Interview with Kealan Patrick Burke

Published 2014-01-21.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Dungarvan, a small harbor town in the south coast of Ireland. Because it's an old country in which ancient castles coexist alongside modern buildings, I was raised with an innate sense of history and age, and an awareness of contrasts. The proximity of the ocean meant I was often exposed to briny old storytellers who loved to spin maritime myths and legends for the children (I genuinely believed in the banshee until I was about seventeen!) but also got to see the might and majesty of the sea in all its forms.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing since I was eight years old, probably before that. But the first time I can remember sitting down and actively attempting to write a story that was not imposed upon me by school, I was eight years old.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a crime noir pseudo-sequel to my horror novel KIN. It follows one of the few survivors of the previous novel as he struggles with addiction, alcoholism, ghosts, and a case that threatens to set him right back on the road to a hell he was lucky to escape once. It involves meth-dealers, corrupt attorneys, a missing girl, gun thugs...all the usual ingredients for a family-friendly novel. The working title is A PLACE BEYOND WINTER.

Just released is my novella JACK & JILL, about an abuse victim who suffers recurring (and worsening) nightmares related to that childhood trauma. As she struggles to cope, the nightmares begin to invade her waking life.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had been traditionally published and saw the markets begin to dry up. A few writers I know and respect had been touting the advantages of digital publishing for a while before I decided--more out of curiosity than anything else--to give it a try. I never expected a single dime of return from it; I was just excited by the idea of being able to get my work back in front of readers again. Turned out to be one of the better decisions I've made in my lifetime.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Convenience. I very much like how, among other benefits, it serves as a distribution hub, removing a lot of the work, and thereby freeing up more time to write for the author. Having to tailor a release to so many different retailers can be a headache, so I very much appreciate not having to worry about that with each and every release. I also appreciate how SW is constantly looking to expand and innovate, trying new technologies, making deals, and generally championing the indie authors.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Entering the zone: that moment in which you cease being a guy in a chair tapping keys, and instead find yourself living the lives of your characters, seeing the worlds in which they move, playing God, creating,'s an incredible feeling that honestly has no parallel.
What do your fans mean to you?
They're everything. I've said it a thousand times. Without our readers, we're talking to ourselves.
What are you working on next?
As mentioned, I'm currently at work on a new crime novel. I've dabbled in the genre before, but never this completely. A PLACE BEYOND WINTER is also an exploration of addiction, nihilism, the struggle to find meaning where none appears to exist, the value and cost of lies in a given moment, and faith (in a higher power, in oneself). It's a bleak novel, but I think my readers know to expect that from me by now. Ain't no sunshine when she's gone...
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Peter Straub, John Connolly, Dennis Lehane, Robert McCammon, Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, Michael Marshall (Smith), to name a handful out of hundreds.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The fact that I get to do what I love, that every day I get to create, to share those creations with my amazing readers. Every day begins with the promise of magic, whatever form it takes. Who would want to miss that???
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I design book covers through Elderlemon Design; I dabble in photography; I have done a bit of acting (do not Google it); I am a huge film and video game buff. I love taking road trips, teaching myself new things. I also spend quite a bit of time procrastinating, despite constant promises to the contrary.
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Latest books by This Author

Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,270. Language: English. Published: September 6, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction, Fiction » Horror » Occult
In the wake of his infant daughter's tragic death, Steve Brannigan is struggling to keep himself together. Estranged from his wife, and unable to work, he seeks solace in a bottle of bourbon. Until one night he hears a sound from his daughter's old room, now stripped bare of anything that identified it as hers...except for her security blanket, affectionately known as BLANKY...
Secret Faces
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,060. Language: English. Published: May 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » Occult
A new collection of short stories from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of SOUR CANDY, THE TURTLE BOY, and KIN.
The Novellas
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 66,490. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Anthologies » Horror
An omnibus collection of four novellas by Bram Stoker Award-winning author Kealan Patrick Burke (Kin, The Turtle Boy). Featured in this book are the novellas THE TENT, SELDOM SEEN IN AUGUST, YOU IN?, and MIDLISTERS.
The Tent: A Novella
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,260. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
The perfect getaway... The perfect place to hide... Hocking Hills, Ohio is an oasis for campers, hikers, nature enthusiasts, and for those who just want to get away and lose themselves in the wild. And as long as you follow your guide's advice and stay within the permitted areas, you can expect to survive the night. Because deep within the dark woods, something evil awaits...
Nemesis: The Death of Timmy Quinn
Series: Timmy Quinn, Book 5. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 104,590. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » Ghost
The epic novel-length conclusion of the award-winning Timmy Quinn series. The Curtain has come down and now the dead walk the streets. It falls to Tim Quinn to root out the puppeteer of this madness before he loses everything he has left to live for, and the world is plunged into darkness forever. Features an exclusive preview of NIGHT FALLS ON MEMORY LANE, the new series featuring Cassie Quinn.
Kin: A Novel
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 110,970. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
On a scorching hot summer day in Elkwood, Alabama, Claire Lambert staggers naked, wounded, and half-blind away from the scene of an atrocity. She is the sole survivor of a nightmare that claimed her friends, and even as she prays for rescue, the killers — a family of cannibalistic lunatics — are closing in. (Please See Full Description...)
The Number 121 to Pennsylvania & Others
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 97,130. Language: English. Published: August 15, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Available for the first time in digital format, the acclaimed collection THE NUMBER 121 TO PENNSYLVANIA & OTHERS, almost 100,000 words of short fiction by the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of THE TURTLE BOY. "Don't read it late at night." - BOOKLIST "a collection guaranteed to take you on one of the scariest rides of your life" - RUE MORGUE
Master of the Moors
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,060. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
Young Kate Mansfield and her blind brother Neil live in a manor on the edge of the moors. It is a dreary place where the young nurture desperate dreams of escape. And Kate is no different. But her plans to run away to the city are crushed one very ordinary morning when the quiet in Brent Prior is shattered by an inexplicable act of violence, perpetrated by something less than human.
Peregrine's Tale
Series: Timmy Quinn, Book 4. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 20,830. Language: English. Published: December 20, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » Ghost
At eleven years of age, Timmy Quinn's ordinary life was abruptly thrown into chaos by the revelation that there exists a separate plane of existence reserved solely for the vengeful spirits of the murdered. But he's not the only one cursed with such an ability. Elsewhere, as young Timmy's life begins to change, another boy is reborn into the realm of the dead. A boy named Peregrine.
Series: Timmy Quinn, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 38,360. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Horror » Ghost
On a remote island off the coast of Ireland, in a small stone chapel, a woman whispers a frantic prayer to the gathering dark as something dreadful scratches at the window. A gunshot in a church in Los Angeles leads Tim Quinn into a nightmare, for on Blackrock Island, he will find love, murder and madness, and discover an earth-shattering truth about the Curtain. And those who hide behind it.
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