genre of horror fear is really the only emotion horror writers push for but I push for those deep seated fears of what happens when love fails or what happens when something you can’t control affects the ones you love and those questions are often hard to answer in the face of fear.
KG: Flipside, what writing weakness do you have or parts of your writing you’d like to work on and improve?
KIM CULPEPPER: I don’t have a whole lot of time and that hurts my writing. I like to set goals for my writing and watching those deadlines pass me by is quite discouraging. Time management in my writing is my biggest weakness I’d have to say.
KG: Do you think very visually in your writing style?
KIM CULPEPPER: Absolutely! If I can’t see this story happening then nobody else will. Most of my stories come from ideas that I can visually see. Putting it into words is the hard part.
KG: What writers have inspired you and do you closely akin yourself to?
KIM CULPEPPER: Stephen King is my hugest inspiration. I have been reading his stuff since the age of twelve. I have been compared to Dean Koontz. I like to think I am unlike anyone else but that’s just my ego talking.
KG: Who are your favourite characters in Blood Talisman, and why?
KIM CULPEPPER: One of my favorites is Ram. He encompasses a villain you want to love but are unsure of actually caring about. He straddles that line of anti-hero and just villain. Definitely one of the most unique characters I have ever written and definitely the funnest.
KG: How do you plan your books; are you a meticulous planner?
KIM CULPEPPER: If it is a short story I don’t plan at all but in the case of novels I think there is a certain amount of planning you must do to make for a good story and an easier read for your audience.
KG: Your writing is very atmospheric, do you consciously set out to build tension and what devices do you like to use?
KIM CULPEPPER: I think the atmosphere can tell a story all by itself. In the same vain as Stephen King’s The Shining, even the house or hotel in that case tells a story all on its own and I am inspired if you can tell a different side or look at a story in a new or different way just because of the place or time of the story. Every detail matters.
KG: What is your writing environment like; do you have, for example, a set writing place or times that you write in?
KIM CULPEPPER: I like to set a certain time in the afternoon to focus on creative stuff and sometimes I can go on for hours but some days it’s just the words or creativity doesn’t come. I like to sit at a desk so that I am not so comfortable I fall asleep or nothing gets done and I also have an affinity for peanut M&M’s when I write. I think it helps keep me focused.
KG: Horror is in my blood, do you enjoy writing horror, and do you think you’ll do more or is there other genres that you’d like to explore and if so which?
KIM CULPEPPER: I will always write along the lines of horror. I think my brain is just trained to scare and horrify the reader. I do like to read erotic fiction so I may do an erotic horror eventually. I have an erotic horror screenplay that is in the works.
KG: And what books have you coming out in the near future?
KIM CULPEPPER: I have a short story collection I am currently working on that will have a surprise and will be a great thing for people that don’t enjoy reading all that much. It will have some flash fiction pieces in there and some other works from some other awesome horror writers.
KG: Would you say you are a very prolific writer? On average how long does it take you to write a book?
KIM CULPEPPER: Well Blood Talisman took me two years to complete because I think my number one weakness being time management that I really have all these awesome ideas and my creative mind is usually all over the place but I am hoping that is about to change as I have thoroughly committed myself to getting more books out there for public consumption.
KG: I think Blood Talisman, would transfer well to the silver screen. And you yourself have an acting background – are you looking to turn it into a film script?
KIM CULPEPPER: I think it would take a lot of special effects and therefore a lot of money to be in any sort of production scenario but anything is possible. It would be spectacular to see my own work on the big screen!
I’d like to finish by thanking you for your time and your writing. People can get your book here...
KG: Have you ever been to England or London before this? What are you looking forward to most in your visit? It's a working vacation I hear, you never rest?
KC: I don’t ever rest. I am constantly working. I can sleep when I’m dead. I am looking most forward to doing photo shoots and digging back to my modelling roots. I modelled some when I was younger and it’s been fun getting back into it. Makes me feel young again.
KG: Apart from my good self, that one's always a given, who would you most like to work with in the future?
KC: Every horror author’s biggest dream is to work with Stephen King I think. Besides writing with him, would love to write or act in anything written by Kevin Williamson. He is just the best screenplay writer right now and his TV credits are growing. Just love everything he writes.
KG: You are a very busy, high powered lady, two beautiful children. I know they mean the world to you. What do you, Kim, hot chilli Pepper. I mean Culpepper do to relax?
KC: I love going to the beach and watching the waves roll ashore. Just listening to them crash is like listening to life. I feel so pulled towards the ocean because it is just so relaxing. I try to make a trip once a year. On the daily grind, music relaxes me and watching someone get their head blown off. I just really love horror.
KG: I know some very beautiful scream queens. Would you like to work in the horror genre? I see you as real leading lady material. You are very tall, how tall are you? Do you find a lot of men look up to you?
KC: I love doing what I can to promote horror so if I am acting, modelling, or writing then I am happy. I am 5’10” and I do tend to tower over many men. My long legs and aggressive personality always win them over.
KG: In fact you might be perfect for my last big horror film I plan to shoot this year Werewolves of London, as Rose the English flower. Can you do a cockney accent?
KC: I can try my best but my American Southern dialect is very hard to hide.
KG: How would you feel about being chased around the streets of London covered in fake blood by a pack of wild animals, baying for your blood, wanting to rip your clothes off and tear you limb from limb?
KC: I just did that last night! Instead of wild animals though it was just a bunch of horny old men.
KG: They’d be worse than the bloody paparazzi. Do you get bothered by paparazzi people? I hate having cameras shoved in my every orifice! Reminds me when I was having my bladder checked, they shoved a wee camera down my old man and just before they did so the bloody wag of a cameraman said “Quite on set action Mr Gore!” But I digress. I do that a lot, you need to rain me in. Well someone needs to.
KC: If eyes were cameras then yes. I get lots of looks from being so tall I think.
KG: I'm sure a lot of good roles are to come your way. I know if I survive through this whole thing I'd love to give you one. A role I mean. If not the lead of Werewolves of London perhaps a smaller part. Would you like to write or direct in Hollywood?
KC: I think the most talented make it to Hollywood and I am confident enough in myself to think I can make it there someday.
KG: Or how about the film industry in your own home town. There a big scene where you are?
KC: Actually yes. Atlanta has become a hub of TV and film recordings. The South is exploding with talent and I’m more than happy that I live so close to all the action and growth.
KG: One last question, ops sorry that isn't a loofer, before I get off, I mean get out. What advice would you give to any young aspiring writer?
KC: I would say write a lot and read a lot and not just that get to know people. Talk with people who are headed towards the same goal as you. Working with other horror authors and horror enthusiasts has been very beneficial to my success.
KG: You know young lady. I feel; we have bonded, so much so I will tell you my favourite joke. Two nuns sat in the bath, a normal bath I might add. One turns to the other and says "Where's the soap?" And the other gives a naughty giggle and says... "Yes it does doesn't it" Ha!
KC: Oh, Mister Gore. You are just too funny.
KG: Where's the soap?
KC: It does doesn't it Mr Gore?!
Ha, you naughty girl. It just leaves me to thank you for joining me in my blood bath and I mean this from the bottom of my heart when I say I look forward to seeing you develop under me.
Don't forget to give Marge the bikini back, I just hope Ms Undress doesn't mind the blood stains.
Looks more like Carrie's bloodiest bloody period.
You can read Kim's debut novel The Blood talisman through these links: