Kealan Patrick Burke

Ohio?? How did you end up in Ohio? I haven’t heard a lot of stories that begin in Ireland and end in Columbus. How did that happen?

Why, a woman, of course! I was working in a bar in Ireland when an American tourist came in. It was a quiet night, so we spent some hours chatting. She went back to the states the next day, but on my birthday, she sent me a 3-month return plane ticket. I never ended up using the return part of it.

That’s ridiculously romantic. Seriously ridiculous. If people don’t groan from that story, they should (but seriously it’s awesome and most would punch you from romantic jealousy). Tell me one intresting surprise difference between your home and this odd place – some part of the dialect, an odd animal or living situation…

Romantic right up until the divorce. πŸ˜‰winkΒ Such is life though.

Birds. The robin here is the size of a Thanksgiving turkey. Ours is the size of a sparrow. We have puffins too, cliff dwellers that have to be the cutest creatures on earth. They look like little David Schwimmers, only a lot less dull.

Also, people don’t high-five in Ireland. Or at least they didn’t when I left. They probably do now thanks to a new generation who seem to be trying desperately hard to be American.

What do you have in your pockets?

My iPhone, wallet, and a bunch of book store receipts.

There are lots of photos of you floating around on the internet where you’re completely green. That question sort of asks itself…

I’m the jealous type.

Β Don’t bail on that question! Explain the green!

Okay, okay. Those are shots from my role in SLIME CITY MASSACRE, a gory splatfest follow up to Greg Lamberson’s cult classic SLIME CITY. I spent a lot of time in monster makeup, which I loved, though the removal process took a lot of my face away with it. All in the name of fun.

What was your first job?

Waiter in a seafront hotel. I hated every minute of it, and the boss was a tyrant. It’s actually going to be the basis for my next horror novel.

What did you doodle on your notebooks/desks in middle school?

I doodled lyrics from rock songs on my desk, or added to existing drawings that had been etched there over the decades. Our desks were always ancient.

Do you know who The Enigma is? Not from the comic books, the guy with the jigsaw full-body tattoo. And the Lizard Man? Who wins in coolness between the two?

I’d have to go with The Enigma, though I think they’re both nuts. I have four tattoos and would consider more, but there’s a line, man. I’m oddly shaped enough without paying to make it worse.

Do you dress up for Halloween every year?

I always plan to, but never do. I just get too wrapped up in the planning of the annual parties to remember the costume. I did go naked one year, but that was only because I was lazy and broke.

Did you win the Costume Contest?

I did not win the costume contest. Nobody but the cops showed up.

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36 responses to “Kealan Patrick Burke

  1. Great interview. Hey, KPB. What are you working on right now?

    • Hi Richard! I’m currently working on a sequel to KIN, and the usual flurry of short stories-to-order. How about you?

      • Sweet. KIN has been on my radar for a long time. Need to pick that up. Actually, I should check my Kindle. I may already be a winner! I’m shopping my thesis stories and my agent is trying to sell DISINTEGRATION, my second novel. Close, but no takers yet.

      • Have you tried CD or are you doing the New York rounds first?

      • CD was so backed up that no, I didn’t try them yet. Good idea, though. They published a story of mine in Shivers VI with King and Straub. Highlight of my career. We’re hitting up the big houses first, but there are so many cool imprints and small presses, came very close with Akashic. Maybe I’ll have my agent reach out to them. Thanks!

      • No problem, Richard! You can write, and well, so I have a feeling it’s only a matter of time before we see your name in lights.

      • Thanks, Kealan, that means a lot. I really appreciate the kind words. I may have to hit you up for a blurb, mate. I’m lucky that Donald Ray Pollock, Craig Davidson and Paul Tremblay have already said they would blurb it, but still hoping to lure Jack Ketchum in, he said he’d look at it, but that’s a long shot. I’ll keep you in mind, if that’s cool. My agent seems to have a line on Dennis Lehane, but, again, I’m not holding my breath.

        I see you’ve edited a few anthologies. I actually HAVE Quietly Now, bought that a few years ago, hell of a collection. Anything in the works?

      • Sure thing, Rich! As long as it’s closer to the end of the year, I should be fine for a blurb. Pretty stacked up on requests right now.

        No new anthologies in the works, I’m afraid. They’re a harder sell than ever. Which is a shame, as I very much enjoy doing them.

      • Yeah, a short story collection with Kraken Press MAY still happen, but that would be short notice, I’ve got a few eager pals lined up to help. I was thinking more of DISINTEGRATION, and we have lots of time on that, haven’t even sold it yet, so no worries. Thanks. Very generous of you. I’ve only done a few blurbs but it’s tricky, yeah? I’m editing my first major anthology with Black Lawrence Press, edgy literary fiction, and it’s a blast.

      • Sounds good, Richard! And hey that’s great about the anthology! Let me know when it hits the shelves and I’ll be sure to pick up a copy!

      • thanks, will do. i’m such a whore i’m sure you’ll be unable to miss me promoting it.

      • Kindred spirits πŸ˜‰

  2. refrigeratordoors

    If you were given the challenge of writing a musical that would shift the opinions of those that HATE musicals, what would be its title, storyline and your favourite line from one of the songs?

    • As I’m not the biggest fan of musicals, that would indeed be a challenge, but also perhaps, an advantage. It would have to be populated with elements that would appeal to me, first and foremost, so it would probably be a crime caper with plenty of humor, a play that just happens to have musical numbers that compliment rather than interfere. So I’d call it: “Emerald Gothic” and it would be an Irish crime story by way of the Wizard of Oz. My favorite line would be: “The Tin Man took his thumbs, but as they were took from bums, no one will care, the police they won’t dare, to track him by way of his crumbs.”

  3. Why did you knock me off the number one spot of Hottest Hunks, compiled by the female staff of ManArchy Magazine?

  4. I did no such thing, Mlaz, and if there’s any truth to that, I demand my fair share of the royalties and an official invite to the Dionysus Club.

  5. Kealan- Was anything omitted from KIN for being too disturbing?

    (And Mlazzy- he came to America, where are you?)

  6. Is it true you enjoy baths as opposed to showers? And if I delete this comment will you give me a copy of Nemesis for free? πŸ˜‰

  7. Hi Pela: The only thing I ended up cutting was some of the bad language. There were parts where I felt it was excessive and drowned out the point of the scene, so out it went. But as far as disturbing stuff, no. Luckily I was working with a publisher who had no qualms about line-pushing material.

  8. Manda: I actually prefer showers! So, no. πŸ˜‰

  9. i’m just going to sit by these trashcans and blush quietly now.

  10. As opposed to blushing loudly?

  11. Great interview C&C. KPB, is there any one work of yours which you would say is your baby? Not necessarily your favorite, but maybe one you handed over with your heart and your soul?

  12. KIN is easily the best, but my baby? That would be any of the books in the Timmy Quinn series, which to me were ghost stories until an astute reader pointed out that they’re all about my relationship with my father.

  13. Do you know where Tuam is in Ireland? Ever been? It’s my only Irish experience, Tuam and Galway, and both were great. What a shit question though, huh? Tuam is nice though.

  14. Indeed I do, Michael. I’ve been there many times, and Galway is one of my favorite places in Ireland.

  15. KPB, how did you get that cool image on the right hand side of your Twitter page? i’ve seen a few people with it now, but haven’t figured out how to do it myself.

  16. Pingback: At Curiouser and Curiouser, the Time Flies…. « Miss Ohio

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