Dead Camp (Dead Camp #1) by Sean Kerr
Release Date: January 1, 2016
Publisher: Extasy Books
Cover Artist: Latrisha Waters
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is so happy to have author Sean Kerr here today to share his thoughts on writing, the supernatural and his latest release, Dead Camp. Welcome, Sean.
I love to create stories and characters, it’s a fantastic escape from every- day living. I love to take an idea and start developing a story and characters around it, and I love to see where it takes me! If I am lucky enough that an audience likes it and reads it, then that really is the ultimate thrill!
- When did you decide to become a writer?
It was not a conscious decision. I have written since I was a child, and I am now 46! But when I decided to write Dead Camp, when the idea became so powerful and would not let me sleep, I decided that I would do everything in my power to get a publisher and get the work into as good a situation as possible. And it worked! Extasy books have been fabulous.
- What genre are your books?
Supernatural, paranormal, horror, gay, a general sprinkling of erotica, conspiracy, history. Have I left anything out?
- What draws you to this genre?
I have always loved supernatural/paranormal books, LOVED Twilight, LOVED the True Blood books, and that sent me off wanting to do my own spin on that genre. Plus I have always wanted to write a Vampire story, but one that changed the conventions, and hopefully does something a bit different with the genre.
- What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I had an idea and it would not let me sleep. The idea grew and grew and I knew it would take a number of books to see it through, so I had to write it. I started Dead Camp to see where it would lead me, and now I know exactly where it is going and how the very last page of the series will look. I’m so excited about it that it stops me from sleeping because I keep seeing bits of it in my head. It’s an obsession, as is writing in general I think.
- Do you write full-time or part-time?
Part time. I have an Interior Design business in Cardiff called Home Zone Design, with my fabulous business partner Jayne, so that takes up all my working days sadly. If I could walk away from that and write all day I would, but sadly we cannot afford to hire anyone so that isn’t going to happen lol!
- Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I try to do a couple of hours a night and I try to do as much as I can on days off. However, my debut novel Dead Camp has just gone live on extasy books and Amazon and all my time has been spent doing social media stuff and trying to get the book out there, so I have been a bit lack of late!
- How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Not sure about that. I do think my writing has improved dramatically over this process, my editors at extasy have been fantastic! I’ve always had a pretty active imagination, and this series is pushing that to the limits and I love it. The one thing that does happen when you write it that the more you do it, the better you become, and the more ideas you have!
Dead Camp is my first published work. I have written loads over the years, lots of bad stuff, lots of screen plays. I have a file full of half-finished things and ideas that I am looking forward to getting back to once the Dead Camp series is finished. While to go there yet though lol.
- Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?
I start from a rough outline, and before I start writing I always know where I need each character to go and where the story needs to go. Dead Camp is going to be a big series, possibly 6 books, and I know exactly where each one will be, start, end, and how each one affects the next, and I know exactly how it ends.
- How do you market your books?
Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, yahoo groups. That is my main thrust at the moment and believe me it all takes a lot of doing. How effective it is I don’t know yet, I am a very small fish in a very, very large sea.
- Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
Facebook. As soon as I announced the publication of the book, people were buying it. Also, because I am lucky enough to have a fantastic publisher in extasy books, they also sell it from their website, and they have a huge following, so hopefully at some point that will kick in.
- What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never give up. Keep writing, even if it’s bad, because you will improve. If you have an idea, go with it. Don’t get sidetracked either, as I am now lol. You have to write all the time, to develop your style and your skills. Never take ‘NO’ as the final answer. I was refused by every agent in the Readers & Writers Handbook, but just when I thought there was no point in going on, I approached six publishers directly and within three weeks I had three offers.
Sadly, no-one is going to do it for you, so you have to do it for yourself!
- Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
Eli is so arrogant and so self-assured, that you can’t help but love him. It’s not so much what he does that is special, it’s the horror he has been through. He has been through so much that you would think it could not get any worse. But as Dead Camp begins, it does get worse, and his history unfolds through the books to the point where you really need something good to happen to him. He thinks his arrogance and his sexy attitude can get him through it all, but he discovers that nothing is further from the truth.
- Where do your ideas come from?
The strangest of places. Dead Camp came to me while watching a World War two film. Documentaries on the Discovery channel also fuel my imagination. Also, there are a couple of future books I would like to write inspired by some terrible nightmare I had as a child that have always stayed with me.
- What is the hardest thing about writing?
Getting the time to write!
- What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Finding someone to take it seriously and publish it. Agents didn’t want to know. Three publishers did straight away.
- Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Eli, because he is so naughty and I would love to be him!
- Who is your least favorite character and why?
Melek. He is so bad that you can’t help but love him. Not all evil is as dark as you think.
- What is your next project?
Dead Camp book two out so I am trying to get the third one written as we speak!
- Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
Count Dracula. I have read that book so many times I can almost recite it! He is not strictly evil, and I think in the end he just wants to be loved. That feels as relevant today as it did when it was first written.
- What one person from history would you like to meet and why?
Judy Garland. I’m gay, need I say more?
- If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?
- Who is your favorite author?
- What is one thing you hate about being a writer?
That I have to work in a shop in order to survive instead of writing all day lol.
Thank you, Sean! That was outstanding. Now I can’t wait to read your story. More about Dead Camp below….
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
Three prisoners had died in my block that night, two elderly and one young man not old enough to grow pubes. It sickened me. Never, in all my years, had I witnessed such a callous waste of human life. And then to see my fellow prisoners undressing the dead, striping their cold stiff bodies before my unbelieving eyes horrified me even more, and I clung onto Jakob’s broken body for dear life. All around me the clunk of bodies against wood and concrete. My eyes tried not to see and my ears tried not to hear.
A cold clammy hand gently caressed my arm and I nearly shot off my shelf in shock. I didn’t scream. I refused to scream.
“My friend, I’m sorry, my friend, but you must undress him. The rubbish men will be here soon and you must strip him of all clothing before they take him. Please, you must do this for him—they will be less kind than you. Do you understand?”
“Why? Why must we do this?”
“His clothes are of value, my friend. They will be re-used for the next intake.”
“And what of his body, what will become of Jakob?”
“You don’t want to know, my friend.” His whispered words made every hair on my body stand on end. A sound outside caused him to return to his unsavoury task with renewed urgency. “Quickly, they are here.”
What followed felt like a dream. I had undressed many a man under many circumstances, but that was a first. Already poor Jakob stiffened, and it pained me to hear and feel his bones crack as I gently prised his pale thin body from the clothes. I whispered my apologies into his unhearing ears and I hated my eyes for glancing across his pale dead flesh.
I had to free them, all of them. That place, that death camp, it had to end.
I lifted his dead naked body into my arms. Emotion, so alien to me, invaded the shrivelled blackness that was my soul, and I knew my eyes betrayed my grief. Emotions made you weak. Emotions made you vulnerable, emotions hurt. And I was hurting. The passing of that human, that mortal man I had known for less than a day, had brought back that affliction from which I had been running from for so very long.
I had only opened my heart to the world again but for the briefest of moments. And already I felt pain.
Gideon hurt me. He made me feel unloved, unwanted, he made me feel ugly. How I would crave for his touch, how desperate I was for his love, to feel the thrill of his fingers upon my bare flesh, to feel his attraction to me, to feel wanted. But all he ever did was refuse me. Every time I tried to touch him, he turned me away. He was not in the mood, he told me to come back later.
Come back later.
But later never came.
I carried that pale body into the grey wet misery of morning. The sun was trying desperately to penetrate the thick layers of brooding clouds that clung stubbornly over the camp, but the sun was losing. Rain dripped incessantly from the skies, melting the remaining snow into a muddy slush. Grey skies, grey ground, grey people. The camp drained the colour out of everything. Welwelsburg was like me, a vampire, sucking the life out of everything it encountered, sucking away hope and dignity, leaving nothing but pale grey husks clinging to the brink of existence.
Two men stood next to a large flatbed trolley. Dead, naked bodies lay crumpled in a pile on top of the trolley, legs and arms sticking out at all angles like some grotesque starfish. I saw children amongst the corpses.
Pale white flickering figures surrounded the trolley. Insubstantial wisps of lives spent before their time. The rubbish men looked at me expectantly but I could not move for the sight of those spectral beings and I clutched Jakob’s dead body tightly to my chest, unwilling to relinquish my charge. If I put him on that trolley then he would be dead, another lump of cold meat on the pile. He deserved more than that.
The ghostly figures turned to look at me, each one knowing me, seeing me, seeing me see them. And they smiled at me. Cold shivering prickles erupted across my skin as their eyes took me in and they were such kind eyes, such trusting eyes. A figure pushed its way between them, its shadowy form brushing gently against the others as it came to stand before me.
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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.
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