Hi everyone, my name is Sean Kerr, and I am a 46-year-old gay man living in Cardiff, Wales, with my husband of 28 years, Derek. We have two cats, Rita and Harry, and a host of tropical fish.
By day, I am an Interior designer and by night I am an Author, and I am proud to be an author for Extasy Books.
What inspired you to start writing?
When I was a very young child, my aunt took me to a jumble sale. I was about 8, and it was during the school summer break. In that jumble sale, I found a very old, very worn copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It was 50p, so my aunt bought it for me. I read that book in a couple of days. I read that book about three times over that 6-week summer break. I have read that book so very, very many times over the years. That was the start.
My mother is a voracious reader. Back then, amidst the loads of Agatha Christie books she loved to read, were some books by Graham Masterton and James Herbert. So we got into this rhythm, once my mother finished one of these books she would give it to me and I would devour it. So at a very young age, I was enjoying some of the very best horror writing out there. And I loved them.
I am also a huge Doctor Who fan. I also love all the old British Hammer films, and old black and white serials such as Quatermass. All of these things fueled my very active imagination, and at a very young age I used to write about these things, making up my own stories with these characters I loved from TV and film. In school, when we were given essays to do, I would write pages of this stuff, much to my teacher’s amusement, and I suppose I have never stopped.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Never stop writing. If you have ideas about another project while you are writing something else, jot it down and put it in a file. Above all though, never, ever give up. When I wrote Dead Camp, I approached over 200 agents, thinking that was the thing to do, and they all said no. I knew my book was a bit fruity and contentious, but the no pile was a shocker. Just when I was about to give up and return to my life strapped to my PS4, i decided to contact some publishers directly, so I approached six. Within two weeks I had three offers of a contract. So never take no as the final word. Always continue to write and improve, but never stop trying.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
It goes without saying that you have to have a good plot/story. Without that there is no book. However, I realised straight away as I started this process, that the most important thing, for me anyway, was the strength of the characters. For me, it was vital that the reader hated Eli, and thought that he was a right twat, but then, as the story progressed, I wanted you to love him. The characters had to have a voice, a loud, strong, identifiable voice. The characters could exist within the most clever, most complex story there is, but if the reader does not like them, if the reader does not believe in them, then there is no book. I have tried, very hard, to give each of my characters a different voice, and make each one of them instantly recognizable, with a life and a backstory that is vital to the book. I’m not saying I have succeeded, it is not up to me to say that, but I really worked hard to make each one of my lovely boys a living, if not breathing, entity.
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Dead Camp is a play on words. The first books take place in a Nazi Concentration Camp, and Eli is a Vampire, and Malachi is camp. It just fell into place. I was going to give each book a sub title, but decided against it in favor of keeping it simple.
What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)?
One of the most surprising things I have found through this experience is the readership of such books. I wrote Dead Camp because I wanted to write something as a gay man, from a gay perspective, for gay people. Yet, this genre, M/M romance, gay fiction, whatever you may call it, is read by a huge, enormous readership of wonderful, supportive, and very kind women. Married women with children, single women, just lots of fantastic women. I had no idea. When my Facebook presence began to grow, it was only then that I realized this fact, and I have met so very many wonderful women who have really enjoyed my books, and who really love this genre of M/M fiction, and that surprised me more than anything. I assumed, stupidly, that I was writing for a primarily gay audience. WRONG! And I am so glad, because I have now been accepted into a world that I never knew existed, and I love it, and I love the people who inhabit it.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Bram Stoker, Dracula. When Stoker created that creature, he really did not know what he was unleashing on the world. The influence of that one character on literature and film is simply breathtaking.
Sinister, charming, calculating, ruthless. And terribly lonely. What a combination for a monster, and make no mistake he is a monster. A lot has been said about Dracula being a sex symbol, a lover, a romantic, and while that may be true in film, Hammer and later incarnations, in particular, I do not think that true of the original book. Yes, he wanted Mina, he thought he could be with her for the rest of eternity, but it wasn’t romance that made him drink her blood, it wasn’t love that made him corrupt her, I think it was desire. Dracula is a creature of extremes, both a man, and a beast, and I think his emotions run that gamut too. Is Dracula capable of love, in that original book anyway? I don’t think so. Mina was a means to an end, his way into London society. Who is to say that he wouldn’t have dropped her like a brick if something better came along?
Dracula is also a creature of immense history, and he carries the weight of that history on his shoulders. Without it, he would not be Dracula. I find that concept inspiring, history dictating character. It certainly inspired me while writing dead Camp.
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
Facebook is a wonderful thing, love it or hate it. At the moment I love it lol. I have met so many fantastic people, and they have been so very positive and supportive. I have found that to be most humbling. They say how much they enjoyed the book, they let me know about reviews they have posted, they involve me in conversations on various groups, it’s a real community, and I love it. I have to say, that some of the comments and reviews have reduced me to tears, very happy tears, because some of the things people have written has really touched me. This entire experience has reaffirmed my faith in the human race, it really has. I have yet to have the honor of meeting people face to face at conventions, but I really hope that changes in the near future.
Dead Camp book 3
To understand the present, you must first understand the past.
As Wewelsburg castle burns, Eli carries Isaiah to safety. So much is lost, Malachi is gone, the Demon from Eli’s terrible past is reborn into a world already at war, and to make matters worse, Gideon is back. Yet, before Eli can even reach the sanctuary of his home, he learns a painful truth about Gideon, the truth of why he left him, and Eli can barely hold onto his own sanity. Eli quickly understands that not everything in life, or death, is black and white, and sometimes to protect the ones we love, we have to make the greatest sacrifice of all.
Something is coming. Eli can feel it, there, in the darkness, taunting him. The truth of his own mysterious identity. But the road to the truth is paved with the pain of a story that he has to hear, a story that will change his perception of history forever, a story of great love, and a story of two lovers who died to change the world. He does not want to hear it, he does not want to believe it, but if he is to understand who he was, if he is to understand why he was made Vampire, he has no choice but to listen as history unfolds before him.
With Morbius close at his heals, the truth is finally out, and Eli can either allow himself to be crushed beneath the burden of his own identity, or allow the world to be consumed by the evil knocking at his door.
Death is just the beginning – love is the end.
Running, again. All my life, running. Paderborn forest flashed by in a blur of verdant violence that hurt my retinas it looked so lush, so majestic, all so fucking beautiful. It made my skin crawl. Everything around me looked so bloody…green. That was Eli’s thing, not mine. I preferred the immutable hardness of concrete, the undeniable strength of steel, give me brick and marble as opposed to never-ending trees and grey mountains, anytime.
While Eli cowered from the world surrounded by the thick stone walls of Alte, I hide amidst the pumping hearts of the living, yet we both remained fugitives against our own history. The truth, that thing that I feared for so very long, finally there for all to see, fucking us in the ass. History now hammered at our door, and nothing could keep it at bay.
How much did my blood reveal? How much of the truth did he drink? The look on his face as my blood hit the back of his throat, it burned my flesh away to reveal the liar he always suspected me to be. I saw it in his eyes, it blossomed there like a bad joke, the dawning realization of all that I had kept from him, the sudden knowledge that I made him.
Still, not all the truth filled his mouth. That shit storm would come soon enough, more crap than I could shake a stick at. Everything that happened in Judea, everything that transpired in London, all of it, all of it there for him to see at last. A stranger once told me that the truth would eventually bleed out, no matter how far from Eli I ran, and there I stood, bleeding.
“Don’t let me go back to Eli,” I asked of him.
“You love him that much?”
“Yes.” I did love him that much, enough to spend twenty-six years entombed in a block of ice.
It was my choice, my decision. To remain free meant returning to Eli, for I could not resist his pull any longer, and they would have followed me, as they always followed me, straight into the arms of my beloved Eli. I could not allow that to happen. I had to protect Eli at all costs.
Centuries of love, and still not enough time. A man must know his worth. A man must know his own name. A man must learn the truth of his own heart. I remained but a teacher, and Eli my pupil, and now I would have to set him free.
My God, had it come to that? The end, finally here? The weight of history pounding at the door, I could hear it, I could feel it tearing at my skin, trying to get in, telling me that it was over, that Eli no longer needed me. Time. Fucking time. Endless bloody time. Now, there was none. I was free, running through the forest towards him, towards one of the most important figures that history had ever known. So yes, the time had come, my freedom proved that, but it was the pain in my heart that told me so.
I stopped, my world spinning around me in a dizzying frenzy of utter panic. Bile filled my mouth. The final end. History, about to convulse in agony, and we would be at the centre of it.
They would be coming for me. They would be coming for Eli. They would be coming for the Spear.
I felt the cold fingers of fear grip my chest and squeeze my heart with cruel intent. The pain, so sharp, so terrifying, ripped through my body until I lay on my knees gasping, trembling, blinded by agony and helpless. My hands dug into the nearest tree, fingers digging into the bark, digging into the wood, until the sap ran freely over my knuckles, the tree indelibly wounded, as I myself lay ineradicably wounded. The thing, the splinter, moving inside me, burning its way through me, seeking out my Vampire heart, ate away at my resolve, and offered me visons of a past mortality.
Blood drawn to blood. History drawn to history. Death drawn to death.
I heaved myself to my feet, determined to move, determined to go on. There was still time, time for me to tell my story, time for me to lay it bare before the one I loved. Time for him to forgive me.
For so long I denied Eli my blood, but in that one moment of pity, as he lay on that hill above the ruins of the camp, tired, desperate, I allowed him to feed. My blood is strong, the strongest of us all, and it filled his mind with so much information, all of it so fleeting and momentary, a cacophony of images that would burn anyone less than he. Thank fuck he did not have time to see it all, not there, on that mountainside under the shadow of so much death, it would not seem fitting somehow.
It would not befit the man that he used to be.
I feared what it would do to him, the knowledge of his own identity. If he had looked into my blood long enough, he would have seen the burden of his own dark history staring back at him, and I feared that it would destroy him now as surely as it destroyed him then, all those years ago in a world that did not know any better. It remained a burden that killed a part of me with every passing day. I lost Eli on the day I turned him, and from the moment that he first looked upon me with his Vampire eyes, I knew that he could never truly be mine. Another owned his heart, and the truth of it tortured me for hundreds of years. Eli was but on loan, until the day that another should claim him as their own.
That stranger in Rome, he knew, he knew this day would come — he knew everything, that funny little man who became my friend.
Dead Camp 3 eXtasyBooksLink http://www.extasybooks.com/dead-camp-3/
Dead Camp 3 AMAZON US LINKS http://amzn.to/2elyFaP