We strive to bring you the latest news with PRIDE. On the Blog today, A Divine Tour Stop for Sean Kerr, Dead Camp. Get all the saucy details here!
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.
How long have you been writing?
All my life, but really seriously, with hell bent intent, for almost three years.
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 direct, 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.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Dead Camp 3, which I am writing now, completely messed with my head. I can’t say too much, other than the subject matter of the third book is a tricky one, and it has to be played just right or I run the risk of it sounding cheesy. I am just over the half way point, and there is a line that I had to use, a really, really important line that had to finish that chapter. It was there, in my notes, way back at the very beginning, and it had to be just so. But do you think I could get the story to behave so I could get there? Hell no. Weeks. It took some three weeks to thrash it out. Page after page written, page after page deleted. It has been the hardest thing I have written to date. I can only hope that, now I have broken the back of it, the following chapters may proceed without incident, because I may just lose my sanity!
There is no easy way to overcome writers block. I wrote and wrote, knowing it was wrong, but I had to keep at it, keep thrashing it out until it clicked. Sometimes I could not stand to open my computer, so then I would sit and play my PS4. Fallout 4 is rather good at alleviating writers tension, let it be known lol. The only thing I can say, if anyone experiences the same thing, don’t force it. Write, even if it is bad because that will help you see what is right. Oh, and know where the delete button is with your eyes closed!
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 conceit inspiring, history dictating character. It certainly inspired me while writing dead Camp.
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 develop your plot and characters?
I had the idea for the story, and I knew that I wanted it to cover a few key moments in history. So I roughly mapped out each book, each character, and each plot thread. I use a card index system so I can slot in plot points and ideas as I am building the story. As with everything, things can change, stories develop and mutate as you write them, and that’s great.
As for the characters, well, that bit is fun. I write a bit of a bio for each character, but that bio will also include key plot elements and personality traits. What I found during that stage because the story was so engrained in my head, as I was writing each character bio, conversations would spring up in my head and I would write them down. My main character, Eli, is snarky, rude, arrogant, and always horny. That bio helped me to form an idea of how he speaks, how he acts, and how he would react to any given situation. This in turn helped me to hear his voice, and I hope that translates on the page. It is really difficult to give each individual character their own, unique voice, and I don’t know if I have completely succeeded in that, but I have really, really tried lol.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
If pushed, I would say characters because story can develop from character. When I started this series, the plot of each book was planned, but I found that when I was writing, quite often the characters would change the direction of the plot. It is the strangest thing. Some of the things I had planned from the very beginning fell to the wayside because my characters would not allow it to happen. Plot is vital of course, but character is everything because a plot is nothing without them.
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Dead Camp 2. Malachi will find out who he is. I can’t believe you have made me say that I’ve come out in a cold sweat!
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?
I am working on Dead Camp 3. There will be five books in the series, so I have a way to go yet. Number 3 is difficult to write, it has proven most challenging. It’s that character thing again. I had to change things, things I was not happy to change, but it had to happen, despite the tears and the tantrums. The third book is a game changer, on so many levels, so it has been and still is, a tough write.
What are you reading now?
Cassandra Claire Lady Midnight. I have read all the other books in the series, love them. She really inspired me to put words on paper.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Bram Stoker. Charlaine Harris. Cassandra Claire. Graham Masterton.
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.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When Extasy Books offered me a contract in October 2015. Up until that point, I was just someone who enjoyed telling stories with no hope of doing anything with them. Extasy made me an author, and I love them for making my dream come true. Without them, Dead Camp would still just be sitting there n my lap top instead of available for download across the world. I owe Extasy everything.
Describe your writing space.
My living room. I sit on the sofa facing a bay window. The lap top is perched on my knees. My great big TV is to my left. My husband, Derek, is sitting on the other sofa to my right watching said TV. My cat, Rita, is snuggled up bedside me, on my left, because she likes the heat the lap top pumps out. I have coffee and my e-cigarette resting on the cushion to my left.
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Time. I work full time, I have an Interior Design business with my business partner, Jayne. I don’t get home until the evening, so I usualy get the lap top out at 7,30 and write until about 12.30, then bed, up at 7.30am and start the day again. I am a slow writer, it does not come easily to me, and I am constantly aware that I need to get the next installment out before people forget about Dead Camp. It frightens me lol. If I could, I would give up the shop and write full time, but something has to pay the bills, and at the moment, writing is a long way off from doing that. So at the moment, I am like a walking zombie, very tired and slightly bad tempered.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
See the above lol. I write when I can. My gardening, the projects around the house that need doing, my PS4, my painting, my crafting, all have fallen by the wayside so that I can write as much a possible, and I love it, really, really love it.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
When I am on my own writing, I like to put DVD’s of Doctor Who on. Old Doctor Who’s, like from the 60’s and 70’s. Tom Baker is my Doctor, and I have them all, so they are very well used discs lol.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Cinema. And I have a massive blu-ray collection because I am a huge film buff. I also love to play my PS4. I have lost many a day strapped to the controller.
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 realised 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.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Two books, working on the third. Dead Camp 2 is my favorite so far. That book is wicked, naughty, horrible, and moving. That book got to me. Some of the reviews and the things people have said about that book reduced me to tears. In a good way lol.
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.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A famous artist. Painting was my first love, very closely followed by writing. Painting never worked out, really not good enough. We have yet to see how the writing will pan out lol.
How do you do research for your books?
Dead Camp is set within the real world during real events. World War 2, Victorian London, the Crucifixion. These are things that are easy to research, so Wikipedia became my best friend.
The Discovery channel and the internet are wonderful things. All those documentaries, all that information at your fingertips, it has enabled me to visualize all my locations, find all the necessary facts, and thank God for them. Mind you, I wonder how my husband would have felt if I said I needed to nip to Rome to do some research?! LOL. Ah well, we can all dream.
Believe it or not, the Bible has been a very helpful source of information during this process. The biblical aspect of this saga is huge. Also, Shakespeare, but I could not possibly comment as to why lol, but you will understand when you read book 2.
Author Name: Sean Kerr
Book Name: Dead Camp
Series: Dead Camp
Release Date: January 1, 2016
Publisher: Extasy Books
Cover Artist: Latrisha Waters
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
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6207037.Sean_Kerr
Buy the book:
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.
Dead camp Excerpt
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.
Meet the author
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
Rafflecopter Prize: eCopy of ‘Dead Camp’ book one
Tour Dates & Stops:
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