interview · Pay It Forward · Quotes · Writing

Getting to Know…Sean Kerr

sean-kerr

  • What can you tell me about yourself? My name is Sean Kerr, and I am a 46-year-old gay man living in Cardiff, Wales, with my husband of 28 years, Derek. We have two cats, Rita and Harry, and a host of tropical fish.

    By day, I am an Interior designer, and I have had a shop, Home Zone, in Cardiff with my amazing business partner Jayne, for eleven and a half years. It has, and continues to be a struggle, the recession hit a few years after we opened, and it has been challenging to say the least. I consider myself to be lucky though, because the shop pays me a wage, and I have been lucky enough to furnish my house with lovely thigs because of it, and I really do have some spectacular curtains lol.

    I worked on building sites for years, and I used the money earned from that to put myself through college, specialist paint techniques etc. I trained in fine art, and then I went out and painted murals on client’s walls, and created Roman Bathrooms and fantasy, hand painted bedrooms, all the rage back in the late eighties and nineties. I then became the Interior Designer for a large DIY chain, and that is where I met Jayne, my business partner, and the rest is history.

    By night I am an Author, and I am proud to be an author for Extasy Books. I currently have three books under my belt, with extasy about to release Dead Camp 3. I am also working on a secret project at the moment, something between book 3 coming out, and starting book 4 in the Dead Camp series. I love writing, so very much. It has always been my dream, and the wonderful Extasy Books has made my dream come true, and it is a world that I am totally in love with, and I hope to be a part of for a very long time to come.

  • Where do you see yourself five years from now? Sitting on a balcony of my villa in Barcelona with my laptop before me as I write and gorgeous man servants seeing to my every need! Sadly, that is highly unlikely, but one can dream. In five years’ time I will still be in the shop working my butt off, but there will be books, always books, lots of them!
  • What motivates you? The overriding need to tell a story. And the more you write, the worse it gets. An idea will germinate in my head and then it will bug me until I thrash it out, explore it, twist it, change and mould it. I love to take events that we think we are all so familiar with and I like to play with them, and I love to lull my readers into a false sense of security and then twist it again. Stories. That is what motivates me, the need to tell stories that will grip you by the short and curlies and take you on one hell of a journey. And I love it!

  • What are you working on at the minute? Dead Camp 3 is about to come out, and that was a very difficult book to write. It deals with a whole host of very contentious subjects and I had to find a way into the story that made it believable, without being corny. That was very difficult, but also I am so proud of the final result. Now I have started the research element of dead Camp 4, which will be the most complex one to date, and I am so looking forward to immersing myself back into that world, and the events that happened in London. However, something happened between Dead Camp 3 and 4, a secret project that came to life all by itself, so watch this space. I am so excited!

  • What is the strangest thing you’ve ever researched? The correct biological classification of starfish! It was for Dead Camp 2. There is a scene towards the end, a death scene, and when I originally wrote it, it was very, very graphic. My publisher thought it best that I toned it down a bit, so I did and I used the biological classification of a starfish to describe it. My husband laughed out loud.

  • Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? Only if I get stuck, and that has happened a couple of times. Then I walk away for a day or so until my brain unfreezes. Once I start, I have to go with it and get it down on paper. I don’t like to stop as once have found my way into the plot I need to work hard to get it all down. Once the first draft is complete, I read it straight away, make notes, and then go in for a second, third, maybe even a fourth pass until I am absolutely satisfied. I will take a very short break between books, but not while I’m in the process of writing them.

  • Do you read much and, if so, who are your favourite authors? Stephen King, Graham Masterton, Charlaine Harris, Stephenie Meyer, Cassandra Clare, Bram Stoker, H. G. Wells.
  • Favourite TV show for inspiration/distraction? Doctor Who. I have them all on DVD, the classic series and all the new series on Blu Ray. My Doctor was Tom Baker; I was a 70’s child after all. My favourite of the new Doctor’s is David Tennant. When I am writing, they go on. So as I am destroying the world with Vampires, the Daleks are destroying the world on television.

  • For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hardback books? I love my e-books. I can take as many as I want with me wherever I go. I read on the bus on the way to and from work, so my e-reader is an absolute godsend. I do love physical books, but I would choose my e-reader every time.

  • What are you reading at present? Ian Cadena The Hard Boys Case 1, Alien Abduction. And it is a very naughty, VERY entertaining read! And Ian is a brilliant author.

  • What is your favourite book and why? My favourite book is Bram Stokers Dracula. When I was eight my aunt bought me an old copy of the book at a jumble sale and I have read that book so very many times over the years. I love the way the story unfolds from the perspective of the various characters, through letters and diaries. It is a very clever book in the way he structures the story telling narrative and it is something that I truly aspire to.
  • Pen, type writer or computer? Mostly computer. All the Dead Camp books are planned out in numerous, volumes of notes with pen and paper. Each book is mapped out with pen and paper, and then I dive in with the computer. However, if I get stuck, I tend to retire to a corner with a pen and pad and try to write the chapter or segment that is bugging me, and then go back to the computer. So I guess I will always use a combination of them both.

  • Do you write alone or in public? In my lounge with my lap top on my lap. I can’t shut myself away in a room to write or I would never see my cats….or my husband. And I tend to have one eye on my favourite TV shows as well.

  • Music or silence? Neither. If my husband is in work and I am writing alone in the house, then on goes Doctor Who, otherwise the television is always on in the background. If I put music on, it would be one of my extensive musical soundtracks, and that would mean I would have to sing, and that is never good.

  • Goals of certain # of words a week or when inspiration strikes? I don’t set myself goals. Writing is hard enough as it is without imposing a word count on myself. Sometime I can write pages, sometimes barely a paragraph. Sometimes I have written pages of utter rubbish and then gone back and deleted it. So I just get on with it, be it a page, a chapter, or a volume!!

  • If you could spend time a character from (any of) your book/s whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? I would like to spend a day in the company of Queen Victoria. I think that woman is absolutely fascinating. I would love to see everything that she did in a given day and talk to her about her family, of whom she was bitterly disappointed. Queen Victoria was a woman who live the last half of her life in mourning, because she loved her husband so much. The entire Victorian era fascinates me, and just imagine having a tour of the Palace in her company?

  • What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? That is a hard one. I think the toughest criticism was when someone took stars off my review for having a very brief MF scene in book 1. That was a tough thing to swallow, because I don’t believe in shying away from anything when you are telling a story, and that scene was absolutely vital to the story of that book. I find it difficult to write by a formula of what people expect to be in a book of any given genre. That is not something I can do. If my story needs it, if it is important to the plot, then in it goes. Another reviewer took a star off because book 1 ends in a cliff-hanger. That was a tough one to swallow as well. All the books end in a cliff-hanger, it’s a series. At the end of the day you just have to tell your story in the best way that you can. Some will get it, some wont, and it is pointless worrying about that because you cannot please everyone. That is one hard lesson to learn I can tell you lol.

  • What has been the best compliment? One reviewer called me a master story teller and wordsmith. That really touched me because those were words that I never thought I would ever see attached to my work.

  • What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans? There has been a lot of discussion in groups on Facebook about the true identity of my characters. That has been an absolute joy to see, because so many people have their theories. Another is a scene in book 1, inside a church, that has become infamous. I so love that; it makes all the readers go eeeeewwwwwwww! And then book 2, what happens in the gas chambers. But, the most amazing thing that I have seen is just how much my readers love Malachi, and how much of a connection they feel for him. He means a lot to my fans/readers, and for me that is the greatest compliment of all because it means that the characters and the stories work. Now I have to be careful what I do to him LOL!

  • Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents? Nothing that can be printed here without me being arrested! I have an unhealthy affiliation with socks!! No, everything I do is out there lol, I love crafting, painting, drawing, nothing unusual sadly, apart from writing some seriously twisted books lol.

  • What do you love most about the writing process? The satisfaction of seeing the story unfold. Dead Camp is a series of books, and to see each one link into the next gives me an absolute thrill. Dead Camp 3 is the most complex up to date because I knew I had to answer much of what was started in the first two. When I finished that book and read it over, it really got to me. I knew what it had to do, I knew where it needed to go in order for book 4 to kick off, but by god it was tough. I can only hope that the reaction from my amazing readers is the same, because if it is, there will be a lot of ‘oh my God’ moments and a lot of tears. That for me is the most wonderful part of this process, to tell a story, and hopefully illicit an emotional reaction.

  • Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day? By day I am an Interior designer and I have a shop in Cardiff with my amazing business partner, Jayne. We have had the shop for almost twelve years, and it has been, and continues to be, very hard. We survived one of the nastiest recessions in many years, but we still have not recovered and there is no sign of it getting any easier. But I am very, very proud of what we have achieved. If I could give up the day job to write full time, then I would, in a heartbeat, but not many of us are lucky enough to be able to do that.

  • Any website or resources that have been helpful to you as a writer? Wikipedia is a huge resource, and I would be lost without that and Google lol. Much of what I use in my books is established Historical fact, so then it is relatively straight forward to research them. However, some things, like the Spear of Destiny, Gaius Cassius Longinus, and even the Crucifixion, have so much legend attached to them that it can be difficult to get to the nub of it. It’s bloody good fun doing it though!

  • What do your friends and family think of your writing? My friends are absolutely ecstatic for me, and they are so very proud. They have all kindly read my books, and they have been kind enough to say how much they have enjoyed them. My family are really happy for me, though my parents have not read the books even though they have bought them. I have warned them that the material would shock them. My husband is still in shock. I don’t think he thought I would ever get published, even though it is something I have wanted all the time he has known me. He knows how much it means to me, but when I was published his reaction was lukewarm to say the least, and then when he read my books he was so shocked he did not know what to say. His reaction has been the most disappointing of all, especially as he knows how much this means to me. And he is totally outraged at the sex scenes. But that will not deter me. I write for me, because I love doing it with every molecule of my body, and once Dead Camp is finished, there are many more stories to tell, so I will not be stopping any time soon. If he doesn’t like it, then he is just going to have to learn to live with it. But thank god my friends are very supportive, and for that I am eternally grateful.

  • What character in your book/s are you least likely to get along with? Daniyyel. I am not a religious man, and his sanctimonious attitude would drive me mad! Daniyyel is a funny character, and sometimes his motives feel a bit blurred, but I have a plan for him, I know where he will end up, so I can’t be too hard on him. But that does not forgive the fact that he has kept the truth from Eli for so long, and has refused to help him, even though he could, and for that I would have to kick him in the shins!

  • Do you think that giving books away free works and why? That is a very personal choice. For me, the answer is no. Why would I give away something that I have worked on for over a year? Dead Camp 1 and 2 represent two years of work. Would anyone go to work and not get paid? It’s different for competitions and the like, and I have given my books to winners in competitions I have run, but I would never offer my books on Amazon or any site for free. No-one is entitled to free things, and writers who pour their hearts out into their books deserve the same. Imagine if I went into a restaurant and ordered my food but then said I didn’t want to pay for it?

  • How do you relax? My PS4. I am a terrible games addict. Mass Effect Andromeda is out next year and I just know that I am going to lose hours and days with that controller in my hand, and I am so looking forward to it. At the moment I am lucky if I get a couple of hours a week on my PS4, and I am playing Witcher 3 at the moment.

  • What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t open a shop.

  • So, what have you written? I am currently starting the prep on Dead Camp book 4. And there is a secret project in the pipeline which I cannot name here. I also worked with around 30 authors to bring about a charity Anthology book in aid of the victims fund in the Orlando Pulse Shooting. The book is called Over The rainbow, and I am very proud of my authors in there, and to my publisher Extasy books for letting me do it.

Dead Camp (Dead Camp 1, Dead Camp 2, Dead Camp 3, Dead Camp 4)

Anthology: Over the Rainbow

sean-kerrs-books

  • How can readers discover more about you and you work? Where can we buy or see them?

Facebook                Twitter                Amazon US                   Amazon UK                Goodreads 

Extasy Books             Nook                Kobo               Blog                Smashwords

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

Thank you very much for having me today, and thank you so very much for giving us authors this wonderful opportunity. It is thanks to wonderful bloggers like you that we get noticed, and I for one am very grateful for all your hard work and kindness.

~

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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11 thoughts on “Getting to Know…Sean Kerr

  1. Great interview Sean. I am very curios out your obsession with socks. I’ll have to get to the bottom of that. LOL Can’t wait for Dead Camp 3. Super excited!!! Love you

  2. As usual Sean Kerr, you have again captured my heart with your heartfelt and honest answers, Could not love you anymore than I do and every milestone you hit, I will be right by your side cheering you on. xxxx

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