Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself, Eleanor.
I’m a graduate in English, a committed feminist, and a die-hard fan of the work of both Tolkien and Dorothy L. Sayers. When I’m not busy writing or reading, you can generally find me plotting fervently to bring down the patriarchy. The Breathing Ghosts is my first novel - a dark vampire fantasy for young adults that features many LGBT characters. I have also recently published the sequel, The Blood Witching, which also deals with LGBT issues, and one very dangerous witch.
When writing The Breathing Ghosts, I wanted to introduce LGBT characters from diverse backgrounds, and place them in the foreground of the action. I wanted to make them not just ‘token’ gay characters, but fully rounded characters with their own likes, dislikes, morals (or occasional lack of morals) and personalities. I wanted their sexuality to be important to them, but not crucial to their whole identity. As the novel progresses, hopefully the reader will see that - whilst their sexuality is undoubtedly important, it is their humanity and their vulnerability which ultimately makes them unique.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
I have an intense hatred of horror movies, and a phobia of rodents.
When did you start writing, is it something you've always been interested in, or did it develop later in life?
I’ve always loved writing, and for as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be an author. Even when I was very small I was constantly making up stories or reading.
Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?
Being a self-published author has definitely been the fulfilment of a life-long dream for me. Doing most of the promotion for The Breathing Ghosts Series has also made me a lot more proactive, and able to handle rejection.
How did it feel when you realized that your very first book was going to be published?
I felt - and still feel - thrilled about it. It’s a rush that nothing can prepare you for!
What's your favorite part of writing a book?
I’m a very visual writer, so I enjoy actually writing scenes that have been in my head for some time- and seeing parts of my imagination come to fruition on the page. I also always get a thrill out of creating new characters, and planning their back stories, dreams and motivations.
Do you get time to read for pleasure? If so, which books do you enjoy?
I absolutely love to read - as a writer; I feel it is imperative to read as much as possible, particularly in the genre that you yourself are writing in. As a result, I read a lot of YA fiction, and have been known to get through a novel a week at least. Apart from Tolkien and the fabulous Dorothy L. Sayers, I also love the work of Anne Rice (particularly The Vampire Lestat, which I think is a masterpiece,) as well as Michael Moorcock, Angela Carter, Joanne Harris, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and Poppy Z. Brite.
Are there any other genres you'd be interested in writing?
I read a lot of fantasy fiction, so I’d never rule out writing something in that style. I think it’s important to be flexible as an author, and to go where your imagination takes you. Having said that, I feel strongly connected to the YA genre, and I like writing for young adults who I think may feel the benefit of reading about strong, independent LGBT characters that are proud of their sexuality.
Please tell us a little about your most recent release.
My latest release is the sequel to The Breathing Ghosts. It is called The Blood Witching, and it is available to buy from the Kindle Store. It is influenced by the dark, twisted fairytales of the Brothers Grimm and Angela Carter.
It mainly follows the trials of Nerissa Naughton, an über powerful and somewhat damaged lesbian vampire, who’s like a vampire version of Lisbeth Salander, only less cute and fluffy. Nerissa is desperate to find her ex-lover Angelica, a vampire sorceress responsible for a slew of bloody murders. However, going after Angelica could mean risking everything- including her life…
My previous novel, The Breathing Ghosts, focuses more on Rowan Oakwood, who falls in love with the sister of the vampire she has sworn to kill. It also deals with themes such as bullying, discrimation, sexuality, loneliness, and being an ‘outsider.’
I have also published a collection of short stories, The Ghosts’ Feast, to accompany The Breathing Ghosts. This collection features many of the vampires within The Breathing Ghosts, as well as LGBT issues.
All my work is available to buy through Amazon.com.
What can we look forward to in the future from you?
I will be working on the third book in The Breathing Ghosts Series. For more information, please check my blog (www.thebreathingghosts.wordpress.com) and the official website for The Breathing Ghosts Series (www.thebreathingghostsse.wix.com/thebreathingghosts).
Anything you want to say to your readers?
A massive thanks for reading and enjoying my work! Please feel free to write reviews on Amazon, to follow The Breathing Ghosts Series on Facebook or GoodReads (search for either The Breathing Ghosts or The Blood Witching) or follow me on Twitter (at EleanorKeane1).
Eleanor Keane's recent releases:
The Breathing Ghosts (Breathing Ghosts 1)
Eighteen year old Rowan Oakwood isn’t quite like other girls. She’s a lesbian, a loner, an orphan and the first and last female vampire hunter of her line, forced to hunt vampires with a magic she can barely control.
But when the cold-hearted and cunning vampire Virgil Valvayne sets out for a brutal revenge, she soon finds herself a target.
Rowan knows she has no choice but to kill Virgil, so why is she so drawn to his beautiful and reclusive sister? And is Violet Valvayne really all she seems?
Soon boundaries are crossed, loyalties shift and dark alliances are forged, until Rowan doesn’t know whom to hate, whom to hunt, or whom to love…
The Blood Witching (Breathing Ghosts 2)
Angelica Blackthorne is many things: beautiful, bold, cruel and in the grip of a madness that threatens to destroy her. Resurrected as a vampire sorceress known as the Blood Witch, Angelica's lust for power knows no bounds, and she will stop at nothing to claim back her ex-lover, the vampire Nerissa Naughton- despite having murdered Nerissa's family years before.
Nerissa Naughton may be powerful, but confronting Angelica could cost her everything-even with the help of an unusual alliance of vampires, werewolves, mortals and the vampire huntress Rowan Oakwood.
With Angelica desperate to win Nerissa back, only three things are certain: hearts will be broken, blood will be spilled, and nothing will be the same again...
The Ghosts’ Feast
In The Ghosts' Feast, the lives, loves and losses of some of the vampires within Eleanor Keane’s The Breathing Ghosts come to the fore: a young boy tries on his mother’s corset, a vampire servant becomes obsessed with her mistress, a lavish feast is laid out for the dead, and a dark goddess concocts deadly schemes.
These short stories - amongst many others - travel from Ancient Pompeii, to 19th century Venice, to London in the Swinging Sixties, and all of them are woven together with ominous undercurrents of desire, death and vengeance. Who can we trust? Who can we believe in?
In the world of The Ghosts’ Feast, some vampires are monsters, some monsters are human, and nothing is quite what is seems…
Quote from The Breathing Ghosts:
“He used to call vampires ‘the breathing ghosts’- for, as he put it, we existed in a kind of limbo-land between the living and the dead. We breathed, but we were not alive. We flitted through the air, but we still left foot prints on the ground. We were, and are, neither one nor the other, but something else entirely.”