#BlogTour Dead Camp (Dead Camp #1) by Sean Kerr + Author Interview
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) Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
I once watched a world war 2 film starring Daniel Craig called Defiance. As I was watching it, for some reason I found myself wondering what would happen if there were Vampires in it. That was the slippery slope that lead me to Dead Camp.
Also, book 1 and 2 is peppered with references to film and musicals. While some of it may not be entirely accurate to the period, I could not help myself. Some of them are really a bit cheeky lol. As I was writing, the lines would just come to me and I could not help sneaking them in. Many you may not get, especially on a first reading. But they are there, lurking in the dialogue, in the scenes, naughty references from some of my favorite films and musicals.
2) How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
Book 1 and 2 revolve around a concentration camp. Also, my main characters are dead. So Dead Camp came to me very quickly and is a play on words. I understand that in America, the term ‘camp’ may not be prevalent, but in Britain it is a well-known term used to describe particularly effeminate gay men. Malachi is really camp, and he is dead. Eli has his camp moments, and he is dead. Melek, he can be outrageously camp, and while he is not strictly dead, he controls the dead. It just seemed like a match so I went with it, and I love the title, it just encompasses the world and the characters of my novels to a T!
3) Have you ever given one of your characters the personality of someone you know?
No, not really. Though, I think it is fair to say that there are certain traits of my very best friends, and myself, that has crept into a few of them, Eli and Malachi in particular. This has more to do with their wit and snappy comebacks than anything else. Two of my best friends, Chris and Craig, know that there are bits of them mixed in there, and they love it. Eli is so me, in so many ways, his sexual drive, his need to feel wanted and attractive, his sarcasm, and his short temper. I put my hand up and admit that some of that is me.
4) What do you think makes a good story?
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 cleverest, 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.
5) What does your family think of your writing?
I have warned my mother and father not to read it. I do not want them reading the sex scenes and thinking that I do this on a regular basis, which sadly I do not. Having said that, they immediately bought the first two books as they came out. All of my family and friends are incredibly proud and chuffed for me, because they know how long I have wanted to do this. So the support has been wonderful. BUT! My mother has yet to read the books, she is just finishing a series she has started, and I am dreading those texts that I just know will be coming my way. There are things in this world that mothers should ever know, and they are all in those books! Well, I did warn her.
Thank you, Sean for being here and allowing us to get to know you better.
Author Name: Sean Kerr
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,
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
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
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:
READ A PREVIEW OF BOOK ONE
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:
Publisher: Extasy Books
Cover Artist: Latrisha Waters