Monday, January 27, 2014

Interview with Barbie Wilde.

Full Name:
Barbie Wilde

Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
None that I would want to mention here!
Can’t we have just one?

Photo Credit: Tina Korhonen -


Current hometown:
London UK… and beyond…

Favorite city and why?
I couldn’t possibly pick one:
Paris: It’s Paris. What’s not to love?
New York: The Big Apple! The buildings, the martinis, the excitement!
Las Vegas: One of the most extraordinary travel experiences I’ve ever had. It’s so gloriously fake and fabulous!
I don’t see why I can’t let you have a top three.

Birthday / Age:
Hahahahaha. I’m Aquarius. That’s all you’re getting.
Judges?  *consults with judges*  Yes, we’ll take Aquarius for an answer.

How would you describe yourself physically?
A short and angry blonde.

How would someone else describe you physically?
I don’t dare to think…

The first thing people notice about you is…
Probably my hair, which is naturally peroxide blonde.  And I’m quite bodacious in the bust region.
I tried looking you up on the Googles.  There’s not a lot of your bodacious bust in the results, but a lot of the peroxide blonde and the female cenobite thing, which is definitely good enough for the girls I go with.

Religion, if any?
I’m a born-again atheist.
A woman after my own blackened hellbound antitheistic heart.
"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.” - Gene Roddenberry (Love that Gene!)
The question of religion often ends up being a sticky wicket in these interviews.  I thought about pulling the question but for some people their metaphysical philosophy is an important part of who they are and what they do and why they do it so I kept it in.  I just tend to get along a bit better with the atheists and if they answer something Christian I just let it lie.  Not looking to make every interview into a philosophical debate.

Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I used to be superstitious, but now that I’m an atheist, I’m trying to eschew all magical thinking.  Phobias? I hate spiders.

Do you smoke / drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
I’ve never smoked.
I like white wine, martinis and margaritas, but I try to never mix the grain and the grape.
Bad habits: Mixing the grain and the grape -- and spending too much time on the internet.

Current occupation / Dream job:
I’m a writer of crime and horror stories.
Dream job: Writing crime and horror stories and turning them into movies.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I like to go for long walks. I watch movies. I read.

What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
Jump in a car full of supplies, find a cave where I can blockade the entrance and fight it out.

Weapon of choice:
Phaser. And not set on “stun” either.  Failing that, a Walther PPK or a Kalashnikov.
Maybe a phased plasma rifle in 40 watt range?

I’m unfamiliar with that weapon.  Best to stick to what I know.

Do you have any special skills?
I used to be a classically trained mime artist that specialized in robotic mime. (And I appeared as a mime artist on The Sooty Show and the Morecambe & Wise show in the 80s.)  I enjoy presenting TV shows.  I achieved a blue belt in Shaolin Kung Fu.  I can salsa (a bit).  I love to dance.  I’m a pretty good editor.  I like to create videos.  I love taking photographs and manipulating them in Photoshop.  I write dark and disturbing stories.
If we do another interview in the future I’ll just ask you what special skills you don’t have.  *laughs*  I love people with a wide variety of interests and skills.  Crows of a feather murder together.

Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I did go to University.  My Majors were Drama and Anthropology.  When I transferred to my University’s London program, I studied Drama and Art History.

If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
I didn’t have any.

Any pets?   If so, what are they and what are their names?
No pets at this time. I do have a few fake plants though.  One of them is called Mr Arbogast. (Obscure movie reference trivia test!)
That is pretty obscure.  I cheated and I’m still not sure.  I’m going to guess Psycho.
Correct!  Arbogast is the name of the detective in Psycho, one of my favorite films. He gets filleted at the bottom of the stairs by “Mother”.
*phew* Saved by the internet again!

What is your favorite animal?
Couldn’t name just one.  I love crows, owls, dogs, dolphins, black panthers, tigers and killer whales.
I usually offer to Doctor Moreau up hybrid pets for people that have more than one favorite animal, but I don’t think anyone wants to see a crow-owl-dog-dolphins-black panther-tiger-killer whale.  At least not outside of an H. P. Lovecraft story.
Yes, that hybrid would probably be far too disturbing – although awesome as well.

Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
I really hate stupidity, which, unfortunately, seems to be endemic in humans.
As George Carlin once said, “If the average IQ is 100, that means that half of the world is wandering around with double-digit IQs.”  Let’s just count ourselves lucky that we’re weighing in on the other side of the bell curve.
I’d like to think so.

Favorite / Least favorite Food:
Favorite snack: Doritos Corn Chips
Favorite food: Chinese or Thai
Least favorite food: I can’t abide beets. They taste and smell of corruption and the grave. (Imagine Vincent Price saying that line.)
I like to imagine Vincent Price saying everything so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Love Vincent so much!: “Only the thinnest gruel shall pass my lips!” – Roderick from The Fall of the House of Usher

What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
Can't pick just one:
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”  - Diderot
"Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god." - Rostand
“My loathings are simple:  stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.” - Vladimir Nabokov

What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Meeting my partner.

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
My parents dying.

Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
I had my heart broken into 17 tiny pieces by someone in the early 80s.  Although painful at the time, it was a good thing.  Otherwise, I never would have met my present partner!
Excellent answer.  I never trust anyone that hasn’t had their heart broken at least once in this lifetime.  A little bit of bitter makes the sweet that much sweeter.
So true!

Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
I don’t think so.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
On a professional level, finishing my first dark crime novel, The Venus Complex, which is a fictionalized diary of a serial killer.  Also, playing the Female Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
I’m such an adorable person, I couldn’t think of anything…

If you could kill one person, who would it be, and why?
Oh, heavens, the list!  When I was a little kid, I used to dream of being an international assassin and rubbing out nasty world leaders. (I blame Emma Peel, the Girl From UNCLE and my overactive imagination.)
I’m afraid I don’t want to name any names, just in case the opportunity arises in the future.

Cover art by Daniele Serra.

What do you do?
I’m a writer. (I used to be an actress and TV presenter.)

How did you get started doing what you do?
I’ve always been interested in writing, even when I was a kid. My first published short story was called “Sister Cilice” and it was featured in The Hellbound Hearts anthology in  2009.
I checked out your Wikipedia listing.  Seems like the writing thing is working out fairly well for you and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.  I’m planning on putting out some anthologies from my two publishing imprints Burnt Offerings Books and Radiation Sickness books in 2014.  I’ll keep you posted in case any of the themes strike your fancy and you feel like submitting anything.  Your contributions would certainly be welcome and appreciated.
Yes, please!

What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
One of my favorite lines from the film GalaxyQuest is the best advice I could give: “Never give up. Never surrender.”
And as a famous comedian once said to me: “I love show business. Only in show business can your life change tomorrow with a phone call.”

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past?
I was involved in a crazy dance-mime-music group in the 80s called Shock that supported Gary Numan, Adam and the Ants, Depeche Mode and Ultravox. Also, in the 80s, I appeared in a few films.
In the 1990s, I cast the London version of the MTV reality show, The Real World.
I’ve written six well-received short horror stories that have been published in six different anthologies over the last few years.  I’ve also written the above-mentioned novel, The Venus Complex, which has also received great reviews, so that’s a project that I’m very proud of.

Give us a little history if you will.
As mentioned before, I studied acting. Then I came to London UK to continue my studies.  I was asked by my mime teacher to join his fringe theatre company, SILENTS.  I formed Drawing in Space with Tim Dry.  Then we both joined Shock and supported a bunch of New Romantic artists during the 80s.  Shock broke up and I went back to acting: Death Wish 3, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Morons From Outer Space and some TV stuff. I turned to TV presenting and did a fair amount of work for ITV: The Small Screen, The Gig, Hold Tight, etc. After “acting left me”, as thespians say, I became a Casting Director and worked for the BBC getting all the punks, skinheads and hippies for their production of The Buddha of Suburbia, as well as working for MTV, casting The Real World: London.  Then I turned to writing.

What projects are you working on now?
I’m co-writing the book for a musical drama set in the ruins of Post-War Marseille.
I’m working on the idea of writing a play based on one of my short stories.
I’m working on a screenplay based on another one of my short stories.
I’m working on a sequel to The Venus Complex.
Oh shit!  Busy busy!   Keep us posted!
I sure will!

What are you watching?
TV.  At the moment, I love Elementary, Blue Bloods, Hannibal, Las Vegas, Vegas (with Dennis Quaid), Law and Order: Criminal Intent, CSI: Vegas, etc.
The last movie I watched was The Lost Weekend with Ray Milland.  A depressing, but utterly brilliant study of an alcoholic writer.  Billy Wilder is one of my favorite writer-directors, along with Alfred Hitchcock and Tarantino.
You got good taste.  *In Lux Interior voice*

What are you listening to?
My musical tastes are extremely eclectic. Sometimes I listen to Chet Baker, or Lana Del Rey, or Crooked Still (who did some of the music for True Blood).  I’ve just discovered a band called Honey Honey, who did some of the music for the TV series, Vegas.  I also love music from the 80s.  I adore Cuban and Latino music. I like listening to movie soundtracks as well, like L.A. Confidential and The Illusionist.
Oh!  I’m a HUGE fan of movie soundtracks.  I highly recommend Christopher Young’s soundtrack for Sinister for inspirational writing music.  His transition from orchestral to dark ambient electronic music is amazing!
Ah, Christopher also did the soundtracks to Hellraiser and Hellbound.  Amazing composer.

What are you reading?
Research for a play that I writing and an autobiography of my friend, Tim Dry, called Falling Upwards. My favorite book of 2013 was “Whitstable” by Stephen Volk.
Oh cool!  I’m working on an interview with Tim Dry too!
Tim Dry is one of my best friends and I’m in the book! He’s such a multi-talented guy: artist, writer, photographer, actor, mime, song-writer…

Favorite author / book?
Arg… can’t just pick one! Colin Wilson’s The Criminal History of Mankind, Clive Barker’s Hellbound Heart, Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, Hemingways’ A Moveable Feast. Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye.
I recently downloaded a collection of audio book adaptations of the novels of Raymond Chandler that were produced for the BBC and they’re amazing.   I know I’ve been using the adjective “amazing” a fair amount in this interview, but I can’t help being into a bunch of amazing things.
Cool.  Must check those out.  Chandler and Hammett are two of my favs, along with Jim Thompson, who wrote The Killer Inside Me, another one of my top reads.
Chandler, Hammett, and Thompson are usually the “holy” trinity that I mention when it comes to the noir genre.  My second-tier noir favs are Barry Gifford, Bukowski’s “Pulp”, and Paul Malmont’s “
The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril”.

Favorite band / song?
I love Marilyn Manson.  I love Kate Bush’s song, Moments of Pleasure. (I could never name just one song or band though.)  Another favorite song is: "Lullaby for Cain" sung by Sinéad O'Connor for The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Least favorite band / song?
Can’t really think of anything that I hate that much. It’s so easy to say “Justin Bieber”, isn’t it?
It really is, and justifiably so.  But I’ve recently realized that music like that isn’t made for us.  What is popular and what is good are not necessarily fruit of the same tree.
That’s true, but Justin has done some good stuff.  And he is Canadian, so I have to give him some support, I suppose!  Actually, the music I like the least is jazz in its most abstract form.  You know the type – lots of atonal musical doodlings and meanderings.
I love Jazz.  My favorites are probably John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk.  I’m also a huge fan of “torch singers” like Billie Holiday and Peggy Lee.  I totally get what you mean by “abstract jazz” though.  A lot of the Ornette Coleman stuff and the Naked Lunch soundtrack.  It’s not bad music, just an… acquired taste.

If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Direct movies.

Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met?
You get three choices: Alive. Dead. Fictional.
1. Tarantino (or Alejandro Jodorowsky, director of the extraordinary Sante Sangre).
2. Orson Welles.
3. Professor Moriarty.
Oh!  A fellow Jodorowsky fan!  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most of the more interesting interviews contain a Jodorowsky reference in them somewhere.
He’s a fascinating character – very strange and controversial, but I love his utter bravery in his filmmaking.

What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Worst: I played a game show contestant in a German TV commercial. I had to stick my head out of a hole in a wall and get my face painted red with a huge brush.  Really hated that one.
Best job: Reviewing films for ITV on the Small Screen.
Or spending 10 days in Nice and Cannes, playing the role of a gangster’s moll called Mo in Pulaski, The TV Detective for the BBC and the A&E Network USA.
And of course, playing the Female Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II was the job that eventually transformed things in my life in an extraordinary way.

Are there any questions that I didn’t ask that you wished I had asked that you would like to answer now?
Blatant plug alert: What are some of the fabulous reviews for your dark crime novel, The Venus Complex?
Plug away!  I’d love to read the best review you’ve received.  That’s what these interviews are for when all is said and done.  As much as it’s been a pleasure to have the opportunity to get to know you a bit better, if you’re not promoting your work, you’re interviewing incorrectly.
Because I’m a bit cheeky, as the Brits say, here are a few excerpts of best reviews of The Venus Complex:
Best review on Goodreads: “Oozing with sinister brilliance.”
Best review on “Sick!”
Best review on (and the Midwest Book Review): “
I love dark crime, and this is by far the darkest story I've ever read. I felt guilty for enjoying it so much. THE VENUS COMPLEX is deep in social commentary, yet tense and fast-paced, dizzyingly bold in its perversion. Like a serial killer obsessed with his next victim, I could not turn away from its decadent sadism.
“Following the tradition of Ellis's AMERICAN PSYCHO and Oates's ZOMBIE, Barbie Wilde has broken new ground in the field of dark crime fiction.  If you like the lurid and shocking, you'll love THE VENUS COMPLEX.  It's DEXTER without a moral code.”

Best review by a film director: "The Venus Complex is an epistolary portrait of psychopathy as razor sharp as Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me or Hubert Selby Jr.'s The Demon. Disturbing, erotic and powerful." - Jovanka Vuckovic, Filmmaker (The Captured Bird, The Guest)
Best Review containing the “F” word: "Imagine the hottest, horniest f***book in the Black Lace library spliced in with a Quantico serial killer profile report & you've got The Venus Complex.  Read it & try NOT to squirm, either in ecstasy or horror.  It simply cannot be done." - A. Riordan, Brutal As Hell

Anyone you recommend I interview that you can put me in touch with?
Paul Kane – a wonderful horror-fantasy writer and the editor for two anthologies that I’ve written short stories for: Hellbound Hearts and The Mammoth Book of Body Horror.
Excellent!  You make the introduction and I’ll handle the follow-through.


Got any questions for me?
Tell me more about this new imprint that you want to start up, publishing transgressive literature?
Oh!  Thanks for noticing!
I had a friend that had a book that he was trying to find a home for, but it was much too violent and vile for any publishing house to consider.  Also, any unsolicited work is difficult to get considered by any publishing house, especially from a first time author.  I decided to publish the book for him under Burnt Offerings Books and it has been doing fairly well.  Not a lot of paperback sales, but it does brisk business on Kindle.  I published three interview collections and a collection of my own work under the Burnt Offerings Books banner.  I decided that the tone of my friend’s book R/T/M wasn’t really in keeping with the rest of the books being published by Burnt Offerings Books, so I decided to start up a sub-label of Burnt Offerings Books called Radiation Sickness Books.  I wanted to call it Scorched Earth Books, but it turns out there’s a series of books called Scorched Earth so that name was kind of taken.  The goal of Radiation Sickness Books is to provide a home for controversial writing that can’t find a home with traditional publishing houses worried about soiling their reputations by trafficking in vile, controversial, obscene, transgressive writing.  I put out an open call for submissions but really haven’t gotten out there to promote the open call yet.  I will also be putting together themed anthologies through both Burnt Offerings Books and Radiation Sickness Books.  The theme for the anthologies will be announced at the beginning of each month and will be related.  The Burnt Offerings Books anthology will be “R-rating” writing focused and the Radiation Sickness Books anthology will be “X-rated” focused.  I will encourage contributors to submit their first story to the Burnt Offerings Books anthology, then take the story in a much harder, sexually explicit, violent and transgressive direction to publish under a pen name in the Radiation Sickness Books version.  My goal is to push the limits of what is considered literature, much in the same way that the authors whose work I admire did.  Think Bret Easton Ellis and Hubert Selby Jr.   The anthologies for February, and this is the first place that I will be publicly mentioning the themes, will be Till Death Do Us Part – Stories of Love and Death for Burnt Offerings Books and Blood Red Wet Dreams for Radiation Sickness Books.  I’ll probably be posting the calls for submissions this evening and I’d definitely be interested to see if the themes strike up any ideas for stories for you.  As I said, you’d definitely be given “favored nation” status in the consideration process, although I warn you in advance I plan on being a tough editor and pushing people to write outside of their comfort zone.  I haven’t read anything that has made me want to keep the lights on when I’m done reading it for quite some time, and that’s what I’m looking for.
This sounds brilliant. Let me know if I can help in spreading the word…
I certainly will.
Here’s the link in case anyone reading this wants to check it out.

Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
You’re welcome!

Pitch parade:
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote.   All of them.
Facebook Author-Actress Page:
Twitter: @barbiewilde
Amazon Author Page with links to Barbie’s books:

About the Interviewee:
Barbie Wilde is best known as the Female Cenobite in Clive Barker’s classic cult horror movie Hellbound: Hellraiser II. She has also danced in the Bollywood blockbuster, Janbazz; was a vicious thug in Michael Winner’s Death Wish III; and played a drummer for an electronica band in notoriously unreleased horror film Grizzly II: The Concert (featuring then unknowns George Clooney, Laura Dern and Charlie Sheen). She also robotically mimed with UK TV legends Morecambe & Wise and the famous TV hand puppet, Sooty.
In the early 1980's, Barbie danced professionally at the top nightclubs and rock venues of New York City, London and Amsterdam with the mime/dance/music group, SHOCK, supporting Gary Numan, Ultravox, Depeche Mode and Adam & the Ants. SHOCK released two singles on RCA Records: Angel Face and Dynamo Beat.
Barbie presented and wrote eight different music and film review TV programs in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s, interviewing such pop personalities as Cliff Richard, Iggy Pop, Johnny Rotten, The Sisters of Mercy and The B52's, as well as actors Nicolas Cage and Hugh Grant.
Short horror stories by Barbie include: “Sister Cilice” (for the Hellbound Hearts Anthology), “U for Uranophobia” (Phobophobia), “American Mutant: Hands of Dominion” (Mutation Nation), “Polyp” (The Mammoth Book of Body Horror and The Unspoken), “A is for Alpdrücke” (The Demonologia Biblica), “Z is for Zulu Zombies” (The Bestiarum Vocabulum and Gorezone #29), The Cilicium Pandoric (Gorezone #30) and “Botophobia” (Phobophobias).
In late 2012, Barbie's dark crime novel, The Venus Complex, was published by Comet Press. Fangoria has called Wilde "one of the finest purveyors of erotically charged horror fiction around".
Review of The Venus Complex: "A novel by a female Cenobite that gives the world a smart, artistic, cynical, cultured serial killer who could give Hannibal Lecter a run for his money. On top of that, this is a poignant, funny, sexually-charged, hardcore critique of popular culture and a deconstruction of relationships, academia, and art." - Horror Talk “Top Books of the Year".

About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island, and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
He is currently working on ten novel-length book projects which will be released in 2014.
He also publishes themed collections of interviews from his interview blog You Are Entitled To My Opinion.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces electronic music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here:
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here:
Check his author profile at:
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And here:
Check out his electronic music here:
And here:
Check out his videos at:
Check out his IMDB profile here:
Follow his Twitter here: or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here:
Check out his Etsy here:
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at:
E-mail him at:

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