Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Charles OKeefe

An Interview and excerpt by Charles O'Keefe...

I’ve been waiting for you,’ the stunning redhead purred, turning from the bar to face him. She had not told him her name, but he felt as if he’d known her all his life. Her pale beauty gave her an ethereal softness, and her catlike eyes glowed with subtle power that drew him to her. She wanted him...

Grabbing the worn metal handle on the heavy wooden door of Bitters Tavern, Joseph O’Reily rolled his eyes toward the dusky fall sky and snorted at his lame fantasy. Yeah, right. Like that’s really going to happen to me, here in a pub in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

He had replayed that familiar scene in his mind almost every time he came to Bitters, and in the last five years while attending Memorial University, he’d come here a lot. His little fantasy hadn’t come true yet – not even close – and he was quite sure it never would. But that didn’t stop him from enjoying some innocent role-playing, where he starred opposite a beautiful redheaded woman enamored of him. He had pretty much accepted this was the only way he was likely to get lucky – in his dreams.

He walked into Bitters and eased the door closed behind him. The warm dark wood reminded him of a cabin deep in the forest, and the familiar smell of beer and French fries gave him the cozy feeling of being at home. Bitters wasn’t the typical hook-up spot that played annoying loud music. Instead, the proprietor offered activities like movie night that Joseph actually enjoyed. In fact, movie night was the reason he’d come in after finishing classes and assignments this afternoon, and making a quick trip to check on his parents’ house and take care of the cat while they were vacationing in Florida. Now he had the rest of the evening to himself. He sucked in a deep, satisfying breath and turned, surveying the bar. Then he saw her.

His cozy feeling disappeared, replaced by a jolt of excitement stabbing his chest. He’d been coming to Bitters at least once a week since he’d started school, but had never seen her before.

There she sat, alone at the bar, stirring her drink with her index finger, her fabulous flowing red hair haloed in the bar lights like a crown of fire. He considered just walking up to her and saying hello, but quickly dismissed the idea. While he had become more outgoing in the past few years, he was still shy, and previous experiences approaching strange women in bars had consistently resulted in dismal failure. He just wasn’t smooth enough like some other guys. Despite the allure of this woman, he wasn’t in the mood for another rejection.

* * * * *

Even before the door opened, she sensed his feelings rolling off him in waves – loneliness, boredom, rejection, and inadequacy. His quaint little fantasy of meeting a ravishing redhead at the bar was endearing ... and perhaps prophetic.

As he entered the bar and looked around, she dipped her finger in her drink, absently stirring it. Without looking directly at him, she saw him clearly with her superior vision. She felt that instant when he noticed her, and she suppressed a smile.

In the last ten years that she’d been keeping tabs on him, he’d improved tremendously, growing to be a handsome man – tall with dark hair and dark brown eyes. But at twenty-three, he still lacked the confidence to forge meaningful relationships with others, especially women. He always felt different, isolated. She could certainly relate to that.

Still, she’d known for some time there was something special about him, something that drew her to him. He had the connection to her that the others did not, a connection to her blood and her past. He possessed strength of character, and his behavior consistently revealed a genteel kindness to all living things. She knew he would fall desperately in love with her and defend her with his very life, if need be. And it could come to that, sooner than she suspected. After nearly two hundred years of running, she couldn’t stay safely hidden for very long before that controlling bastard would find her again. She pressed her lips together, dismissing thoughts of him.

Casually she sipped her drink as Joseph walked by, pretending he didn’t see her. She smiled. Watching him for a decade had required careful planning and effort. She didn’t want to rush things – this was too important to be left to chance or whim – but she was running out of time. He was the right one, and he was ready. Tonight she would give him the incredible gift he deserved. And she would finally have the mate she deserved.

The Newfoundland Vampire
Book One
By Charles O’Keefe

Genre: Horror/Paranormal/Vampire
Publisher: Penumbra Publishing
ISBN: 978-1935563853

Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon Canada Amazon Kindle

Amazon UK Chapters

Book Description:

Like every other geek alive, Newfoundland native Joseph O’Reily secretly wants to be a superhero. At thirteen he fantasized about being a vampire, and ten years later he’s still fantasizing – but mostly about a beautiful redheaded woman who has eyes only for him. The one thing different about Joseph’s adult fantasy is that, amazingly, it comes true one night when he goes to a local university pub. Cassandra Snow, literally the woman of his dreams, invites him to her place for an evening of personal pleasure. Of course he’s not going to say no. But when strange things start happening afterward, Joseph quickly learns that not all dreams should come true.

About the Author :

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 inventory manager and enjoys many hobbies and activities that include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, acting, and of course fantasizing about vampires.!/TheNLVampire

Join me in welcoming Charles O'Keefe to Cloey's Book Reviews and Other Stuff today. He stopped by to discuss The Newfoundland Vampire. Welcome and thank you for sharing your writing process with us.

Cloey: When did you become interested in writing?

Charles: Great question! First off I wanted to say thanks for having me for this interview, they are always fun. Well I dabbled in writing when I was 13, mostly making up video games that never amount to anything. Then in high school I wrote some poetry for the local paper (I don’t know if they ever got published) back then it was just a way to express feelings of frustration, anger, resentment and loneliness (don’t worry I’m a lot a happier now). Any kind of serious writing didn’t start until I was in university and I wrote movie and music reviews for the university paper (some of those were published). I used to play video games a lot and I would credit my English teacher in Grade 8, Fabian was his name, for getting me more interested in comic books and later writing.

Cloey: What inspired you to write 
The Newfoundland Vampire?

Charles: This will sound terribly clichéd but a friend put out a book and once I saw he could do it that encouraged me. To be honest though that was only the start of writing a book, I didn’t finished it until another friend encouraged me several times and finally I just made up my own mind that I had a story to tell and a message to give to the world.

Cloey: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Charles: Okay I’ll admit I read the next question but I couldn’t resist a lead in. I do have a message, I wanted to have a double one, first that most people are not entirely good or evil, most of us (I believe) are shades of grey. Second that we are not defined by our nature (whether that is socio-economic background, for this story being a vampire or whatever happened in your past or in your DNA) and that it is our choices that define us and ultimately we are responsible for our own actions and the consequences they bring.

Cloey: Who was your favorite character and who was your least favorite character to develop and why?

Charles: I love Cassandra; she was the first character that I wrote that really felt alive to me, like a real person. I can always imagine how she will act in any situation and I would really love to meet someone at least a little like her in real life. When I finished book one I immediately wanted to see what would happen to her next and I hope the reader will feel the same.

Least favorite, another excellent question, hmm I suppose that would be Thomas. He is a sniveling, pathetic vampire who was only written to serve some plot points. Generally I like the study of evil and therefore like my villains but aside from one action scene Thomas was the one I got the least enjoyment writing and the least interesting character in the book.

Cloey: What did you enjoy most about writing
The Newfoundland Vampire?

Charles: Imagining a scene and then writing it on the page (or screen) is an incredible feeling. Just bringing characters and ideas in my head to life is a lot of fun. Getting excited (or emotionally invested) in a scene as you write it is also a wonderful and sometimes unexpected pleasure.

Cloey: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing the story to life?

Charles: Being my first book there were many. Editing obviously, I have an excellent editor who thankfully has a great deal of patience and understanding. As I wrote a story that dealt a lot with feelings and events in my own life (Joseph is highly based on me) I became personally invested in the story, this was a mistake and it took me time to realize that the story had to work on its own merits. After that there was the standard stuff, i.e. many drafts, I believe there was 16 drafts in total. I did a fair bit of research on the internet and I was lucky enough to be on vacation visiting two places I wrote about while completing the novel.

Of course writing takes a lot of time and I’ll admit to getting a little obsessive (my wife didn’t appreciate that). I find I need to be in a writing mindset and I am most creative in the morning, this means getting up early and writing at least 5 days a week, real life (like working full-time) can obviously get in the way.

Finally I found that I went overboard describing mundane details, I am forever grateful to my editor, family and friends for helping me to spice the story up and adding some much needed action and intrigue.

Cloey: What are you working on now?

Charles: Right now I am waiting to hear back from my editor on the rough draft of The Newfoundland Vampire book 2 (tentatively called “Killer on the Road) so in the meantime I am working a screenplay for a fan-made Star Trek series a friend of mine directs (and I’m lucky enough to star in).

Cloey: What do you like to read in your free time?

Charles: I am in love with “The Walking Dead” comic books and I read every issue the day it comes out. Primarily I like to read sci-fi/fantasy/horror novels or short stories but I do also enjoy some non-fiction and sometimes humor.

Cloey: Share with us something about yourself that we wouldn't see in your bio or on any other blogs (this can be anything from the type of music you like, your favorite color, or even your favorite meal - share whatever you want your fans to know about you)

: Hmm well I guess not everyone would know that my favorite food is oranges, I often have 10 or more a week and will only eat clementine’s or any other kind you can peel with your fingers. 

Thanks again, great questions and it was a pleasure to be here! 

Cloey: Thank you so much for sharing with us today and I am looking forward to reading The Newfoundland Vampire. This one is on my To-Be-Read list I recommend that you place it on yours too.

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More of the tour...

January 18 Guest blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom


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