Archive for July, 2014

Stuart Keane, author of the upcoming novel All or Nothing recently asked me to take part in a Character Blog Tour which of course I agreed to, so stay tuned and below I shall answer a few questions about a character from one of my works. Beforehand, here is a little info about Stuart himself.

Stuart Keane is a person who, at a very young age, fell in love with the written word.

People ask me why I enjoy books. Sometimes I remain speechless. I know many people who have never read a book (they do exist) and trying to explain this simple, yet amazing pastime to them is never easy. It’s pretty difficult in fact. I think comparing movies and books is needless because they are two completely different experiences. However, until you experience both, describing them never really does them justice.

This comparison has probably gone on for decades. I read my first adult book at age seven. This was years after seeing my first film but the experience, where new, was something else entirely. I remember being stuck on one page (for those who are curious, the book was Flesh by Richard Laymon, an excellent yet underappreciated horror writer) for half an hour because the detail in the scene was so vivid. I actually remember him describing an abandoned restaurant and I didn’t want to continue. It was THAT real to me that I felt I was actually there. Continuing to read would take me into the restaurant and because of previous events in the book, you knew it was a very bad idea.

This was my first memory of the written word. It’s remained with me since and probably always will. Many authors have that defining moment when they realised they wanted to write fiction for a living. This is mine and has shaped my life ever since.

So who is Stuart Keane?

Just an ordinary guy who likes to write thrilling, compelling stories. For thirty years, people have enthralled me, entertained me and provided me with many, many adventures. And inspiration. Now, I want to return the favour.

There are a few sites you can find Stuart lurking, notably, the following:

With that, I will get down to the business of answering the questions. I have been asked to participate in multiple blog tours of late and unfortunately I don’t always have the time to take part in them or indeed seek out others to keep the ball rolling, so in the interests of making sure this one keeps going, I will tag a bunch of potential candidates who may be interested in doing a similar character tour on Facebook rather than here.

Now for the character I will focus on. I have just completed the first draft of another novel, and have a couple of others written (one which is the first part of a mammoth two book entity), and considering that any of those works are probably a fair way off seeing the published light of day, I will concentrate instead on one of the focal figures from my grindhouse splatterpunk opus Plebs.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

My characters name is Corey Somerset. He is an idle young man who has a relatively shiftless existence, hanging out with his equally lackadaisical friends, doing nothing of real value or purpose. Both of his parents died while he was in late teenage years and as both were rather affluent, he was left as a rather wealthy fellow. He is an average guy, one of those kids at school who was more a fringe dweller, never one of the popular crowd until he came into money, and even then it was only the fact that his residence became party central for a while that his popularity began to escalate. He is a fictional character, one of three original individuals I created when first writing Plebs as a short story idea. He and his two best friends Tim and Lee are all in a sense, representative of a certain type of person, but they are all purely fictional and are not derived from any real people. Corey is the sort of person some may well identify with or see facets of themselves in his character, he is not a particularly difficult individual to understand or work out.

2) When and where is the story set?

Plebs is set in relatively modern day, there are references throughout to various bands, music and other current pop culture things which keep it rooted in a fairly current setting, though I intentionally don’t specify years, time periods etc. As for where it is set, I have taken the same route. The vast majority of my places and settings in my work are purely fictional; they are neither country specific, nor are they actual places. Unless I am writing a story which explicitly deals with a real town, country or region, then every place detailed in my work has been wholly made up. All places, settings, locations, towns and so forth referred to or appearing in Plebs have been created solely for the story.

3) What should we know about him?

Corey is fundamentally a good guy. He is fiercely loyal to his friends, has a genuine desire to help people and while he might be easily swayed or coerced into doing silly things or making extremely bad decisions, he knows when he needs to stand up and be counted. His main issue is that having money at his disposal has killed motivation and led to him lacking drive and direction, and falling into the trap of being shiftless. Various circumstances and events which occur in Plebs serve to strip away all of this where money is not going to be a factor in buying him out of the trouble he and his friends are ensnared in. He is not a natural leader, he has always been more of a follower, content to go with the flow as dictated by his more boisterous or charismatic companions, but again, situations arise which force him to confront these qualities in himself and take on a role he otherwise never would have.

Corey is one of several pivotal characters to be discovered in Plebs, and though he might not be as wholly intriguing as say, some of the female individuals residing in the piece, I can’t really do too thorough an expose on those femme fatales and their motivations without giving away some key aspects of the story.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?

There are a whole host of conflicts which spring up over the duration. From simple conflicts between Corey and his friends which range from basic disagreements about what they should and shouldn’t be doing, or getting themselves ensconced in, to far more serious ones involving much more dangerous people and other entities, namely the Plebs themselves. This then flows into a series of further conflicts, not only involving Corey and his friends, but the people they align themselves with, and further potentially perilous situations emerge that bring a collective of new and old enemies into the mix.

There is no one particular main conflict, instead there are multiple conflicts running constantly throughout and it isn’t merely the expected conflicts between rival factions, there is also plenty of infighting.

One could say Corey and his buddies mess up their lives from the word go, right from the very point they decide to ‘borrow’ a couple of boats they find beside a lake they’ve wound up after a night out partying. They then further compound that error in judgment by agreeing to journey off with the owners of said watercrafts, a posse of attractive and potentially dangerous young women. This escalates further each time they choose to make decisions which continue to sink them deeper into trouble with situations they possibly could have opted out of.

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

Initially, the main goal of Corey is a simple base one. Like any young single red blooded male faced with a bevy of buxom beauties offering a promise of more partying in their company, he is driven by the prospect of lots of good times and frivolous fun to be had with the women, but as things progress, circumstances change and life threatening events emerge, so too do the goals of Corey. With these situations comes responsibilities and his desire not just for self-preservation, but for the protection and safety of others. Ultimately his chief goal becomes survival, for himself and for those wrapped up in an escalating nightmare.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The title of the book is Plebs. For the majority of time I was writing it, there actually was no title, not even a working one. Around three quarters through I decided to run with the name which the women of the story use to refer to a band of subhuman creatures who share the same climes as them. Of course the name of the book primarily refers to these bestial entities, but there is also another level to it, the underlying reference that ‘plebs’-being defined as lower class, vulgar, despised etc.-is also a reflection on many of the more abhorrent human characters who pop up in the book.

This is the synopsis of Plebs.

Corey Somerset, Tim Hayworth and Lee Hunter have had one hell of a good night.

And it isn’t over yet.

Celebrating their friend’s birthday with drunken debauchery and intoxicated antics, they’ve just stumbled through a mini-wave of mindless vandalism, and though they’ve wandered far out of the realms of civilization, they are keen to keep the party vibe going.

When they encounter a band of mysterious fugitive women who call a bizarre encampment deep in the woods their residence, it appears a strong likelihood that continuing the party is on the cards.

But it won’t come without a price.

The collective of unnerving lawless women are open to the suggestion, but not without the threesome completing a request first, a seemingly straight forward barter proposition that will bring the boys face to face with something else that dwells in an unorthodox co-existence with the girls in the wilderness.

These are the Plebs, and the shocking violent encounter the trio are unwittingly pitched into with these freakish feral fiends may be their first, but it won’t be the last.

As the shiftless young men become inextricably entwined and involved with the agenda driven dangerous women, so too do their fates, with them unravelling killer secrets, duplicity, bloodshed and brutality along the way, that encompasses not just them but more of their friends, new enemies and old enemies.

A simple night of bad decisions escalates and snowballs into an expedition of terror spanning all the way home and beyond, with Corey and his friends engulfed in a nightmare where the lines between man and monster blur.

Depravity, death and destruction reign supreme and it isn’t just the Plebs that want them all torn limb from limb.

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

It is already published and has been out since January. The fact that I have no set idea on when my new works will see the light of day as yet, and the next thing to emerge from me will be a collection of short stories, was my motivation in detailing a little about one of the prime characters from Plebs.

Plebs is available in a variety of locations, namely