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If you follow Horror After Dark, you already know how I feel about Kealan Patrick Burke. If you don’t, get ready because I’m gonna tell ya.
I feel that he is one of the finest dark fiction authors working today. I also feel that he is a bit underrated, so I thought I would explain a few of the reasons why I love this author’s work so much.
First off, look at all those beautiful covers up there. Kealan is not only a talented author he is also a talented artist. You can find more of his covers here: http://www.elderlemondesign.com/.
Some of them are simply stunning.
Now, let’s talk about his work as an author. Kealan is one of the few authors that can write both short stories and novels successfully. In my experience, most dark fiction/horror authors are better at one or the other; very rarely is it both. His novella The Tent, was a fantastically imagined horror tale. I read horror, a LOT of horror, and this novella was so powerful I can still vividly picture the characters and what they went through. This would be a great place to start sampling his works; since it’s a novella, it won’t set you back too much-financially or time-wise. Plus it will give you a nice taste of what Kealan is capable of-which is scaring the pants off you.
On to some of Kealan’s longer works- let’s start with the super-impressive book Kin. Here is a story about an inbred, redneck family. I know, you’re thinking there is nothing unique about that, but I beg to differ. This book begins where most other books about this subject end. It tackles the the fact that the results of violence are often further reaching than just what happens to the victim. How far do the ripples of violence travel? You will have to read this book to find out. This novel also includes one of the most shocking scenes I have ever read. I get the shivers just thinking about it. I can still picture it perfectly in my mind and I read this book over two years ago.
The Turtle Boy series just flat out kicks ass. These books are available separately or in one volume: Stage Whispers: The Collected Timmy Quinn Stories. I envy those who start this series now, since there is no anxious waiting around for the next installment. This series follows over 30 years of Timmy Quinn’s life and trust me when I tell you that each part makes for compelling reading. I’ve shed tears for Timmy more than once while reading these books-that is how real Mr. Burke made him, to me.
Any of Kealan’s short story collections should appeal to fans of horror and dark fiction. Theater Macabre is my favorite among his collections so far; but there are a few to choose from and I don’t think you could go wrong with adding any of them to your “To Be Read” pile.
In current news, it looks as if the movie rights for Kealan’s short story “Peekers” have been picked up by Lionsgate, how awesome is that? You can read about it here: http://kealanpatrick.wordpress.com/. There is also a short film of Peekers available right now on You Tube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10diurwIa7Y.
This is probably the most creepy short film I’ve ever seen.
Lastly, (from my distinctly female point of view), Kealan is VERY handsome! (*wipes drool*) Please excuse me for making such a mess. 🙂
He’s also Irish. I love me some Irish authors. In fact I have a bookshelf at Goodreads named “Love Me Some Irish Authors”. Kealan Patrick Burke is right up there with my current favorites John Connolly and Dennis Lehane. He deserves to be there. He deserves to be read and talked about. I hope this post piqued your interest in Kealan’s work, enough so that you try out one of these fantastic books. You won’t be sorry.
About Kealan Patrick Burke
Born and raised in a small harbor town in the south of Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke knew from a very early age that he was going to be a horror writer. The combination of an ancient locale, a horror-loving mother, and a family full of storytellers, made it inevitable that he would end up telling stories for a living. Since those formative years, he has written five novels, over a hundred short stories, six collections, and edited four acclaimed anthologies. In 2004, he was honored with the Bram Stoker Award for his novella The Turtle Boy.
Kealan has worked as a waiter, a drama teacher, a mapmaker, a security guard, an assembly-line worker at Apple Computers, a salesman (for a day), a bartender, landscape gardener, vocalist in a rock band, curriculum content editor, fiction editor at Gothic.net, and, most recently, a fraud investigator.
When not writing, Kealan designs book covers through his company Elderlemon Design.
A number of his books have been optioned for film.
I have reviewed 81 books so far this year.