“How did the author come up with this story?”
That is a question asked by nearly every reader, especially when the story is set in an alternate reality. Today, Charles O’Keefe stops by to share what inspired him to write about Vampires. His is a story I’m sure most authors can relate to!
So inspiration is a funny thing (at least in my experience), sometimes it does just come to you out of the blue, a flash through your mind and few words someone says, a song, a memory, staring outside, even a certain food or smell could bring it on. For me though the inspiration for my first novel “The Newfoundland Vampire” didn’t come all at once (at least I don’t remember it that way) it was a combination of things and it developed slowly over time.
Back in 2002 I was working as a student assistant and I hated it, I spent endless time daydreaming at work and wondering how I ended up at this job. I came to a decision to go back to university and get my Masters in Education and started the coursework in May of that year. Before I started my Masters’ I had written a little, less than one chapter for a vampire book where the main character was based on me. I guess the initial idea was just an escape from my everyday life and it went back to a choice I made in university about a woman, I think I made a mistake (what I did doesn’t matter now)and it’s a regrets I have in life. The point here is that for me since my vampire book would have a younger version of myself he could make a different choice, I could imagine how his/my life would have turned out differently (and of course if vampires were real). I got busy though and life happened, I got my Masters, got married, started and ended a brief teaching career and finally ended up working at my parent’s business (a beauty wholesaler if you’re curious) and once again had lots daydreaming time on my hands. I can’t say I completely forgot about my book, it was there in the back of mind, I’d think about it, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes longer but the task of writing a whole book always seemed too huge. Then a friend of mine, Shannon Sullivan, put out a book “The Dying Days” and the wheels turned in my mind. I was mentioned in the acknowledgements section of his book, which was nice. Friends brought up how I should write a book and I did think about it again but used the same excuses as before and didn’t get started.
Life continued on, I settled into my new job as best I could and I kept reading and listening to podcasts (both of which I still enjoy). In particular I listened to podcasts about writing, interviews with authors and my ideas resurfaced for my long abandoned novel. I was glad to have been mentioned in a book but I wanted more, I wanted a book of my own and I wanted a taste of the writer’s life. I wanted something more to look forward to. I realized that I could be a writer and while on vacation with time on hands, lovely scenery and warm weather inspiration finally took hold. I wrote for about 8 months (at my own pace, I’ve never been good for writing for hours on end) and then started the long task of editing and finding a publisher. So for me lots of little things inspired me, encouragement from friends and family, a friends published book, my own mention in it, the desire for excitement and change, curiosity and ultimately my own creative nature and a need for recognition and praise for doing something I enjoyed. Inspiration eventually lead me to Pat and the great people at Penumbra, I knew my first book had found a home and my journey had just begun.
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.
Check out the first book in the series, The Newfoundland Vampire!
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.
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