Welcome! Thanks so much for agreeing to this short interview! How did you start your writing career?
I didn’t start my career until 2011. That’s when I got serious about writing. Before that it was just for school, the occasional poem and short-story for myself, that kind of thing. In the summer of 2011 I decided to finish a book I had started back in 2004. I got it finished fast and started sending out the very rough draft to publishers. This was a terrible idea and it got rejected by all of them. So I hired an editor, did a lot of different drafts, got advice from another local horror author and sent out my manuscript again. This time I got a nibble and was given some tips on my first book by an editor at Penumbra Publishing. After lots more work (and a bunch more drafts) my first book got accepted and finally came out in April of 2012, “The Newfoundland Vampire”. The first of a series, three books so far with the fourth out hopefully next year.
When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I am mainly a morning writer. I find my mind is fresher and ideas come to me easier if I write in the morning. So I get up around 6:30am 6:45am, Monday to Friday and usually write from 7 to 8am. That’s it, usually just an hour a day five days a week. If I’ve got a good grove going I might do some more on the weekends (this time normally closer to lunch) and even in the evenings if it means finishing a chapter or a short-story.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
I am good at planning and I am lucky to have never faced writers block. For me by far the hardest part is the editing. I love to write but hate to tidy it up afterwards. The nitty gritty stuff especially like grammar/sentence structure is torture. It’s why I value and depend on a good editor so much, I don’t mind going over my story once to fix obvious mistakes but the little things and the overall consistency of writing a book/series remains a challenge. It’s one of the reasons I plan on ending my series at book four, the details/characters/plots eventually become to much to keep in your head and remember.
What songs are most played on your Ipod?
I love music and I listen to it every day. I do have some favourites that I listen to all the time. "End of the Innocence" and "Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley. "Runnin' on Empty" and "For a Dancer" by Jackson Browne. These last one I have to talk about, Jackson Browne is, for me, the most gifted songwriter of all time. The lyrics to "For a Dancer" are the most beautiful and heartbreaking you will ever hear. Even though they are sad, they are so very true and towards the end of the song they move to hopeful and introspective.
What are your favorite TV shows?
I watch a good bit of TV, I've tried to cut down but its hard as I feel the last 10 or so years has been the new golden age of television. So number one has to be "Game of Thrones", just incredible. The rest are in no particular order, "Westworld", "Better Call Saul", "Star Wars: Rebels", "Curb your Enthusiasm", "Dragon's Den (CA)", "The Walking Dead", "Comic Book Men", "Star Trek: Discovery", "Daredevil", "Jessica Jones", "The Defenders", "Orange is the new black", "Wenthworth", "American Gods", "Agents of Shield", "Stranger Things", "The Santa Clara Diet", "Frontier", "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee", "X-Files" and "The Orville."
What do you think makes a good story?
Before I answer the last one, I have to say great questions and an excellent idea letting me choose which ones to answer. Thanks so much for having me on your blog.
I think a good story has to draw you in quickly, so a great hook. It needs to have interesting characters, emotions that feel real and a story that skirts the balance of keeps you wondering about what will happen next but not so complicated that you are totally lost. I'm also a big believer in less is more, I don't usually like big, sprawling tales. A short story should be 5000 words or less and a book should be 220 pages or less ideally.
ABOUT THE BOOK
THE CHAOS STORIES
by Charles O'Keefe
Here you'll find nine new short-stories, some which have been from my life, or things that could have happened. One is inspired from the many games of Dungeons and Dragons I've played over twenty years while another is from the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game. Some are even some from other authors, who kindly contributed to my collection.
As a treat for fans of my series, I have included six deleted chapters, two from each of the three Newfoundland Vampire novels, which have been all cleaned up and have been made better than ever for your reading pleasure.
I have also included not one, but two chapters from the upcoming fourth book in the Newfoundland Vampire series, War of the Fangs. I've filled this collection with tales that will make you laugh, or will scare you, and will hopefully make you think a little about the world around us and the people in it.
Barnes & Noble: https://zurl.co/YqWbz
When he opened his eyes he noticed a red glow to her spine. WTF! Steve was too stunned to speak. The red glow faded as he almost fell off the bed. Angela kissed his neck, snuggling beside him, not noticing his dismay or wide open mouth. Finally he summoned the courage to speak.
“Your spine glowed red. Is there something I need to know about you?”
“Oh come now, you didn't know? Why do you think I loved your Battlestar shirt so much? Didn't you notice I look just like Cylon Number Six? Sure you did. Disney wanted to test me out on one of its tech geeks. You got lucky. So, I was good?”
“You're a Cylon? Does that mean we're starting a whole new race?”
“No silly,” answered Angela, slapping Steve playfully. “It means the bosses finally granted you a promotion. You'll be featured as the main exhibit at the new Disney theme park. It's quite an honor being bestowed upon you. I hope you fully appreciate the confidence Disney has in your work. “
Realizing the full extent of his situation, Steve made a break for the door. Too late. Angela was on him, wielding handcuffs as she slammed him to the floor.
“This is kinky,” commented Angela as she slapped on the bracelets.
Angela dragged Steve by his hair, still naked, to a waiting van outside, where Daffy Duck and Pluto robots drove him away to his new Disney adventure.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Charles O’Keefe lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and two feline ‘children,’ Jude and Eleanor. He is a part-owner of a beauty wholesale business. He enjoys many hobbies and activities that include reading, gaming, poker, Pilates, Dungeons and Dragons, and of course, fantasizing about vampires. Charles is the author of three books in the Newfoundland Vampire series, but this is his first collection of short-stories. Look for the fourth Newfoundland Vampire book sometime in the near future.
To find out more about Charles or his other books, go to Twitter and Facebook or visit his web site at http://www.charlesokeefe.com
Barnes & Noble: https://zurl.co/YqWbz
Charles O'Keefe will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway