Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Gathering Dark - a spellbinding paranormal romance by Charles O'Keefe


In this weeks author spotlight I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming back Charles O'Keefe, author of The Newfoundland Vampire series. Today we discuss his third novel in the series, The Gathering Dark... oohh, sounds intriguing, doesn't it?

Since we last talked about your previous book, The Newfoundland Vampire, what have you been up to? (in the literary sense… not being nosey or anything.)


Hey TP no don’t worry I didn’t think you’re being nosey I actually like to ask a lot of questions too. First off thanks so much for having me on your blog again, I really appreciate it.  So since the first book well there’s a second one but I believe hard talked about that Conroe. Well first a few other people were thrown a bit of a loop when “Distinguished Press” dissolved. I won’t get into the details now because it’s kind of a sore subject so and I’ll just say that we formed our own little authors publishing group called “Four Phoenixes Publishing”, composed of yourself, Joe Chianakas, Jennifer L. Gadd and yours truly. We help promote each other’s books, talk about writing and generally encourage and help each in writing and in life.
In the meantime though I was doing some editing my third vampire book, ”The Gathering Dark” and I’ve been getting up to speed on all the ins and outs of being a self-published author. I also had to find a cover artist and I've discovered that can be rather difficult. I have been with three different artists (one said I was too critical and quite, another said he was too busy and quit). Luckily the third time is the charm and I’m happy with the way my new cover turned out (it’s also the first time I’ve had original art from a local artist, which makes me happy). On the editing side it took about six months (with an editor for most of it who wants to remain nameless) before I finally got the book ready. I’ll say that just learning how to all the formatting/editing tasks to get a book ready for an Ebook and print is quite daunting but with help, patience and lots of hours I got through it. I’m happy to say The Newfoundland Vampire book III “The Gathering Dark” will be available as a digital book on July 22, 2016 and the paper copy should be in my hands (and hopefully on a few store shelves) by the end of August. Finally while waiting for my then editor I also got about half way through writing book 4 (I hope to have that done by early next year).

Tell me what The Gathering Dark is about and how you expanded it from the first two books?

I’m the kind of person who is always thinking ahead, to be honest shortly after I finished book 1 I knew the main story arc would end, I just didn’t know how long it would take me to get there. To answer your question, this book introduces several new characters, one I’m particularly fond of is Anne Bonny (based on the famous female pirate). She’s a good combination of fun/serious/sexy/adventuress/brave/intelligent. I enjoy the challenge of writing a realistic, powerful and interesting female character and I hope I done that here. There are a bunch of other characters who show in this book (filling up one half of the vampire council) that you’ll have to read to discover. I advance the timeline of the coming vampire war, for this first time in this book I skip time, something I felt was necessary for the story. Joseph grows and matures in this story, I also show how all of the terrible events he has both participated in and seen affect him. Cassandra also goes through some character growth and we also get to see how both her and Joseph do on their own. I love story arcs and I complete the arc of one character who has shown up in both the first and second book. I think in this book I show what lots of other vampires are up in the world not just Joseph and Cassandra and I even have something of cliff-hanger and a big surprise at the end.

Is there another Newfoundland Vampire book in this series?

If you’re referring to book two then yes, it’s called The Newfoundland Vampire book two “Killer on the Road”. If you meant book IV, the answer is coming soon. My tentative title for what could be the end of the series is “War of the Fangs”, I know that’s corny though and it may change. Look for book four sometime in 2017!

How many hours a day/week do you spend writing?

I’d love to say I do it 30-40 hours a week but sadly I still have a day job. I usually write a moderate about, three to four hours a week (unless I’m on vacation when it can expand to twenty or more). If I have a lot to get done editing/promotion wise I up it to ten hours a week, I usually do a little five days a week and often take the weekends off.

Do you have any rituals or habits that help you write?

I am a creature of habit so yes. I often like to write in the morning once I’m finished breakfast, so it usually in the timeframe of 7:30-9:30am (I don’t go to work early as I’m a co-owner). It’s always at my kitchen table and I often take breaks to check my phone or look out the window. I always try to do any writing where I can see out the window, it helps be calm, focused and inspired.

What was the best thing anyone has ever said about your books and which one was it about?

Excellent question! I actually have a short story about the nicest thing anyone ever said about my books (and it was book one “The Newfoundland Vampire”). I was at a book signing in a local mall and towards the end of it a young woman came up and said, “I noticed you’re selling your book. I’m sorry I don’t have any money on me but I wanted to wish you luck and I wrote this note for you.” I said “Well thank you.” She smiled, waved and left and I was left with the note. I kept it and will share it with you now it said, “Every writer starts off with one word, one phrase, one book. Then builds their success on passion and love for their stories and imagination. Don’t be discouraged at what people say if negative. Write for yourself.” I was touched, I immediately got up to go and thank her again for the lovely sentiment but she was gone. It’s the little moments like that which make being a writer all worth it.

If there was one thing you’d like the readers to know about your characters, that isn’t obvious in the text, what would it be?

I’d like the readers to know how much I’ve come to care about Cassandra in particular. I’ve tried really hard to make her a realistic, fun and interesting character. She is the first character that truly felt alive to me. I’d also like to add that for every character I did research and tried to get the way they act and speak in my books to be as close to how they act in real life as possible.
Excellent questions TP, thanks again for having me, always a blast!

The book Links:


My links:







23 comments:

  1. Great interview! I dream of becoming an accomplished writer too, and I can draw tips and inspiration from this interview. The first one I would emulate would be to move my desk at home so that I would be facing a window when I write.

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    1. Hi Eileen,

      Thanks so much for you comment :) I hope my window trick works for you (of course if you live behind a big building or something this may not work as well). I always draw on people/events/memories when I write. I would also encourage any aspiring writer to travel, it has always given me new ideas.

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  2. The Gathering Dark sounds like an exciting book. I didn't know there were two other books previous to this one. I think it's great that the author likes writing about strong female leads, that will inspire a lot of young girls.

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    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Thanks for commenting and for the compliment! Yes book 1 came out in 2012 and book 2 in 2013 (originally) then they were both re-released earlier this year with new covers and a few minor changes. A former editor (who is a woman) gave me great tips on writing female characters and I am married, so I've learned a thing or two about women. I do hope that people reading this aren't too young though, it's adult stuff. Thanks again!

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  3. The cover looks creepy to me. But I want to try it!

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    1. Hi Kathy,

      This cover was done by a local artist is my first original art one. I am very pleased with it =) I'm glad you though it was creepy, that was the point, vampires are scary (sometimes anyway ;) I hope you'll check it out and I would love a review when you're done. Thanks for the comment!

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  4. Ooooo now this sounds like one exciting book!!! I definitely need to get my hands on a copy!

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    1. Hi Courtney,

      Thanks for your comment! I am glad you think so =) I do my best to make my books interesting and exciting. My website has been "re-vamped" (sorry couldn't resist!) and has the links to buy it:
      www.charlesokeefe.com

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  5. This sounds like an interesting book. I liked reading the interview, very inspiring.

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    1. Hi Katherine,

      Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview, I like doing them and I am very happy to hear you were inspired =) I tell everyone writing is a great hobby, it's relaxing,fun, creative, challenging and can be very rewarding. I hope you'll check out book 3 and my other vampire books, thanks again!

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  6. Wow, this book sounds really interesting. This is my kind of genre!

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    1. Hi Nicole,

      Thanks! It is paranormal, fantasy, or urban fantasy. I've been told that I'm not horror, though it has some horror elements. Either way I hope you'll check it out, thanks for the comment! :)

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  7. Sounds like a book my daughter would love. I will have to tell her about it.

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    1. Hi Dawn,

      Thanks for your comment. I hope your daughter enjoys my books, I'd be happy to e-mail and talk to her about it if she'd like. Also thanks for passing it on, word of mouth is still the best advertising =)

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  8. The book sounds interesting. It's great that a fan of his was able to leave such a lovely note.

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    1. Hi Kendra,

      It was a very nice note, I'm not sure if I kept it, though as you see I wrote it down. Thanks! I did my best with my vampire series to keep it interesting/exciting for readers =)

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  9. That was such a sweet tale of the woman that left the author a note. I would have framed it, and put it near my writing desk. That was definitely something special!

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    1. Hi Yona,

      She was nice and it was very thoughtful of her. I'm not the most sentimental guy and I'm not sure I kept it. The story has stuck with me though and I'm lucky to never suffer from writer's block. Thanks for your comment! =)

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  10. I need to do better about having a writing routine. It makes me feel better, though, that he was still able to publish his book only writing 3-4 hours per week.

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    1. Hi Tiffany,

      Thanks for your comment :) Well to be fair that's how much I do now, I've written 3 books and slowed down a lot (mainly because it took me 3 years to get the last one out). It would be more accurate to say to write a book in 6-8 months (a rough draft) you need to put in at least 7-8 hours a week. Everyone has their own pace though and certainly you will finish at 3-4 hours a week, just get in a good writing groove and stick with it =)

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  11. Wow! His story is inspiring. I would love to be a writer too. I guess if I spend a little time each week, I could make it happen!

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    1. Good morning,

      Thanks for your comment! Yes that is the great part about writing, there are so many tools to allow for self-publishing that anyone can become a writer. It is a lovely hobby/passion but I would advise you to also get a good editor (and usually a family member/spouse/significant other doesn't work). The importance of impartial feedback cannot be overstated.

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  12. I am not a writer like you. I still face my desk to the window even when I blog.

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Be not afraid to speak. The weary worlds and heroic adventurers wait with bated breath to hear your thoughts.