Geoffrey Girard is an award-winning fiction author whose works have appeared in several best-selling anthologies and magazines, including Writers of the Future (a 2003 winner), Murky Depths, Apex Horror & Science Fiction Digest, and the Stoker-nominated Dark Faith anthology. His first book, Tales of the Jersey Devil, thirteen original tales based on American folklore, was published in 2005, followed by Tales of the Atlantic Pirates (2006) and Tales of the Eastern Indians (2007). Simon and Schuster will publish two Girard novels in 2013: CAIN’S BLOOD, a techno thriller, and PROJECT CAIN, a spinoff novel for teen/YA readers.
Born in Germany, shaped in New Jersey and currently living in Ohio. Geoffrey graduated from Washington College with a literature degree and worked as an advertising copywriter and marketing manager, later shifting to high school English teacher. He is currently the English Dept. Chair at a private boys school in Ohio and is an MA candidate in Creative Writing at Miami University.
He has presented seminars and workshops on creative writing at colleges, elementary schools, bookstores and writers’ organizations and can also be spotted speaking at various conventions/events.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book, Project Cain?
Project Cain tells the story of Jeff Jacobson, a teen who discovers he’s the clone of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer, as part of a top-secret government program to make bio weapons. There are others like Jeff – teens genetically engineered directly from notorious murderers: The Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy… even other Jeffrey Dahmer clones. When the most dangerous guys in the group are set free by the geneticist who created them, Jeff teams with a Special Forces agent to help track the clones down before it’s too late. The issue is can he catch the ‘monsters’ before becoming one himself?
The characters in Project Cain are clones of serial killers. Goodreads has it listed as Sci-fi, but can readers expect a little bit of horror, as well?
Serial killers are a rough group, so there’s lots of dark information about that and some scary moments for Jeff as he tracks these guys down and faces some of his own genetic past. There’s definitely a horror element.
What inspired you to write this book?
In class one day (I teach high school English), we somehow landed on a discussion about serial killers and some of the guys started calling out serial killer trivia questions and I was, to their admiration, getting every question right. It occurred to me I knew a lot about something my own students found interesting, and so went home and dug out an old serial-killer clone story I’d written.
What was your favorite scene to write?
Jeff Jacobson is a tough nut to crack. He’s, technically, only seven… and genetically a sociopath. So his delivery is often emotionally detached, matter of fact. Every so often, he reveals the real kid trapped inside. Memories of his father or a friend at science camp, a subtle observation about how the world works. They’re subtle moments, but tucked throughout his telling.
Did you have to research a bunch of serial killers before writing this book? Were you ever creeped out? Many biographies, taped interviews and court transcripts. A lot of time with these guys, because I was specifically interested in what they were like a young men. But I expected creepiness there. What I didn’t expect was all the lousy things the U.S. military has done while designing weapons. That creeped me out way more.
It’s meant as a standalone, but there’s definitely story left to tell if enough readers ever want more.
Are there any movie deals in the work? TV series?
Several nibbles. Nothing to report yet.
Your most known for writing adult thrillers, how different was it to switch to the YA genre?
CAIN’S BLOOD is the “adult version” of this story. It’s written in a traditional, and much more commercial, style. I’ve written YA books before (the Tales Of… series) which was also more commercial. With PROJECT CAIN, I wanted to do something very different and Simon & Schuster was up for it. I’ve been teaching ten years now, and have developed some very specific ideas on what teen readers (specifically boys) like to read, so PROJECT CAIN has a lot more nonfiction worked in than my usual YA tale, and does some things with style and voice very particular to this specific book. There are so many ways to write a book, I look forward to trying a few more out before it’s all said and done.
What is the best book that you’ve read recently? I’m rereading KOKO by Peter Straub for, like, the eighth time. He’s so darn good. Horror for English majors, for sure. My new discovery this summer was Failed Cities Monologues by Matt Wallace; A smart hard-boiled dystopian tale that interweaves half a dozen characters over the course of many stories and combine into one novel. Every word is where it should be, and the guy’s just got a gift with words and describing people and the world. In YA, I really enjoyed the new Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan, and plan to teach it this year in class.
What is currently in your TBR pile?
I recently finished my M.A. in English and Creative Writing, and have spent the last four years reading for nothing but classics and “literary” fiction for my courses. So, writers like Faulkner and DeLillo, Barth and Nabokov. Amazing authors, the best, but I haven’t gotten to read any commercial books just for fun in years. Consequently my current TBR stack is a smorgasbord of fun commercial fiction: stacks of Preston and Child, Brad Thor, Lee Child, James Rollins. Playing catch up and halfway through Gone Girl. (KOKO is my before-bed read… the perfect blend, for me, of literary and commercial.)
2 copies of PROJECT CAIN by Geoffrey Girard
Giveaway will run from September 1st, 2013 to September 15, 2013
Giveaway is open Internationally
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