As many people out there know, Kealan Patrick Burke wrote the wonderful Bram Stoker Award winning Turtle Boy series, which so far includes: The Turtle Boy, The Hides, Vessels, and The Turtle Boy: Peregrine's Tale (which has its first three books coming soon in digital format from Lovecraft Press, and the fourth coming soon in hardcover from Cemetery Dance Publications). Mr. Burke also has written numerous short stories too (many of which were collected in Ravenous Ghosts and The Number 121 to Pennsylvania and Others). His other books and stories include Master of the Moors, Currency of Souls, You In, Looking Glass (a collaborative round robin style story with many other top names in the horror genre), Seldom Seen in August, The Quiet, Midlisters, and more.
BOOK 'EM BOB: Hello Mr. Burke, thank you for agreeing to letting us here at Book 'em Bob subject you with our questionable questions. As a fan of your writing, I am very excited to be able to ask you some of the things that I have been wanting to know about for awhile (and I hope other people want to know these things too). Let’s start off with an easy one: What will we see in the future from the Timmy Quinn/The Turtle Boy series?
KEALAN: I think all that's left for Timmy Quinn is the final novel Nemesis, which should wrap everything up. This one has taken the longest to write mostly because of developments in my personal life. Since the release of my last book, The Number 121 to Pennsylvania & Others, things hit a kind of downward slope for me, which caused me to relocate and stop writing. There were also several health issues, which thankfully have passed. But I'm back in the game now, and among the projects that need to be completed, and sooner rather than later, is the last chapter in Timmy's story. I think I've matured quite a bit since we first met him, and consequently, so will he by the time his story is done.
BMB: I'm glad to hear that Timmy's story will get all wrapped up... eventually. I know some of what of you’ve been going through in your personal life, and it isn't my place to know or try to find out more. So, I won't push that subject. What is your favorite pastime and why?
KEALAN: Photography. I like getting out armed with my camera and just snapping things that interest me, be they nature or people, or anything in between.
BMB: Wow. I would've never guessed. Any other hobbies?
KEALAN: Outside of that, I'm fairly addicted to survival horror games on the PS3 or XBOX 360. I'm also a fan of good TV, like Deadwood and Lost, etc. I enjoy hanging out with friends too, to counter somewhat the effects of the aforementioned solitary pursuits.
BMB: Friends are always nice to have around, especially after shooting zombies for hours in a dark room by yourself. Ha ha. Will we be seeing any future anthology or magazine appearances from you soon?
KEALAN: There are a few things due. "Cobwebs," which originally appeared in Pete Crowther's wonderful Postscripts magazine (#11, Summer 2007), will be reprinted in the next Shivers anthology.
BMB: So there WILL be a Shivers VI, I knew it! Cemetery Dance hasn’t announced it yet. Anything else on the horizon?
KEALAN: I have a short teleplay ("Snowmen") in Rich Chizmar's Smoke & Mirrors collection (also from Cemetery Dance), and a reprint of "The Man Who Breaks the Bad News" in James Roy Daley's Best New Zombie Tales: Volume 1.
BMB: I've seen the Tom Melnick cover art for Best New Zombie Tales, and it is pretty sweet looking (it looks like a fun anthology too). What else?
KEALAN: A segment in CD's round robin book The Crane House: A Halloween Story, and on the nonfiction front, I wrote the feature review for the Bentley Little special issue of Cemetery Dance magazine (issue #64, coming soon). My output has decreased considerably over the past few years, but that will change soon.
BMB: I am glad to hear that will be changing because I know that I’m looking forward to reading more writing from you. Please tell us how the anthology that you edited called Quietly Now came about.
KEALAN: It came about after a conversation I had with Tom Monteleone at Horrorfind one year. We were discussing Charlie Grant and I expressed my desire to do an anthology of stories and essays as a tribute to him, and using his signature style. Tom was thrilled by the idea, and it was a fortuitous time to mention it. Tom and his wife Elizabeth were in the process of resurrecting Borderlands Press. Tom basically said once it was up and running, they'd be glad to publish the book. And they did.
BMB: Awesome. That anthology is pretty hard to come by, but I know it is out there, and I know I want to read it. Here's a random question: If you could be any animal, besides human, what would you like to be and why?
KEALAN: A bird, big enough not to be prey. I'd fly the f**k away from all the drama whenever the mood took me.
BMB: Sadly beautiful. At least you're not pecking anyone's eyeballs out like Jeff Strand. I saw that you have a role in Greg Lamberson's Slime City II: Slime City Massacre. Please tell us what the filming was like? Did you enjoy the experience, and will we see more of Kealan Patrick Burke on the silver screen?
KEALAN: It was a blast, and it was also very educational. It was also a lot of hard work, and dirty work at that. Filming for weeks in the ruins of a train station gets under your skin (literally) and being covered in SFX goop a lot of the time didn't help much, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I met a lot of really talented people on that shoot, some of whom have remained good friends. Long days, long nights, an awe-inspiring location, and a wonderful bunch of people, is the best way to sum it all up for me.
As for more movie work, I won't say no, nor do I have any illusions of movie stardom. I did the movie for the experience, and I don't think beyond that. (NOTE: you can read more about KPB's Slime City Massacre expeience at his blog, here: http://kealanpatrick.wordpress.com/)
BMB: Uh oh, time for the word association speed round! I'll mention the word, you respond with the first thing that pops into your head. Ready, set...go!... "Robin"
KEALAN: The f*ck?
BMB: (note to self: Very similar to what Jeff Strand said about Zipperump-a-zoos in our interview with him... maybe 70s Mercer Mayer monster references just don't work with modern genre authors, but the confusion is fun, *evil grin*) "Green"
BMB: (I saw that one coming) "Splat"
BMB: (scribbles down notes on the psyche evaluation sheet with a check mark by "saner than Jeff Strand") I have heard mumblings on the Internet about a book of yours called KIN can you please tell us more about it?
KEALAN: Once upon a time, I contributed to a discussion about torture porn, and, more specifically, the kids-running-afoul-of-inbred-cannibals subgenre. I bemoaned the lack of story, and of character depth in both the heroes and villains, and was told to put up or shut up. So I wrote KIN. It's my longest novel to date. And that's all I'll say for now.
BMB: Ooh, nice. I can’t wait to read it and see who is releasing it… By the way, who is releasing it?
KEALAN: *says nothing*
BMB: Well, since you aren’t giving up the release information, I'm not going to push it... Nope. Not me... Come on, Mr. Burke, tell us... Please. Please. Please. Pretty please? Pllllleeeeeeease...with snickers and gummy bears on top?
KEALAN: *mouth firmly closed*
BMB: Crub. Well, thank you very much Mr. Burke for letting us take up your time like this. I feel very honored (even if you’d don’t know what a Trollusk is). In my opinion, everyone needs to at least read The Turtle Boy by Kealan Patrick Burke. It is a modern masterpiece. Thankfully, it will become more readily available very soon via Lovecraft Press. Also, in the meantime, if you’d like to get creeped-out, go watch “Peekers” a short film directed by Mark Steensland here http://www.playwithme.tv/. It is based on Kealan Patrick Burke’s short story of the same name, and it is scripted by Rick Hautala. You will never hear the words “Play with me” the same again.
Along with all the above links, you can also see the following for more Kealan Patrick Burke goodness:
Taverns of the Dead edited by Kealan Patrick Burke
Shivers V (featuring "The Acquaintance") edited by Richard Chizmar
Shroud magazine #2 (featuring KPB's "Haven")
Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet (featuring "A Letter From Phoenix")
Concrete Gods (with Harry Shannon)
Night Visions 12 edited by KPB
Brimstone Turnpike edited by KPB
Tales from the Gorezone edited by KPB