Welcome to today’s stop on the Killer on the Road blog tour hosted by Page Turner Book Tours. I hope you enjoy today’s interview with author, Charles O’Keefe. Stick around to enter the contest!
Title: Killer On The Road
Series: The Newfoundland Vampire
Author: Charles O’Keefe
Genre: Horror / Paranormal / Romance / Vampire
Publisher: Penumbra Publishing
Formats Available In: All eBook formats and Print
Release Date: January, 2011
Blurb: Joseph O’Reily is still adjusting to the lifestyle and the dangers that come with being a new vampire. He and Cassandra recently fought to the death with Cassandra’s estranged husband John Snow, and now Joseph has experienced his first ménage a trios, as only a vampire can. As if all of this was not complicated enough, he and Cassandra have been tasked with hunting down and killing a rogue vampire, Donald Rathmore.
Another of John Snow’s creations, Donald is an evil misogynistic killer in his own right. Donald has no interest in avenging his creator’s death, but killing Cassandra is at the top of his list.
While Donald continues his murderous spree, Joseph and Cassandra always seem to be one step behind him. The chase is further complicated as they encounter other vampires and learn more about the mysterious nature of the Vampire Council and the coming war between good and evil.
Joseph is only now beginning to trust Cassandra, and this trust will be shaken when he discovers she has even more secrets than he imagined. Her idea of justice and morality is at complete odds with his own. Despite all his powers and growing skill, Joseph is tested physically as a vampire and emotionally by Cassandra. This time the answers and challenges may be too much for the young vampire to handle.
About Charles O’Keefe:
Charles O’Keefe lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and two feline ‘children,’ Jude and Esther. He works as an I.T. support guy and enjoys many hobbies and activities that include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, acting, martial arts and of course fantasizing about vampires.
He currently has two novels out, books 1 and 2 of “The Newfoundland Vampire” series.
And now for the interview…
1. What’s your favorite book or genre to read?
Ahh to read, usually people ask what genre to I like to write in, so I appreciate the different question. Well I guess it’s changed over time, I used to read science-fiction almost exclusively (and most of that Star Trek) but now I’d say fantasy/horror. I enjoy getting a thrill reading horror tales and find the characters are often quite interesting.
2. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No not really, I’ve always been a creative person but I’m one of those people who wasn’t sure what he wanted to be for a long time (I was finished university before I wanted to be a teacher). I did a little writing for the school paper in high school and more at university but really I didn’t get the writing bug until late, probably when I was around 33-34.
3. How to “get in the zone” to write? Any certain quirks that you feel you MUST do?
That’s a good question, hmmm…..I do need time to collect my thoughts. Well first off I can’t write a novel until I’ve done an outline. Then I generally do most of my writing in the morning. So my quirks would be I need to have breakfast, move my laptop to the kitchen table (if it’s not there already), look out the window and then start writing. I find I can only usually do short bursts (30-45 minutes). I also like to take frequent breaks to look out the window, maybe check my e-mail or look at a website. I have written at conventions, farmer’s markets, flea markets, planes and other places though, so really there’s nothing I have to do to write. I generally just have to be in the mood, I can force myself to edit but not to be creative.
4. What’s your writing style? Do you brainstorm ideas on paper or just go straight to writing?
I kind of cheated here as I already mentioned this above. In detail though, so I do an outline with each chapter title, the date it happens (in the story) and a brief summary of what happens in each chapter. For book 1 I did an outline as I went (i.e. I kept 2-3 chapters ahead of where I was writing) but for book 2 I did the outline for the whole book in 5-7 hours. Then the second step I do a more detailed outline as each chapter is finished, this time it contains point by point in sequence exactly what happens in each chapter. I do this detailed outline for my editor, Pat, but I do find it helps afterwards during editing and to make sure I don’t do the same things twice (or make some other timeline type error). So the short answer is I brainstorm before, work on an outline and then write. I also try to read over notes on grammar and story structure every week or two to keep the concepts fresh in my mind.
5. There seems to be some similar qualities between Joseph and yourself, do you feel close to any other characters you’ve written?
Joseph is a younger version of me who made different choices and obviously has some differences (I only wish I was a vampire), so we have a lot of similar qualities. I really do feel close to Cassandra though (my main female character). She is the first character I created that felt real to me (Joseph just didn’t count as he’s me). She’s the one where at the end of book 1 I first thought of her, she had more to say, more to do and was just waiting for me to write it. To be honest I also love Cassandra as a fantasy woman, she’s got everything I could wish for in a woman (including being a vampire), smart, sexy, strong, red hair, adventurous, wise, loving, confident and fun. While she does things I don’t agree with, I admire her courage and I think her attitude and actions are realistic for a 220 year old vampire who has seen a lot of terrible things (and had a lot happen to her). While in book 1 she was a little underdeveloped, I think with my editor’s help she really is a much more realized and interesting character in book 2.
6. Do you already know how the Newfoundland Vampire series will end, or do you figure it out as you go?
Another good one! Well I do like to plan ahead. I don’t want to give too much away, I will say that I know how a very important event in my world will go (I’ve thought about this battle almost as soon as I started writing book 1) but the end of the series….I think the most honest thing I can say is that after book 4 if I’m still enjoying it and I have a good story to tell it will continue. I don’t want to end up like Anne Rice where the books are complete crap and they are just pumped out for money (in my opinion of course).
7. What advice can you give those of us who would love to write, but aren’t sure how to get started?
I must say you came up with great questions, very thought provoking. Well I was like that and I would tell anyone who loves to write to just start small. What delayed me for a long time was thinking about how big a book is when you start, that’s the wrong attitude. Just think about it this way, I’ll write 1 page today, I’ll finish this short story (or chapter) next week…then before you know it you have a body of work or a novel finished. Small steps lead to finished projects. If you love writing just take an idea and run with it (or make an outline if you’re the organized type), either way if you’re enjoying yourself then there’s no downside really, how much you want to do and how far you want to go is all in your hands.
8. Where can we stalk you? ;)
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*I don’t normally add anything like this after an interview, but I have to say thank you, Charles! I thouroughly enjoyed your answers and they definitely gave me a lot to think about! I do love the idea of an outline.. that sounds right up my alley.
Here’s what you could win..
*Advertising space on The Writing Network
*A page feature in Reader’s Shadow
*Prize book bundle (Spark by Karyn Pearson, Birth of an Empire by Catrina Taylor, and both books in the Newfoundland Vampire Series by Charles O’Keefe)
Enter the contest here.