An Interview with Kealan Patrick Burke

Published May 16, 2015 by MommaCat


What’s your earliest memory about you making up your own stories?

Oddly enough, I remember always trying to write sequels in novel-form for movies that I loved. Two of the ones I clearly recall were Aliens 2 and Ghostbusters 3. The former had the Momma Xenomorph from Aliens somehow (inexplicably) surviving entry into the earth’s atmosphere after her ejection from the airlock and landing in a rural lake. After that the details (mercifully) get a bit hazy, but I remember the idea was to have rural folks going up against the Xenomorph with shotguns and pitchforks. Which, given the period in which the Alien movies are set, makes absolutely no sense at all.

I also remember a short story entitled “The Calling”, which involved people locking themselves into a church at night to avoid sleepwalking into the tide at the behest of some hypnotic force. Although I’m sure I’m being merciful to the ego of my younger self, I remember that one not being too terrible. I also remember it was one of the first stories I finished on my very first typewriter.

For those that haven’t heard about Digital 50, would you tell us all about it?  The idea is brand new to me, how did you come up with it?  Also, can anyone in the world take advantage of this awesome offer?

DIGITAL 50 is a subscription-based book club in which you pay an upfront fee ($50) and receive every digital title I release over the next ten years, or 50 books, whichever occurs first. In addition, you also receive a personalized short story written just for you, which will be signed and mailed to you. I’m not really sure where the idea came from, other than witnessing similar models used in pretty much every digital business these days. I launched it as an experiment, and suspected it wouldn’t do very well. Already though, the response has been superb. And certainly, anyone anywhere can take advantage of it. You can find out more about Digital 50 here:

If you could live during any era in any land, real or imaginary, where would it be and why?

I’d like to have been around in America in the 1950s, or in the Wild West to experience frontier life (and probably die young and horribly), or in Athens in the Fifth Century to see the birth of democracy, or England to see Shakespeare’s plays when they premiered, or go see Mozart or Beethoven perform in concert. There are so many answers, but I guess the simplest one would be self-serving, sentimental, and a total cheat (because I was alive in this place and time): I’d like to go back to my teens and do things differently.

Do you consider yourself handy around the house?

I think in the Internet age, nobody has an excuse not to be at least moderately handy around the house. You can look up how to fix something in two seconds flat. So yes, I can screw in a lightbulb, hang a picture or a door, change a plug, fix a chair leg, but anything much bigger than that and I’m destined to fail.

What are the next three books you’re planning to read?

World Gone By, by Dennis Lehane, NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, and The Wolf in Winter by John Connolly.

If you could claim one book as your own – think fame, not fortune – what book do you wish you wrote and why?

The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

What if you could trade bodies with one person for one day? Who would that be?

Kanye West. I’d mail all his money to Kealan Patrick Burke.

Who are the authors that influenced your life the most?

Stephen King for sure. Charles L. Grant, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, John Connolly.

What do you do to lift yourself up when you’re feeling down?

Usually take the day off and just vegetate in front of the TV, or with a book, or a video game. I’m never down for long. Life’s too short to waste it in the doldrums.

What are a couple of items on your bucket list?

Have a Hollywood movie made from my work (which seems imminent); travel the world; get married again and have kids; buy my dream house (think Gothic Victorian); be financially secure, and move back to Ireland.

What five people – living or dead- would you invite to a dinner party? (Universal translators will be provided)

Monica Belluci, my highschool English teacher, Zelda Fitzgerald, Paul Newman, and Veronica Lake.

Would you talk about what books you have forthcoming? And specifically, is there going to be a KIN 2?

Yes there is. And quite possibly a third volume if certain characters’ backstories don’t quit haunting me. But first up is NIGHT FALLS ON MEMORY LANE, the first book in my new series featuring Cassandra Quinn (daughter of Timmy) who can see people’s memories just by touching them. She is called in to solve the mystery of a town in Pennsylvania in which people seem to have been stricken with mass amnesia.

How do you want the world to remember you?

As a good person and a good writer.

Thank you for a terrific interview, Kealan.  If you want more, you can find Kealan on Facebook, on the web, on Goodreads and follow him on twitter @kealanburke.

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