May 24th, 2016

andrew potter

Blog Tour: Dead Camp (Dead Camp #1) by Sean Kerr

Dead Camp (Dead Camp #1) by Sean Kerr
Publisher: eXtasy Books (December 22, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Dead Camp (Dead Camp #1)

Blurb: 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.

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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.
1) Was there a basis for you story? A previous experience or something else?
The sexual aspect of the story, the desire to be needed, to feel attractive, the never-ending appetite, that came from me to an extent. As a gay man in my late 40’s, I feel rather unattractive, and non-sexual, so a lot of my feelings on that subject fueled my writing. But the idea itself was born from my love of film, television, and documentaries, which continue to be a great source of inspiration. I love the Discovery channel. I once watched a documentary about Hitler and his obsession with the occult. That made something in my head explode, and before I knew it, I had the outline of Dead Camp plotted. Also, as I work through an idea, other ones present themselves. Sometimes they fit, sometimes they have to be put away for another book. When an idea hits me, I write it down, and then I start to write around it, play with it, and see where it leads me. Dead Camp presented a series of strong ideas, and once I realised that they could all be linked, that there was an entire series of possibilities, I was at my computer writing furiously.
I recently finished reading a book, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, and I consider that book to be the true successor to Stoker’s Dracula. However, as I was reading it, another idea hit me, albeit one that does not involve Vampires. Her style of writing, and the way she tells her story, got me to thinking about how I could tell a story in a slightly different way, and then I realised that I had the outline for a completely new book. So I wrote it down, put it in my file, and that will be my project once Dead Camp is finished.

2) What skills do you think a writer needs?
I don’t know if I have any skills, that is not for me to judge. I think that as a writer, you need to try to create believable characters, be they Vampires, Demons, or Ghosts. If you cannot empathize with your characters, then the work will not engage the reader and the work will lack any kind of emotional charge. As a reader, I like to feel emotionally attached to the characters I read about, and then I feel involved in the story, and I care about them and their journey. For a writer, that is a really hard thing to do, but also the most important.

3) What for you is the perfect book hero?
Someone who learns about themselves as they progress through the story, and that in turn helps the reader to engage. It’s all very well being gorgeous, strong, to have supernatural powers, or leap tall buildings in a stride, but I want to engage with my hero on an emotional level, I want to identify with them, feel the things they feel, see their vulnerabilities and follow their journey to beat those fears. I want to see a hero that has a little bit of me inside them, because if they can achieve their goals, then so can I.

4) Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
That initial finding of the voice, that initial characterization that will fuel the novel. I need to find a way into my characters, how do they speak, how do they react to a given situation, what do they feel, what do they need, what drives them. I have to answer these questions before I can write, and sometimes that is a challenge.
Book 1 and 2 were not so bad. I had Eli well and truly mapped out, and Malachi was just a joy to write. Book 3 is proving very difficult, because I thought I knew the character, and I thought I knew how he would be, but I was wrong. He is different to how I imagined and I have had to go back and re-examine him, and that is not a bad thing because I hope he will be all the more rounded for it. But it has taken a while to get into his head, even though I have written over half of the first draft. The second half of the book will go quicker now that I know him, and the second draft will be much better once I adjust a few things. Characters can really screw you over sometimes, I may just have to kill someone.

5) Tell us about your favorite childhood book.
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. Bram Stoker gave us one of the very best literary monsters in history. That book is genius, on every level. His imagination, his research, his approach to telling a story, his characterization, wow. I have read that book so many times, and I will read it again, and again. He inspired me to write, he inspired Dead Camp, and there is a story I want to tell in the future, and even though it will not involve Vampires, the style of it is directly inspired by the style of Bram Stoker and Dracula.

Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page:
Dead Camp site::
Goodreads Link:

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