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Monday, November 4, 2013

First Friday Five Favorite Things - Project Cain

by Geoffrey Girard

Geoffrey Girard

1] What is your favorite line or paragraph from the novel as it relates to the main character's development and/or growth? 

I didn’t want to know any of this. I didn’t want to know anything about what was really going on. I didn’t want to know how the world really worked. I wanted to be clueless like everybody else.

There are other lines later I like “better” but they’re major spoilers regarding Jeff’s growth/development. The first half of the book, Jeff is mostly confused and scared. A little more than halfway through, he’s here, at this line. Now, he knows too much. Truths about money and our military, violence and science. Truths that most of us never have to think about. Jeff, at this point, thinks it’d be easier to be like everyone else again. Focused on things like Miley Cyrus and Peyton Manning.

2] What is your favorite chapter ending or cliffhanger? 

A woman. Lying on the second bed facing the ceiling. She was wearing a long black dress. Her arms extended on either side like Christ, fingers hanging lifeless off the sides of the bed. There was something wrong with her face. It was too, too white. She was wearing a mask of some kind, I decided. Its cheeks and lips painted dark dark red. Redder than the sun. I could not see the eyes. Until she turned.

This is the nightmare woman who plagues Jeff Jacobson throughout much of the book. A personification of many fears he must face. She wasn’t in the book originally but while writing as Jeff one day, she came fully formed in my head. And I (like Jeff) couldn’t shake her.

3] Who is your favorite secondary character and why? 

Everyone likes Ox, and I do too. He’s based on a real person and I think that helps. BUT, for PROJECT CAIN, I kinda like Amanda Klosterman. She’s a girl Jeff met at science camp years before. Not a romantic interest, but someone who once loved Jeff unconditionally… if only for a week. She’s a bit of the “anti-scientist” in the mix. Not always controlling or trying to “figure things out.” Jeff’s whole life has always been the exact opposite. Amanda just embraces things for what they are. Jeff eventually admits to her about these “faces” he often sees: hallucinations/ghosts, and then reports of Amanda: “She smiled so big. And then told me I was lucky. Said I’d probably never know who these faces or people are and that meant they could be anything.”

4] What is your favorite line or paragraph of description? 

That shriveled corpse on the other side maybe prying himself free from the cold box. Maybe now pushing slowly off the table, dragging across the floor and up against the other side of the door. The skeletal hand moving against the inside wall. Long brown nails clawing at the door to lift himself up fully. The rotted skin and filthy burial shroud hanging off cold dry bones. The endless eye sockets glistening like imploding black stars in that dark room. Fingers now taking hold of the latch… 

I finished CAIN’S BLOOD (the adult version) first and wasn’t immediately sure if I’d have a whole different  story/version for Jeff to tell himself. This dead body is just mentioned once in CAIN’S BLOOD, but in PROJECT CAIN Jeff spends more time in the room (it’s in his house!) and starts imagining all sorts of terrible things. I got to this scene in my second day of writing and knew then that Jeff had a story to tell that is completely his.

5] What is your favorite line of dialogue? 

“I’m Castillo,” he said and held out his hand.

“Hi,” I shook his hand. “I’m Jeffrey Dahmer.”

This is the line when Jeff Jacobson and Shawn Castillo first meet. It’s one of the few lines that remains from a novella I wrote in 2007 that became the basis for the two CAIN books. There’s just something horrific and innocent and funny and god awful about Jeff’s line. Now, whether or not the line is true is the question at hand…

Congratulations to Geoffrey Girard for his debut YA novel Project Cain and his adult techno thriller, Cain’s Blood. To read more, please go to:

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