Lisa: Today we’re so pleased to welcome author Sean Kerr to TNA, on the tour for his new novel, Dead Camp. Welcome, Sean! Why don’t we start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself and the book?
Sean: 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!
Lisa: What genres does Dead Camp fall under, and what drew you to these genres?
Sean: I did not consider that when I started writing it, believe it or not. I started with a set of characters and a story that I wanted to tell. Since publication I have come to learn that it encompasses a number of genres. Horror, Romance, M/M, Gay fiction, Erotica. I think, though, that it is officially in the M/M genre. One of the most surprising things I have realised about this genre, 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.
Lisa: How many days a week do you write?
Sean: I write every day, as and when I can. I work full time, I have an Interior Design business with my fabulous business partner, Jayne. So time is a tough beast. I get home at 6 in the evening, prepare food, and then by 7.30ish I am usually at my computer. I attend to all my social media needs…and I really need to manage that time better…and then I write. I try to get in a few hours every night. I then turn into bed about 12.30, up for work at 7, and the routine starts again. Writing is obsessing my life at the moment and I love it. My crafting, gardening, my PS4, all have fallen by the wayside. I need to get book 3 out, and then I need to re-charge ready for book 4. So basically I squeeze writing into every spare moment I have lol.
Lisa: On average, how long does it take to write a book?
Sean: I don’t have enough under my belt to say that. It took me two years to write 1 and 2, but that was doing a bit at a time, I wasn’t writing as hard as I am now. When Extasy Books offered me a contract and my first two came out, I started to write every spare moment I had. It has taken me two months to write half of book 3, it may take me another month to finish the first draft. I hope then to start the second draft, edits, and all that horrible stuff. I want to get it to the publisher for further edits etc by June at the latest, in the hopes it will be published around August. I am guessing that each of the books left in the series, if I can keep up this pace, may take me six months. That will, however, remain to be seen lol.
Lisa: Do you have a trailer for your book? If yes, give us the link. If not, do you think you’d like to have one done at some point?
Sean: I do have a trailer for my book, I have trailers for book 1, 2 and a teaser for book 3.
Lisa: Wow…that’s a gorgeous video, Sean!
Okay, finish this sentence: If I could be a character in a book, I would be…
Sean: Eli. I am a mixture of Eli and Malachi. Sadly, I do not have Eli’s outrageous good looks and physical attributes, but I do have a sex drive the size of a planet, and I can be very sarcastic, cutting, and bad tempered. I also have a rather loud personality. I am also a little camp. Maybe. Sometimes. Okay, often. But I have a huge sense of humour, and I like nothing more than a bloody good laugh, and when I fall in love, I fall in love bad. That is why I have been with my husband for 27 years.
About the Book
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Series: Dead Camp: Book One
Length: 260 Pages
Categories: Dark Themes, Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Historical, Horror, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Vampires/Demons, Thriller
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.
About 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.
Follow the Tour
29-Mar: Full Moon Dreaming, Velvet Panic, BFD Book Blog
5-Apr: Rednecks and Romance, Jessie G. Books, Hearts on Fire, The Dark Arts
12-Apr: Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
19-Apr: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, Emotion In Motion, Book Lovers 4Ever
26-Apr: Bonkers About Books, Divine Magazine, Nephy Hart, The Hat Party
3-May: My Fiction Nook, MM Book Escape, Bayou Book Junkie
10-May: Dawn’s Reading Nook, Cathy Brockman Romances, Unquietly Me
17-May: Kirsty Loves Books, The Novel Approach
24-May: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Havan Fellows
31-May: MM Good Book Reviews, Making It Happen, Love Bytes
7-Jun: Happily Ever Chapter, Alpha Book Club
14-Jun: Molly Lolly, A.M. Leibowitz, Outrageous Heroes