Sean Vlk and I met through social media. His debut novel was publishing in August.
Sean Vlk was born in St. Petersburg, FL on July 5, 1988 to parents, Mark Vlk and Valerie Beasley. At age 3, his parents divorced, and he went to live primarily with his father in Lincoln, CA. His father, through no fault of his own, was working the majority of the time for the US Coast Guard; a 20 year veteran, leaving Sean alone to his own devices. Throughout his childhood he enjoyed many pleasures: cinema; music; reading; and most importantly–discovering his passion for writing. He began writing small poems, short stories, and novella for his friends and acquaintances in school, finding that most found his work to be amazing, creative and detailed.
Today, he resides in the scenic countryside of Odessa, WA, with his partner, Tasha, and his three children: Jude; Kyla; and Riley. He released his first novel, The State, through self-publishing on August 24, 2019
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Sean K Vlk. I recently self-published my debut novel, The State, back in August of this year. I’m a lover of all literature. Reading and writing have always been two of my biggest hobbies in life. I always wanted to see my story, my words, between pages. Always. It’s an amazing feeling, it truly is.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Honestly, since I was a young child–perhaps, around age ten or so. I used to write shorts, poetry, and novella for friends and family, who all seemed to like the work. I always enjoyed that fact: creating fictional characters and stories which people could relate to. There was, and is, just something special about that connection between the writer and their readers.
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
I am very eclectic when it comes to reading. Very. I simply cannot stress that enough. For example, I just finished doing an ARC reading for a fellow author (a wonderful horror piece by the title of A Necessary End). Now, I am rereading the philosophical piece, Simulacra and Simulation by Baudrillard. I have always been like that, one mixed bag of genres. From King to Fitzgerald, Bellamy to Huxley, Bradbury to Tolstoy. As such, yes, my writing reflects that eclectic mix.
My first novel, The State, is an adult dystopian with a mixture of themes ranging from love and hate, life and death, to philosophical ideals on existentialism and perceptional altruism. My current project, The First Sacrament, is a horror novel battling the guises of modern comforts, technology, the social hierarchies, death, and the overall duplicitous nature of people in general. After, I have a wide range of projects for consideration, ranging from crime thriller, to sci-fi, and even to western.
So, all in all; to answer the question, yes, the entirety of my body of work will eventually reflect my reading habits. Moreover, I will always sprinkle more into a certain genre than the norm. Besides, nobody likes reading something too one dimensional, right?
Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
Generally, my novels (as well as my shorts) would not be appropriate for anyone other than adults. I am usually very detailed, and my tales are heavy with violence, gore, some language, and even a little coitus. Now, that is just a broad description, as it were, not necessary describing my work as a whole. However, in the case of my debut novel, The State, these all happen to ring true. Fancy it as a movie with an R rating, if you wish. So, if you wouldn’t take your child or teenager to an R-rated movie, you probably wouldn’t want to let them read my books. Of course, that’s all a matter of parental perspective. I allow my oldest daughter, age twelve, to read my work. She both grasps and enjoys it, much as I did at her age. To each their own, I suppose.
What is your current release or project?
The State would be the newest book released, however, The First Sacrament is my current WIP.
Tell us about the key characters
The key characters in The State:
Agent 216 is the protagonist. Sort of a Winston-type character of Orwellian design, however, with one minor adjustment–he’s not simply a paper pusher. No. Agent 216 is a brutal, antihero in the beginning of the tale, committing grave atrocities and ruthless acts of callousness against innocents. In all honesty, he begins as someone you absolutely love to hate. A narcissistic, violent, sociopath.
However, throughout the book, he transitions from his position within the State, eventually becoming the leader of the rebellion, the Resistance. His journey is so moving, that most (not all, mind you) have been rooting for him by the end of the book. I won’t give away any details, but it gets a little tense in the third act.
Other mentionables (though, not all) would be Ophelia (his love interest), the Commander (Resistance leader), the Chancellor (State leader) , and the Prime Minister (the voice and face of the State).
In The First Sacrament:
Sawyer Briggs is the protagonist. A dark, lonely teen battling his own demons. Rowan is his love interest. The Giant or Elgin would be one of the main antagonists of the tale, although, characters such as Colton and KC run close seconds. Again, there are plenty more, but, just a taste is all for now.
What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
Embrace! Respect! Submit! The State is the last, and only symbol of control in the not-so-distant future. Fear is the only existence most know. Servitude is the brand upon all. The Resistance is the last, and only semblance of hope; of freedom. Journey with the struggles of the protagonist, Agent 216, as he makes the tumultuous transition from top Agent of the State to the eventual leader of the Resistance. It is a journey hard-fought, wrought with love and hate, death and life, violence and compassion, loss and gain. Yet, with determination and purpose he, as all within the Resistance, continues to fight for the one thing essential to existence—freedom. Will the Resistance prevail? Or will the State?
The First Sacrament ( WIP synopsis currently)
Twenty-four high school teens awaken in an abandoned slaughterhouse in Rosemont, WA. How did they get there? Why are they there? Answers, unfortunately, that come with a price. Beware the commencement of the ritual, the twenty-four pitted against one another for the amusement of a cult of unknown origin. Twenty-four hours to kill twenty-three of the others. Kill or be killed. No way around it. Death is inevitable. No one but the victor may leave the slaughterhouse alive. Who will it be?
Share an excerpt
The State, Pg. 24
(I’ll skip the excerpt from the other)
In essence, he was the State and the State was him. A singularly combined entity, one formed and stabilized by the diligence of statesmen like himself. That was the power of the State — a virtually unbridaled sense of entitlement enhanced by blind obedience and aggregate ferociousness. It was his duty therein to facilitate that power, to keep the cogs of the machine turning. If not for him and others like him, the State would cease to exist. Their very way of life would shatter in a cataclysm of anarchy and degradation rivaling that of ancient roaming barbarians. The State was the only way to survive.
Do you have a favorite scene?
Hmm. That’s a tough one. I really don’t want to give spoilers. For me, its probably a scene during the Hanging Day; a public execution of sorts, where someone is placed in the gallows that was not supposed to be there. That scene, writing and reading it, had me pumping my fist in the air with joy. The ‘fighting the system’ moment come to fruition, so to speak. For most, it’s one of the favorite parts of the book.
What advice would you give a beginner?
I would definitely advise someone starting out to do their research, as far as marketing is concerned. Find your target audience, explore what your genre has to offer, and most definitely, place your work on preorder while doing so. Reviews are what you need. That will help you reach your audience. And, read. Again, that’s: read. Reading gives the most basic blocks to writing in any field. As such, the more you read, the better your writing will become.
Social media links:
All works can be found on this website: