Interview with Sean Kerr:
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Sean Kerr author of Dead Camp.
Hi Sean, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
- Hello! Well, I’m a 46-year-old gay man living in Cardiff, Wales, with my partner of 27 years, Derek. Oh, and our two cats, Rita and Harry, and a load of tropical fish! I have worked in retail most of my life, and for the past 11 years, I have been running my own Interior Design business in Cardiff with my fabulous business partner, Jayne. I am a huge sci-fi and horror fan, Doctor Who being my first love in television, Alien my first love in film. Sigh. How I would love to write for both of them, but that is never going to happen, so move on lol.
- Working for yourself, and trying to pay yourself, is not easy. Bit like being an author then lol. In an ideal world, I would love to see our shop run by someone else so that I could spend my days writing, but again that is just not going to happen. I love the design industry, I love working with fabrics and blinds, and helping our customers to create a beautiful home, but at the same time, I do not want to spend the rest of my life tied to our store. The recession hit 3 years after we opened and it has been a struggle, but we survived, and Jayne and I are proud of our achievement.
- Writing has always been my passion. I never thought, never in a million years, that I would be published, and here I am with two books out, and I am now busy writing my third! When I started this series of books two years ago, I wrote to every agent in the Artists and Writers yearbook, and then some, well over 200 emails and letters, and I have a huge pile of ‘no’s’. I was on the verge of giving up. I knew my book was a bit fruity, I knew my book was contentious, but it was something I really wanted to write, and I loved every minute of writing it. Just when I thought there was no point in pursuing Dead Camp, I started to write something else, but then I thought I would try contacting some publishing houses direct. I contacted 6 publishers, and within two weeks had 3 offers of a contract! To say that I screamed a lot would be an understatement. I signed with the wonderful Extasy Books, and boy are they fabulous. My editors, cover designer, all of them, just wonderful, talented, incredibly supportive people, and I feel mighty privileged to be with them. I owe them everything, for making my dream come true, and I hope that we will be together for very, many years!
- Dead Camp is a series of books, all with different stories that tell one big saga. As a gay man, I wanted to write it from a gay perspective, so all my characters are gay, well, except the odd one or two…spoilers sweetie. The series of books start during World War 2, and as they progress, you will find yourself in Victorian London, the Crucifixion, and then back to the downfall of Hitler. It’s a complex story, and every character is linked, even if they don’t know it. Book 1 & 2 are out, and I am currently working on book 3, which has been the toughest write so far. This book is proving particularly challenging because of the subject matter, but I think I have just broken the back of it, so now, with a bit of a push, I can finish the first draft.
- When all is said and done, Dead Camp may contain Vampires, Ghosts, Demons and Angels, but ultimately, it is a story of a father’s forgiveness, and tolerance of that which is different, in a roundabout sort of way. I know the very last page of the very last book, it is there, in my many, many notes, and all I can say is, have a very large box of tissues at the ready!
1) Do you have pictures that you use for your characters? Can you share them with us?
- There are actors from television and film that I have always had in mind when writing these books.
2) What kind of book would you like to write that people would see as a huge departure for you?
- A cook book, for students who do not have much money. I have so been there, both as a student and an adult, and I know how to be thrifty when it comes to cooking. So bring it on. Maybe I could write a cook book in the style of Melek. Now that’s an idea…..
3) Have you ever killed a character? Was it traumatic for you? If you haven’t killed one, would you ever consider it?
- Book 2. In the beginning, when I planned this series, I had this one scene in my head, and I was always heading towards it. As I got closer to writing that scene, my stomach would turn, and boy am I good at procrastinating. I put it off, and as I started it, I cried. The words flew out onto the page because it was so strong, the image, their faces, the pain of it. I can’t say that I enjoyed writing that bit because it is horrible, really horrible, but I am pleased with the way it turned out, despite giving myself nightmares about it. But, I did it, and when I sat down to read the first draft, I cried. It is a tough, harrowing, heartbreaking bit of the book, and it still makes my skin shiver, even now as I write this and think about it. I think that is my proudest moment within book 2. The reaction to it has been exactly what I wanted as well, lots of readers crying.
- Book 3 offers the same dilemma. There is something within that book that I always knew was going to come, and I keep putting it off. It is going to hurt writing it. I keep thinking I can delay it until another book, but no, it has to be there, and when I get to it, I may explode.
4) Favorite location you’ve ever written about?
- Vienna 1909. I loved that section, written from Isaiah’s perspective in his diary. I did a lot of research, for locations, and because of the real historical character that is introduced there. I loved doing it. I loved how the story unfolds, how in one moment it is a story of a new friendship, then a new love, and then absolute horror. It is a way of telling a story, in the form of a diary, that I may explore again. It allowed for a different type of storytelling style within my novel and I am particularly proud of it. The last two lines in that chapter are my absolute favorite, but I can’t tell you about them because they contain a massive spoiler. I don’t know if I will ever beat that chapter.
5) What’s your favorite season and favorite activity for that season?
- I know Christmas isn’t a season, in the true sense of the word, but it is my favorite. Putting the decorations up on the 1st of December. Decorating the front of the house because the street (and me) loves it so much. And it gets bigger and bigger each year. Next Christmas, I am planning to make the front of the house look like a giant Christmas tree! We shall see.
- Then there are the Christmas parties. Carols at Kings (my husband’s name is King) kicks off the celebrations around the 18th December, and it is a huge event in our house and that too has got bigger and bigger. The last couple of years have involved me disappearing and then re-appearing in some sort of costume. The first one was me inside a huge blow up snowman. Last year a pantomime horse. Next Christmas…spoiler’s sweetie.
- The 23rd December is the most important date for me, because for the last 20 years, we have held a huge, elaborate dinner party for my family. My Mum and Dad look forward to it every year, it is their favorite event, and it is so much fun, and I love it dearly.
- Then, my best friend arrives and it is just the three of us for the 24th, 25th, and 26th. Its lovely. Me, my husband Derek, and my best friend Craig. And lots of vodka, films, and food. Marvelous.
Thanks again & Congrats on your new release!
Book Name: Dead Camp
Series: Dead Camp
Release Date: January 1, 2016
Eli is an ancient vampire with an ego the size of a planet and a sex drive to match, but his tumultuous past left him broken, so he hides from humanity and cowers from love, left to endure the crushing guilt that haunts his every waking moment. Even his best friend Malachi, a ghost who is hopelessly in love with Eli, remains unaware of all that transpired in London. Malachi can never know the truth.
When the Angel Daniyyel pays an unwelcome visit, Eli must face his secrets, secrets that he has tried so long to hide. To make matters worse, a chance encounter with the most beautiful man he has ever seen shatters his beloved isolation, pushing him into the world of the living once more. Something about this strange man seems so familiar, but Eli can’t even remember who he was before he became a vampire, never mind explain the unwanted emotions the enigmatic stranger ignites in his dead heart. So Eli has a choice—return to the world that ruined him, or continue his self-imposed exile with no hope of salvation.
Pages or Words: 87,422 words, 260 pages
Categories: Dark Themes, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Historical, Horror, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires/Demons, Thriller
With a sickening wet sound, his body finally broke free of the earth. A cry of agony burst from between his perfect lips and his head fell back against my shoulder. I felt his long eyelashes brush against my neck as his eyes flickered in defiance of the blackness trying to consume him.
“Stay with me fella, stay with me, we’ll be home in a jiffy.”
Home, back to my castle, what the fuck was I thinking? I was out of my little fucking mind. I didn’t know the man. I owed him nothing. I had an Angel in my dining room and a German soldier in my dungeon and to top things off, I lived with a ghost. Yet I still wanted to take him home? No, I was intent on taking him home, I had decided that the moment I saw him.
But why, why should I get involved, why should I tread that path again, the path that could only lead to pain. It always did. And yet, as I held him in my arms I felt it, something inescapable, something that I could not understand, a stirring, a feeling, like something found when all hope of ever finding it had been forgotten. Something complicated.
A tingle of warning trickled up and down my spine making my hair stand on end. I lowered the hunk to the ground, slowly, carefully and whispered into his perfectly shaped ear. “Remain quiet.”
In a flash of lightning speed, I leapt into a tree, clinging with one hand to a thick branch while my legs wrapped around its thick girth. Someone was out there and not just Mr Fuck Me He’s Perfect. The smell of human, living heart pumping human was unmistakable, that incomparable odour carried on the wind to entice my nostrils and excite my senses, and I was dutifully excited. But there was something else there too, a feint undercurrent, an elusive aftertaste that went beyond sweat and skid-marks, an elusive scent that pricked at my memory, the smell of Demon.
I saw him then, a German soldier winding his way through the field of corpses. His uniform, a grey green feldbluse replete with bottle green collar and shoulder straps, made him almost invisible amongst the branches and the sludge. I could not see his face beneath his field cap but I could easily make out the eagle and swastika emblem embroidered on the bottle green cloth and I noted with disgust the Sturmgewehr semi-automatic rifle hanging loosely from his shoulder.
The Nazi stood barely six metres away from my injured future husband. Do not move lovely man, I said to myself, do not move and don’t make a sound and if you can, be still your beating heart, because to me it sounded like a jackhammer pounding through the forest. He was frightened and in pain. His eyes darted everywhere looking for me, desperate for me, pleading for me to drag him out of that Hell.
I saw the agony flash across his face before the sound escaped his lips. My entire body tensed. Too late, the soldier heard his pain.
He was running then, running towards my Adonis in the pit. Without hesitation, I soared through the air and landed with feline grace before him. The soldier fell backwards with a bloodcurdling scream. The rifle landed at my feet and I picked it up, rising to my full magnificent height, slowly and with purpose, relishing every moment of fear that blossomed across the soldiers white features. I snapped the weapon as easily as though it were a twig and threw the shattered weapon at his feet, watching with satisfied relish as he scrabbled backwards in the mud, his mouth curling away from his face as his terror burst from his throat.
“Demon! You are not from the camp. What are you?”
My teeth extended and my eyes flashed black. My Vampire was out. In one swift movement, barely visible to the human eye, I leapt at him, pulling him off the floor with effortless ease, lifting his flailing body high above my head. I threw him with all my might at the nearest tree. His spine snapped with an audible bang as his fragile body wrapped itself backwards around the trunk of the trembling pine, his lifeless body sliding to the ground and my stomach rumbled. Dinner was served.
Buy the book:
Barnes & Noble: Nook http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dead-camp-1-sean-kerr/1123242780?ean=2940152564631
I think that as I approach that milestone that is fifty, I must be one of the oldest gamers on the face of this earth. Many a day you will find me lashed to my PS4 enjoying a good session of Skyrim. Who doesn’t love a good session of Skyrim?
I love writing—I have done it since I was a child when I would happily write about the latest episode of Doctor Who (Tom Baker in those days) in my schoolbooks. Growing up and becoming a business owner with my friend Jayne left little time to pursue my dream of publication, but of late the desire and the compulsion to put words onto paper have once again dominated my life so that now, my laptop has become surgically fused to my fingertips.
There is something desperately satisfying about telling a story. My fascination with History, Religion and Conspiracy theories have, in this instance, gone hand-in-hand with my love of all things vampire, fantasy, sci-fi and horror. I drove my parents nuts when I was young because that was all I would read about in books, all I would watch on television, but they have held me in good stead, and long may my obsession with the subjects continue, at least, that is, until the day they put me in my own wooden box. And imagination is such a wonderful thing. I once had a rather vivid dream about David Tennant and the Tardis console, but I could not possibly go into details about that here. Let’s just say that my polarity was well and truly reversed.
Dead Camp is just the beginning. I have to check my knickers every day at the thought that this book is now in the public domain. My first book, and I hope the first of many. And to those out there who love to write, who love to transport us to new worlds, or old worlds with a twisted perspective, I say to you keep going. I never thought I would ever see my work available to download, and thanks to eXtasy Books, the dream that I always thought unobtainable has finally come true. So thank you all at eXtasy, I am one happy homosexual thanks to you, and thank you the reader for taking the time to read this strange tale and allowing Eli and the incomparable Malachi into your lives.
And now I really need Skyrim.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Dead-Camp-blog-402721546519007/
Dead Camp site:: http://seankerr5.wix.com/deadcamp
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6207037.Sean_Kerr
Publisher: Extasy Books
Cover Artist: Latrisha Waters
Tour Dates & Stops:
Giveaway Link: eCopy of ‘Dead Camp’ book one