, the author of Project Cain
, stops by the blog today to talk about serial killers, Sharknados, scary clowns, and other fun stuff. See below for my interview with Geoffrey and a great giveaway. You can visit other Book Nerd Tours stops here
Publication Date: Available now, by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
: Fifteen-year-old Jeff Jacobson had never heard of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer who brutally murdered seventeen people more than twenty years ago. But Jeff’s life changes forever when the man he’d thought was his father hands him a government file telling him he was constructed in a laboratory only seven years ago, part of a top-secret government cloning experiment called ‘Project CAIN’.There, he was created entirely from Jeffrey Dahmer’s DNA. There are others like Jeff—those genetically engineered directly from the most notorious murderers of all time: The Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy . . . even other Jeffrey Dahmer clones. Some raised, like Jeff, in caring family environments; others within homes that mimicked the horrific early lives of the men they were created from.When the most dangerous boys are set free by the geneticist who created them, the summer of killing begins. Worse, these same teens now hold a secret weapon even more dangerous than the terrible evil they carry within. Only Jeff can help track the clones down before it’s too late. But will he catch the ‘monsters’ before becoming one himself?
Purchase Project Cain:
Geoffrey Girard is an award-winning fiction author whose works have appeared in several best-sellinganthologies 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.
Q. I’ve always been fascinated by serial killers. Is it safe to say you are, too?
A. Not that I knew, but apparently YES. The entire genesis of PROJECT CAIN came about one day in class (I teach HS English at an all-boys’ school) when the guys somehow got on the subject of serial killers. They started looking up facts and sharing “trivia questions” related to, and I was answering way too many questions. It occurred to me that afternoon that I’d spent the bulk of my life reading books about these guys, watching biography-type movies, etc. and that it was info my students were also interested in. Maybe something I could share with them via fiction. I don’t think we’re (them, me, you) alone in this interest. Beyond the natural morbid fascination, there’s a certain Romanticism that surrounds these guys in the same way 20s/30s gangsters/criminals were once considered “special.”
Q. Do you think serial killers are born or made?
A. This may be a wimp-out answer, but I think it’s usually both. Most serial killers (the ones we know of) seem to have definite physiological differences from “normal” people; differences in chemical makeup and brain functioning/formation. But most of them also had horrendous childhoods; abuse, criminal neglect, etc. In the same way a Mozart needed to be both a natural genius AND have a demanding musically-gifted stage father, you likely need both. If my parents had raised a Mozart, he’d likely have picked up my dad’s guitar and gotten some piano lessons and gone on to work professionally in music in some way; but he wouldn’t have written operas by six and become the greatest composer ever. In turn, if I’d been raised by Mozart’s father, I’d play much better with my left hand but have eventually proven a terrible disappointment. All that said: I DO believe that someone with the genetics of a killer could be raised in a loving environment, and still become a killer because of that “thing” inside. And, conversely, that I could take anyone “normal” and teach them to enjoy killing (think of the child soldiers in Africa who – through conditioning alone — get headaches if they don’t see fresh blood).
Q. You refer to science experiments that the U.S. conducted on its citizens. I’m almost afraid to ask, but was all of this fact-based?
A. I made up not one word of the experiments conducted by the US on its (and other) citizens. Most every one of these has been 100% admitted to by our government, damages paid, apologies made. Cloned serial killers are made-up fiction, but anything else, I invite and encourage anyone to look into it. I did not expect to find any of this when I started the book. One reader admitted she didn’t care for the novel but claimed to have spent a fun weekend looking up all the facts online during the read. Hearing that made me just as happy.
Q. What are some of your biggest ethical concerns related to human cloning?
A. Great question. My only concern would be how they would be “used.” Who is making these clones and WHY? A clone, for me, would be as human as anyone else. BUT, if these same humans are being used for spare parts or as soldiers or enslaved labor, etc. — and if not for these reasons, then why? – now there’s a problem.
Q. Just for fun – which is more dangerous? An army of serial killers, an army of evil clowns, or a Sharknado?
A. An army of true serial killers wouldn’t be so hot; They’d hate each other, resist almost all authority, and probably wouldn’t get the personal release/fantasy they’re looking for anyway. The evil scientists in PROJECT CAIN don’t want an army of serial killers; they want the genetics that could MAKE such a person to create bio-weapons (gases, viruses, etc). Sharknados are awesome and deadly, but too random. Just this week, evil clowns killed a Mexican drug lord at a kid’s birthday party. No, seriously. Job well done, boys. My vote is evil clowns.
Thanks so much, Geoffrey, for visiting Inspiring Insomnia!
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