HEIDI'S PICK SIX
1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I'd have to say Timmy Quinn, whose journey through life and the horrors it brings is documented in The Turtle Boy, The Hides, and Vessels, and will conclude in the as-yet-to-be-written final book, Nemesis. He changes from book to book. In the first, he's a child, filled with wonder and not yet aware of the darkness life contains. In the second, he is a teenager, struggling to come to terms with his ability to see the dead, his love for a girl, and the rocky relationship with his father. In the third, he is a bitter adult, a pariah hardened by death, disillusionment, and the realization that there is nothing he can do to be free of his curse, an ability that frequently sees his friends and loved ones hurt. As Timmy grows over the course of these novels, so does my writing. We're teaching each other something.
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Definitely coffee, and in hideously inappropriate quantities. My cup is a vat.
4. What else can you do besides write?
I enjoy photography a great deal, and a lot of my pictures are good examples of how I see things in the world of my writing. I am attracted to shadows, on skin, in nature, on everyday objects. Occasionally a picture will inspire a story, and vice-versa.
I also enjoy doing impressions. The most recent one is BORAT. High-fiiive!
5. Who are you reading right now?
I'm actually engrossed in a series of books about trench warfare in WWII, as research for a novel. It's gruesome stuff, worse than any horror with fiction on its spine. Before these it was Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Scott Smith's The Ruins. I expect the next novel I read will be Joe Hill's much-vaunted debut Heart-Shaped Box.
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
There have been a lot of them, everything from the execution scene in my novelette "Empathy", to the car accident scene in "The Quiet", to a very short, dialogue-only piece I did for the Subterranean Press website recently ("Head in the Clouds") which was basically a father's conversation with his daughter as he tucks her in, mere days after her mother died in a plane crash. That one brought me to tears.
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
They definitely take me along for the ride. I don't outline. I figure out the basic direction of the story in my head, then sit down to write it. Of course, by the end, the finished product is nothing like the original premise, as all my stories take on a life of their own, and practically write themselves. Sometimes this works for the best, sometimes it doesn't.
13. Celebrity crush.
Naomi Watts. Yummy.
Okay, that was seven...sorry!
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Born and raised in Dungarvan, Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke is an award-winning author described as "a newcomer worth watching" by Publishers Weekly.
Some of his works include the novels Currency of Souls and The Hides, the novellas The Turtle Boy (Bram Stoker Award Winner, 2004), Vessels, Midlisters, and the collections Ravenous Ghosts and The Number 121 to Pennsylvania & Others.
Aside from his accomplishments as an author, Kealan also edited the anthologies: Taverns of the Dead (recipient of a starred review in Publishers Weekly), Brimstone Turnpike, Quietly Now: A Tribute to Charles L. Grant (International Horror Guild Award Nominee, 2004), the charity anthology Tales from the Gorezone and Night Visions 12 (also recipient of a starred review in PW). He is also an associate editor for Subterranean Magazine.
He is currently at work on a new novel entitled Kin.