Monday, 4 November 2013

Page Turner Book Tours Presents: Killer on the Road by Charles O'Keefe - interview & competition

For my stop on this blog tour, I'm excited to welcome Charles O'Keefe, who loves cats and vampires in equal measure! We've got a terrific interview here, details of his new book, Killer on the Road, and a great competition - don't forget to scroll down for that. Without further ado, here he is...                     

                                             Title: Killer On The Road
                                             Series: The Newfoundland Vampire
                                             Author: Charles O’Keefe
                                             Genre: horror / paranormal / romance / vampire
                                             PublisherPenumbra Publishing
                                             Formats Available: all eBook formats and print
                                             Release Date: January, 2011

Welcome Charles. I'm wondering, what is your day job or are you lucky enough to write for a living?

Hi, Vickie, thanks for being a part of my blog tour. Sadly, I have a day job. I do IT support and deliveries at O’Keefe Agencies (a beauty wholesale business). I’m technically the co-owner with my brother, but still put in 30-40 hours a week. Maybe someday I can just be an author; it would be nice.

What books have you written so far?

So far I have The Newfoundland Vampire (published in 2012) and The Newfoundland Vampire book II: Killer on the Road (September 2013). They were both published by Penumbra Publishing.

What works in progress do you have?

I’ve already started book 3 (no title as of yet) and I have a short story called Robots, which will be published soon in America’s Galactic Foreign Legion Book 20: Time Machine by Walter Knight, also published by Penumbra.

How long did it take you to write your book/s?

For book 1, about 8 months, but the ideas had been in my head for about 8 years. For book 2, I was a lot faster, about 4.5 months, and I started writing a few months after my promotional activities for book 1 petered out. I should say, for both, there was extra time for editing as well; those were just the times for the rough copies.

Do you write linear, or jump back and forth? Do you plan or write by the seat of your pants?

I don’t want to write something overly complicated, so I’d say mostly linear. The only exceptions I have are that my vampires have flashbacks to times in the past, but even those are structured. I’m a rather obsessive organiser and I could never do seat-of-the-pants writing (other than a small article or short story). I do two outlines for each book and usually spend a good 6-7 hours planning/writing the outline before I even start writing. 

Why do you write?

I find writing relaxing. I also love to create new characters and get my ideas down on paper (or the screen). For me it’s kind of a vicarious thrill as the main character, Joseph, is about 90% me. He gets to go places I’ve been, but, of course, he also gets to go places I want to visit and do other things I wish I could, but know I never will.

How long have you been writing? 
I did some articles for a student newspaper when I was at university, which was almost 20 years ago. If you mean serious writing, which turned into a published novel, just a little over 3 years ago. 

Where and when do you write? Do you have set times?

I usually write in the morning; my mind is fresh then. I’m not overly rigid, but I do find that I write best between 7-9am, though if I’m excited about a scene I have been known to write at night. I also only write for 30-45 minutes at a time. In terms of where it’s almost always in my kitchen; it’s the only place with a table where I can look out the window. I’ve gotten so used to my laptop that I almost never write at a desktop computer anymore. I can also write in this little desk space I have between the kitchen and the living room.

Which character from your books do you like most / are most like?

Like I said, I cheated, and Joseph really is me, or at least how I was when I was 23. Here’s the things that are exactly the same – vegetarian, an animal rights activist, a cat lover, an environmentalist, a charitable person, geeky as all hell, a huge fan of William Shatner, a lover of the outdoors, a lover of redheads… Well, I could go on and on. So, obviously, Joseph O’Reily and I are very similar, except, of course, I’m not a vampire… yet ;).

Charles' kitties... ahhhhhhh! 

Have you ever based a character on someone from real life? And did you tell them?

Yes, in my first book there are a bunch of characters based on people I know. In book 2, my parents also make a brief appearance. In fact, one of the villains, Augustus Green, is based on my friend Shannon Green. I asked him ahead of time and he loves the idea. He is in 2 of the books now and will make at least one more appearance in the third.

If you had to pick some actors/actresses to play the characters in your book, who would you hire?

I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be a good Joseph (he was in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises after all). He’s a great actor and looks a little like me. Cassandra, I think, would be played really well by Deborah Ann Woll (from True Blood) – she’s a redhead, sexy and strong, and already knows how to play a vampire.

Would you say that your dreams have come true or are you still working on them? 
I never thought I’d be working in a beauty wholesale business, co-owner or not. So, yeah, definitely still working on them; full-time author would be much closer to my dream.

You’re walking in the forest and you bump into an alien librarian from Mars. He wants five book recommendations from you…

1984 by George Orwell;
I am Legend by Richard Matheson;
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmmer Bradley;
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde; and
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Which three authors would you like to take to the pub?

Ernest Hemingway, Bram Stoker and Stephen King.

Are you published or self-published? What is your experience?

I’m published with Penumbra Publishing. My experience was that I knew I was terrible at editing my own work, and since I wanted to make sure my book was good (and I didn’t want to spend a fortune), going with a publisher seemed like the right move. That doesn’t mean it was easy. I got rejected by all the local companies (here in Newfoundland), some other Canadian and American ones, and even a couple in the UK. But, I was determined and after almost 10 months of looking, I finally found Penumbra (meaning they were the only one interested!) and my wonderful editor, Pat. I also think that having an editor is a necessary safeguard. I’ve read a bunch of self-published stuff and a lot of it is just awful. I think the authors had good intentions, but without someone to give a second opinion/guidance on a story, you can run into serious problems.

Do you have a blog? What do you blog about?

I do have a blog, and you can get to it through my website. I generally do interviews, spotlights for other authors, movie and book reviews, and occasionally just talk about things that happened in my life.  I don’t have a definite theme; it’s whatever I want, but I enjoy it.

What other hobbies do you have?

I have a bunch. I do a little acting (not for pay – I’m not that good!), reading, walking, martial arts, role-playing, board games, watching TV, going to movies, going to concerts, travelling, collecting D&D miniatures and Pilates.

What would you like to achieve in the next five years?

I’d like to have at least 4 more books published, establish myself more as a writer, give lots of money to charity, buy an electric car, make my house more environmentally friendly and stay in reasonably good shape.

If you won the Lotto or a major publishing contract, what would you do with that dosh?

I’d quit my day job and really focus on writing, travelling and enjoying my hobbies. And I’d get out of Newfoundland in the winter and give a lot of money to charity. I’d also love to meet my favourite celebrities, authors, achieve a little bit of fame and be in better shape.

What question do you wish I’d asked and, of course, what is the answer?

I would have asked, what’s the best decision you ever made? Answer: marrying my wife. I really couldn’t function well on my own and we have great times together.

Thanks so much for the interview, Vickie – great questions!

Killer on the Road - book 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 her estranged husband, John Snow, and now Joseph has experienced his first ménage a trois, 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. He 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, but this 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.

Where to buy it

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 IT support guy, and enjoys many hobbies and activities, including include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, acting, martial arts and, of course, fantasising about vampires. He currently has two novels out: books 1 and 2 of The Newfoundland Vampire series.


Next stops on the tour -

5th - Interview - Luscious Literaries -
6th - Guest Post - The Writer's Life -           
7th - Guest Post - M.J. Kane -
8th - Guest Post -MarianL -    
11th - Review - Lynn Reynolds -   
12th - Interview - C.C. Cole - 
13th - Review - Read 2 Review -           
14th - Spotlight - Bookish -
15th - Review - Jonel Boyko -


  1. Hi Vickie :)

    Thanks for being part of my blog tour and the great interview. I do have some cute cats :-) have a great night!


    1. You're welcome. I really enjoyed the interview :) Good luck!


Thanks for commenting - have a kitty cool day! :)