A Luscious Look at Killer on the Road and Charles O’Keefe
Thanks so much for sitting down with us at Luscious and answering a few questions about yourself and your work, Charles. So without my ramblings here’s Charles.
Out of your published stories, which character is your favorite?
I would pick Cassandra, while she does some questionable things I think she is the most interesting and realistic character. I think being a vampire for almost 200 years (just living that long period!) would really change a person. She’s the first character that felt real to me, the first one who seemed to have a life of her own and a story to tell. Plus she’s strong, funny, adventurous, gorgeous, sexy as hell and a redhead, what’s not to like?
How do you come up with the titles of your books?
For the first one I just went with the obvious idea, it’s about two Newfoundland Vampires, so “The Newfoundland Vampire” was easy. It just came to me once I was done writing; it seemed both simple and yet had more than one meaning. For the second book, I came up with “Killer on the Road” after writing the chapter where Donald hears the song “Rider’s on the Storm” by the Doors. It just seemed very fitting (and is a line from the song) and if you read the book closely you’ll see it also has more than one meaning.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a writer?
Just getting my first book published was a challenge; it took almost 9 months to find a publisher. Then once I did I went through 3 intense months of editing and 16 different drafts. I had to grow as a person and a writer, I took my first draft very personal because the main character is me and I wrote about a lot of my feelings and memories. I had to learn to separate myself from my writing and develop a thick skin. At first I had no idea what to do about promotion (to be honest even now I’m still not sure exactly what works online) and I spent a huge amount of time looking for people to review my book. Then once I got reviews, I had to deal with really negative and hurtful ones. I replied to one but as I never got any response it ultimately didn’t make me feel better, you just have to not take bad reviews personally, even if they were meant that way. Other things like where is the best place to sell your book (flea markets and farmer’s markets are hard) and knowing when it’s time to stop constant promotion and get back to writing. I should also add that if you write an adult book like I did (with sex scenes) be prepared for some very awkward conversations with family and friends. Discussing the scenes briefly with friends was fine but talking about graphic sex with your uncle and mom, well it was bizarre and a little embarrassing.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I would have to pick Stephen King, he has this incredible talent to really make you feel part of a book, the characters are so fully realized that you always find one to identify with. He does amazing action scenes and his writing, while sometimes quite bizarre, is certainly unique and always has me wondering what he’ll do next. He also has quite a gift for exceptionally gory (and memorable scenes) it’s the kind of stuff you wish you could forget a little, but you can’t.
Do you have a favorite out of the books you have written?
I think my first book will always be my favourite, there are chapters and scenes I wrote that were so much fun and so exciting for me to read when it was finally done. It took me so many drafts that I had an amazing sense of accomplishment once it was finally done. The first book established my world and myself as a writer and it’s something I’ll never forget.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Stephen King, he has shown perseverance, strength and ultimately writes what he wants, his body of work is amazing. Despite being hit by a van and almost killed, he still continues to write and create and has managed to stay true to himself and his family.
What’s your favorite scary movie?
“The Blair Witch Project”, so simple, brilliant and scary. I was literally speechless the first time I saw it, that’s the kind of horror I want to see, not gore, just what you imagine happens. For an amateur movie, I think everyone involved did a great job and it was very unique at the time.
What’s the first costume you remember wearing as a child?
Batman I think, I really don’t remember my costumes much.
Favorite Halloween candy?
Peanut butter cups, chocolate and peanut butter were made for each other!
If you could dress up as anyone for Halloween, who would it be?
I’m way too old for it of course but if I could….hmmm….right now I’d pick Walter Wight from “Breaking Bad” or perhaps more precisely Heisenberg.
Great questions! Thanks again for having me, it was fun =)
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.