From his early childhood, G.A. Minton has always been a diehard fan of science fiction and horror. Whenever a scary movie was playing down at the local theatre, he was there in attendance with his friends, loudly screaming in terror alongside them. G.A. enjoys many hobbies, but the game of golf is one of his favorites, having lettered on his high school golf team. Besides writing, he also enjoys reading, traveling, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, working out, listening to hard rock music, and watching great movies—especially those genres that encompass horror, science fiction, mystery, and comedy. G.A. is married, and lives in Texas with his wife, a son and daughter, and two Bengal cats.
Strangely enough, it was only after G.A. was rear-ended by a drunk driver and suffered a closed-head injury, that he developed a newfound passion for writing (even though this story has the makings for a cheesy Stephen King horror novel, it is nonetheless true—he is now called “the savant horror writer” by his friends).
G.A. penned his first novel, Trisomy XXI, which oddly enough also has 21 chapters, in only three months. He begins with chapter one and writes in a freestyle manner—almost in a stream of consciousness—using no outlines, formats, or templates to assist him. The narrative flows freely from his vivid imagination, creating a thrilling tale of terror that is formed from an ordered sequence of events.
After his devastating car accident, G.A. suffered from both memory loss and problems communicating with others, which frustrated him to no end. After numerous visits with the neurologist and weeks of taking medication used by patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, G.A.’s brain slowly began to mend itself. But now, after completion of the healing process, something was very different. G.A. noticed that he had developed this overwhelming urge, this compulsive drive to put on paper a story that had formed de novo in his mind. That’s how Trisomy XXI was born. One could surmise that the damaged neurons in G.A.’s frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a different pattern, thereby enhancing the creative elements in his brain. God only knows. . .stranger things have happened!
G.A. has recently completed his second novel, a dark, supernatural tale of horror that takes Good vs. Evil to a whole new level. Currently, his brain is busy at work, meticulously processing the text for another story of the macabre—one that will both entertain and horrify its unsuspecting reader!
Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Trisomy XXI. To begin with, can you gives us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?
A: Trisomy XXI is a story about the thrilling adventures of Joshua Allen, a sixteen-year-old boy who was born with an extra chromosome—a genetic aberration known as Trisomy XXI, or Down Syndrome. When a serious accident leaves him in a coma at the hospital, Joshua receives a mysterious injection that endows him with supernatural powers. The transformed teen is linked to a string of bizarre, unexplained deaths that have both the town’s sheriff and the coroner completely baffled. But when a ghastly creature from another planet lands on Earth and begins its hunt for Joshua—viciously slaughtering anyone in its path in order to complete its deadly mission—Joshua and his friends are thrown into a world of horror that is totally out of control. What follows is a horrific life-and-death struggle with the seemingly-indestructible extraterrestrial being. The salvation of an entire race of aliens hangs in the balance!
I was inspired to write creatively after sustaining a closed-head injury when rear-ended in my car by a drunk driver traveling at 80 to 90 mph. Immediately after the accident, I suffered from memory loss and aphasia, a problem with expressing my speech and communicating with others. When the damage to my brain finally healed, I was left with an overwhelming desire to write a story, hence, the birth of Trisomy XXI. From my earliest recollections as a young child, I have always loved the genres of horror and science fiction.
Q: What do you think makes a good horror story? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?
A: There are multiple components that contribute to the makings of a good horror story, so it is very difficult to narrow it down to only three essentials. I believe that three of the most important elements are fear, surprise, and mystery. Utilizing various writing skills, an author can use fear, especially fear of the unknown, as a tool to scare the reader. The element of surprise is another important component of any good horror story, if used properly. Mystery, often involving murder(s) with an unknown killer(s), can be used to keep the reader’s interest in the story trying to guess who is the culprit. When the elements of fear, surprise, and mystery are all combined in a synergistic fashion, then it makes for one helluva great horror story!
Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?
A: After my brain healed from the devastating car accident that I was involved in, I have fortunately been able to conceptualize the storylines for my novels as I write—similar to a free-flowing stream of consciousness—thus allowing the creativity of my mind to function as if it were on autodrive.
Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?
A: Joshua Allen, the sixteen-year-old boy with Down Syndrome and the protagonist of Trisomy XXI, was invented in the grey matter of my mind. The character was loosely based on a mentally-challenged cousin of mine, who I shared many wonderful experiences with during my childhood years. Unfortunately, he succumbed to cancer as a young man a long time ago.
Q: In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?
A: Without giving away any of the storyline, there is more than one antagonist in Trisomy XXI. The main antagonist, though, was horrifically spawned from the deepest reaches of my inner mind!
Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?
A: That’s why it’s called creative writing! As an author, it is imperative to not only create life-like and interesting characters, but also to develop their personalities. Be sure to make their dialogue both engaging and thought-provoking, and don’t forget to leave something to the reader’s imagination. Leave enough information out of the story in order to pique the reader’s curiosity—provide just enough of a savory taste to stimulate their appetite.
Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?
A: The setting, especially in a tale of horror, sets the mood for the story, and enables the writer to intertwine the plot to the setting. If the setting is based on a real location, it helps if the author is familiar with its geography, terrain, etc. Make sure that the setting you choose for your story will have the proper atmosphere for your genre.
Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?
A: When conceptualizing the storyline for Trisomy XXI, the underlying messages or themes fell into play as I concocted this thrilling tale of horror, science fiction, and mystery. Without getting too esoteric, I try to relay positive fundamental messages of goodness, morality, and humanity that will transcend every culture of man living on this big blue ball we call planet Earth.
Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?
A: The craft and art of writing should blend together, becoming one, creating an art form that can be enjoyed by its reader. The editing process should be accomplished so as not to detract from or eliminate any of the unique creativity that its author has contributed.
Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?
A: Writing talent, discipline, and creativity (a little luck along the way never hurts, either)!
Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. What do you think about that?
A: For me, I don’t view writing as having to do homework. I have a passion for writing, and fortunately for me, it comes quite easily. I am able to pen my novels freestyle, almost in a stream of consciousness, relying on no outlines, formats, diagrams, or templates for assistance—the narrative is able to flow freely from my imagination, ending up with a storyline that contains an ordered sequence of events. To me, it’s a creative art form, much like painting—each stroke of the brush is analogous to writing a sentence. When the artist has delivered enough brushstrokes to the canvas, a beautiful painting is created, similar to an author penning a given number of sentences together to produce a thrilling novel.
Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?
A: Read, read, and then read some more—it’s all about learning, and fine-tuning your craft. Select any pertinent information about writing on the web, in book form, or through a workshop that you think will be beneficial for you, and would help to make you a better writer.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?
A: In order to better hone your craft, read as many books by different authors as you can. If you truly have a love for writing, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged—and most importantly, never give up. Perge!
Title: TRISOMY XXI
Author: G.A. Minton
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
http://amzn.com/B01D3OSZ38 for eBook at Amazon
http://amzn.com/1629894443 for Paperback at Amazon
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trisomy-xxi-g-a-minton/1123520769?ean=9781629894447 for eBook and Paperback at Barnes & Noble
https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Trisomy+XXI for eBook at Smashwords
http://www.worldcastlepublishing.com/author_g_a_minton.html for Paperback and eBook at World Castle Publishing website
https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/trisomy-xxi for 5-Star Reviews at Readers’ Favorite
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29546925-trisomy-xxi?from_search=true&search_version=service for 5-Star review of TRISOMY XXI at Goodreads website
About the Book:
Sixteen-year-old Joshua Allen was born with an extra chromosome—a genetic aberration known as Trisomy XXI, or Down Syndrome. A serious accident leaves the mentally-challenged adolescent in a coma at the hospital, where he receives a mysterious injection that endows him with supernatural powers.
The transformed teen is linked to a string of bizarre, unexplained deaths in town that have both the sheriff and the coroner baffled. A ghastly creature from another planet lands on Earth and begins its hunt for the teenager—viciously slaughtering anyone in its path in order to complete its deadly mission.
The salvation of an entire race of aliens is in the balance, as Joshua and his friends are thrown into a horrific life-and-death struggle with the seemingly indestructible extraterrestrial being.
TRISOMY XXI provides an epicurean feast of horror, science fiction, and mystery—all seasoned with a pinch of humor that will satiate the appetite of even the most gourmet of readers. If the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Michael Crichton were ever to have collectively penned a spine-tingling tale of horror, this would be it!
Delivering a roller-coaster ride full of thrills for its unsuspecting audience, TRISOMY XXI will intrigue every intelligent reader with its alluring array of unforeseen twists and turns. Packed with tension and excitement, this chimeric version of Alien meets The Thing is a powerful story that is guaranteed to capture your immediate attention. You won’t be able to put this book down!