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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interview with Charles O'Keefe, author of The Newfoundland Vampire

Hello again fellow Vagabonds. Please give a big and warm welcome to friend and author Charles O'Keefe. His debut book, The Newfoundland Vampire, just released in April and he has been awesome enough to let me interview him. Join us to learn more about O'Keefe and his great Urban Fantasy.





      OBVB: Hey Charles! Welcome to Offbeat Vagabond. Can you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

CO: Hey Diana :) Thank for having me! Sure, I can do that. Well I’m 35, married, no kids, two cats, I work a regular 9-5 job and I just published my first book a few months ago called “The Newfoundland Vampire”. I am a strict vegetarian, animal activist and I do what I can to help the environment. I also love to meet new people and I’m always up for a good chat/argument :).


   OBVB: What authors have influenced you to write? Any favorites?

CO: A friend of mind published a book about 6 years ago; Shannon Sullivan and it did influence me a little. Aside from local obviously Bram Stoker, Anne Rice and I think a little bit of Stephen King and Robert Jordan.

- Jordan is a favorite; I quite like Peter David (though I have not read anything by him in a long time), Ernest Hemmingway, J.R.R. Tolkien, Marion Zimmer Bradley and George Orwell.


   OBVB: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

CO: I have always been creative but really, it took years for me to realize that I wanted to be a writer and get my work published. Therefore, I would say it only seriously entered my head about 6 years ago.

   OBVB: I know you love vampires. Do you have an absolute favorite vampire, books or movies?

CO: I loved the early Anne Rice books, up until “Memnoch the Devil” after that, it goes steadily downhill in quality.
In terms of characters, I love Lestat, he is a great character, such a great mixture of good and evil. He gets to display such a wide range of emotions and experiences in the books, much more than was shown in the two movies.
For movies, I would pick “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992). While it is not faithful to the book for much of it the costumes, special effects and general atmosphere created is so good. Plus Gary Oldman is a fantastic Dracula and Anthony Hopkins is excellent as Van Helsing.



 
  OBVB: Now I know it took about a decade to write this book, when did you finally take the dive and start writing The Newfoundland Vampire?

CO: Technically I started in back in 2002 but the serious writing did not begin until March 2010. I was on vacation and had plenty of time to myself, a switch just went off in my mind and I decided I was tired but making excuses and putting it off and was ready to get serious about working on my novel.

OBVB: The Newfoundland Vampire came out back in April; can you tell everyone what it is all about?

CO: Sure I’d be happy to. It’s about a geeky 23 year old university student who desperately wants a girlfriend. When he finally achieves that goal, his life is completely tuned upside down as he discovers his dream woman turned him into a vampire. From then on, he must learn to control and use his new powers and prepare to defend himself from the threats this new world he is thrust upon soon make apparent.
Only $2.99! Purchase links on the left her: Charles' Website
 

OBVB: I love the idea of a nerd becoming the vampire he wanted to be. Besides becoming a vampire, is there any other supernatural creature you have always wanted to be?

CO: Thanks! :) I tried to put an original spin on the vampire myth and I thought this was one way to do it. I’m not sure about always but I also think a lot about being a shape changer, how cool would it be to became any animal, person or even object you want? Just being able to fly would be such an amazing experience I think.

OBVB: I love that all your characters are actually based on you and people you know. But if you can pick anyone to be Cassandra, who would it be and why (actress or not)?

CO: I have never meet anyone who actually acted like Cassandra (she is a fantasy woman after all) so I would pick an actress. Since I know she can be a good vampire I would pick Deborah Ann Woll from “True Blood”. She would need to be a few years older and have slightly longer and more curly hair but overall she would be perfect :)


OBVB: I know you are more up to date with films, are there any movies coming out that you are dying to see?

CO: If you mean I’m a slow reader than yes that’s true. Well I’ve seen Avengers twice now, so that itched is scratched. I am really looking forward to “Batman:  Dark Knight Rises”. Christopher Nolan has done such a wonderful job that I can’t wait to see what his has in store for Batman in this final part of his trilogy. Batman is also my favorite superhero, so it is an easy pick.

Also “The Hobbit” by Peter Jackson is another one I really can’t wait for. I loved all three of the Lord of the Rings movies and the fact that Jackson gets to do not one but two Hobbit movies really gets my geeky nature excited (it’s also one of my favorite books :) )

OBVB: You celebrated your birthday last weekend; can you tell everyone what you how you celebrated?

CO: How nice you to mention it, thanks! :) Sure, I had a busy weekend. Friday night I had people in to an old fishing stage (partially owned by the father-in-law and mentioned in the book) out at the Battery (a narrow street that goes right beside St. John’s harbor) for a party (plus a book signing earlier in the day). Saturday I went to a wedding and Sunday I had a book launch (and reading) at bar in downtown St. John’s, it was a fun and exciting weekend!

OBVB: Besides writing, what else do you like to do? And can you tell the people about Geekfest?

CO: As I mentioned above I like go for hike/walks when it is nice outside. I enjoy reading, TV, movies, a little bit of acting, board games and role-playing games. Ahh Geekfest, one of my better ideas in the last few years ;) That would be one weekend a year when myself and a bunch of friends (this year 7 others) go to my parent’s summer home in Brigus for near non-stop role-playing action. I’m lucky enough to have been playing D&D (among other games) with friends for over 20 years now and we put in a good 12-15 hours total over the course of one weekend playing various RPG games, it’s a lot of fun and something I look forward to every year (this year was the third time).

OBVB: Last but not least, what other projects do you have planned? Any news on the sequel to The Newfoundland Vampire?

CO: I would to someday write a non-fiction book on role-playing games and all the great experiences (both imagined and real) I’ve had from playing almost 25 years but finding a publisher (and the time to write it) could be tricky. Aside from that, I can give you a little info on the sequel. Joseph and Cassandra have to leave Newfoundland with a task they are given and their relationship is tested once more. I’m going to present Joseph with some more difficult choices and he’s going to get to meet another “good” vampire who just happens to be a celebrity, that’s all I’m saying for now!

OBVB: Thank you so much hon for dropping by. Glad to finally have you here.

CO: You’re welcome Diana. Thank you for having me! Excellent questions and also you have a great blog and it’s a pleasure to be here, everyone’s busy I know. Thanks again for the questions and the review! :)
 
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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 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.
 
More on Charles O'Keefe:
 
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Check out my review 4 star review:

4 comments:

  1. I'm from Newfoundland as well. I have to pick up this book soon. It looks great! Great interview Diana as usual.

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  2. Hi Diana :) thanks for the interview, it was fun and you did great job, love the pics with it! =)

    Hi Smitten, thanks! :-) Send me an e-mail if you'd like and I'd be happy to make arrangements to get you a signed copy =) my e-mail is theNLVampire@gmail.com

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  3. Super interview, great questions - and answers!

    Pat, Penumbra Publishing

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  4. @Katie - Thanks hon. I didn't that. How cool. Charles has showed me plenty of pics of Newfoundland, it is beautiful. Thanks again hon.

    @Charles- You are more than welcome hon. Thank you so much for visiting. I had a lot of fun as well. Glad you loved the pics, I thought you would LOL!

    @Pat- So glad you liked it. Thanks a million again :)

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Due to the daily spam comments I have been getting lately and to avoid the annoying word verification, Anonymous comments are no more. I do not want bargains on bags, watches, jerseys, boots and other crap. Geez, they could at least spam me with book and movie stuff, I would be somewhat interested LOL! Thank you :D