Blurring The Line: Kealan Patrick Burke

Dec 15, 2015

12003146_879319075487621_892517258321694034_nBlurring The Line is the new anthology of horror fiction and non-fiction, edited by award-winning editor Marty Young, published by Cohesion Press. You can get your copy here or anywhere you normally buy books (the print edition is coming any day now).

To help people learn a bit more about it, I’ve arranged for each fiction contributor to answer the same five questions, and I’ll be running these mini interviews every weekday now that the book is available.

Today, it’s:

Kealan Patrick Burke

New Author PicBorn and raised in Dungarvan, Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of five novels, over a hundred short stories, seven collections, and editor of four acclaimed anthologies.  He 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 grunge band, and, most recently, a fraud investigator.  He also played the male lead in Slime City Massacre, director Gregory Lumberton’s sequel to his cult B-movie classic Slime City, alongside scream queens Debbie Rochon and Brooke Lewis.

When not writing, Kealan designs covers for print and digital books through his company Elderlemon Design.  To date, he has designed covers for Richard Laymon, Brian Keene, Scott Nicholson, Bentley Little, William Schoell, Tim Lebbon and Hugh Howey, to name a few.

In what little free time remains, Kealan is a voracious reader, movie buff, videogamer (Xbox), and road-trip enthusiast.

A movie based on his short story Peekers is currently in development through Lionsgate Entertainment.

1. What was the inspiration/motivation behind your story in Blurring The Line?

I have a peculiar fascination with door-to-door salesmen, having done the job myself for a whole day before quitting in absolute misery. I don’t think we always need to refer to the supernatural for our horror. Sometimes it can be found in the awful things we are asked to do as humans in order to survive, and as far as I’m concerned, being a door-to-door salesman is a job that should be listed in the Ninth Circle of Hell. Take that fascination, add in a dash of Glengarry Glenross, and now imagine the worst kind of house to find yourself in while trying to ply your wares, and you have “Hoarder.”

2. What does horror mean to you?

I’m going to quote myself on this one, as I don’t think I’ve ever put it more succinctly than I did on this occasion:

“[Horror] tackles our darkest fears, whatever they may be. It takes us into the minds of the victims, explores the threats, disseminates fear, studies how it changes us. It pulls back the curtain on the ugly underbelly of society, tears away the masks the monsters wear out in the world, shows us the potential truth of the human condition. Horror is truth, unflinching and honest. Not everybody wants to see that, but good horror ensures that it’s there to be seen.”

3. What’s a horror short story that you think everyone should read?

“Sticks” by Karl Edward Wagner.

4. What horror novel should everyone read?

“Bird Box” by Josh Malerman.

5. Name something that you think just might be real, or might not…



Previous posts in the Blurring The Line interview series:

Marty Young
Tom Piccirilli
Lisa Morton
Tim Lebbon
Lia Swope Mitchell
Alan Baxter
James Dorr
Peter Hagelslag
Gregory L Norris
Steven Lloyd Wilson
James A Moore
Alex C Renwick
Lisa L Hannett


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