Author Name: Sean Kerr
Book Name: Dead Camp, Dead Camp, Book #1
Release Date: January 1, 2016
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
Publisher: Extasy Books
Cover Artist: Latrisha Waters
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!
- Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than any others? Love? Action? Romance? Tragedy? Action is tough, fight scenes in particular. All that punching, who threw who where, and who kicked who in the balls. But what I have found particularly challenging, and it surprised me, is writing sex scenes. I have never done that before, and there is some pretty hot stuff through these books, but trying to make them fresh, and different from each other, is really hard! How do you write something that is meant to be erotic and filthy without making someone laugh? I read a certain book, and during a sex scene, the man inserts fingers into her, and she says that she feels like a bowling ball. I laughed so hard that I nearly soiled myself. I had tears of laughter. I laughed for bloody ages. It made me laugh for days. Sadly, though, it was not meant to be funny. So whenever I write a sex scene, I always think bowling ball, and that sobers me up lol.
- 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 realized 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 most clever, 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.
- Do you hear from readers much? What do they say? Facebook is a wonderful thing, love it or hate it. At the moment I love it lol. I have met so many fantastic people, and they have been so very positive and supportive. I have found that to be most humbling. They say how much they enjoyed the book, they let me know about reviews they have posted, they involve me in conversations on various groups, it’s a real community, and I love it. I have to say, that some of the comments and reviews have reduced me to tears, very happy tears, because some of the things people have written has really touched me. This entire experience has reaffirmed my faith in the human race, it really has. I have yet to have the honor of meeting people face to face at conventions, but I really hope that changes in the near future.
- How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Published works? Two so far, and I am writing the 3rd as we speak. I have written much that has never seen the light of day, most of which sit festering, unfinished.
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Reading, I love to read. My other big passion is Cinema. I am a huge film buff and my blu ray collection is massive. I also love my PS4. I have lost many a day strapped to that controller. Gardening, when I am in the mood, crafting, painting. Nothing beats writing though. I have an exploding head full of twisted ideas, so they have to come out somehow.
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.
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.
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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