Author Gary Turcotte stopped by to answer some questions about his newest book "Monster Heart."
So, when did you start writing?
Although I've published 11 books since 2008, I really don't consider myself a writer. I didn't set out to publish any. I don't know where the stories come from......I got divorced when my daughter was 10. I was lucky enough to get full custody. I bought her a computer for school work, but the nights that she was away at her mother's house, I spent in the den writing stories to escape the loneliness. One manuscript rolled into another and soon there were five.
What made you decide to pursue getting them published?
I met a woman whose passion was to be an author, but she struggled to get three chapters written in four years. I told her I had written five books by accident, I showed her my hobble books, sitting on a shelf in the basement. She found Outskirts Press and encouraged me to publish them.
Tell us about this latest book.
Monster Heart is the story about a High School football star that turns to drugs to enhance his game. He experiments with steroids and other mind altering drugs. He loses his High School sweetheart, to drugs and alcohol. Francis mixed any drugs that he can get his hands on; risking his mental and physical health. He became delusional and he can't distinguish what is real or part of his drug induced illusions. He's involved in heinous crimes that he has trouble remembering. Pimples, cyst, cuts, and dark circles under his eyes, make him look like the monster that the drugs have created. The terrible reality is that this story is happening to today’s youth. The Monster lurks nearby. Don't let it get your children!
Who was your favorite character to create?
My favorite character is Francis, he's a focused football star, but his friend and workout partner Patrick was a bad influence. Francis' mother pampered him, and showed support-------he reveals his soft side. He had a big heart and once he saw the damage he had done to his family, he went to all cost to make things right.
What was your favorite scene to write?
My favorite scene is when Francis is high on a mixture of pills and alcohol; he runs the railroad tracks in the center of town until he's caught in a downpour. He hides in a neighbor's shed-------the storm intensifies and he watched the rain through a knot hole in the wall. Thunder and lightning roll in with the storm and Francis is terrified. He thinks the lightning will hit his eye while he watches it. He panics and breaks out of the shed running for his life. I liked seeing the big monster frightened by nature------besides Frankenstein and lightning are a must in this story, but not in a corny way with electrodes and operating table.
Are these characters new to the Frankenstein story?
Yes. All the characters are mine and fictional.
Why the new twist on an old story?
I used the iconic Frankenstein to attract readers, (every writer wants to be read) I used a play on words and my character was Frank N. Stein. A modern day monster------ the monster is really drug addiction, and happening to a super sized athlete with stars in his eyes. I didn't want to write a remake, or take away from the Frankenstein of yesterday. I just wanted to use similarities of the two, and trust me when I say that Francis Norman Stein is truly a monster and not a let down to anyone expecting to read a monster story.
Is there a message in this story?
The message in MONSTER HEART -------Even the mighty can fall. Those thought to have it all fall prey to drugs and bad influence. Francis' choices affected everyone-----his mother,father, friends and neighbors.
Why this topic?
I chose the topic of prescription drug edition to turn a once ambitious teenager into a monster because it’s happening daily to families----people can relate. The best fiction stories are believable, interesting, entertaining and not too predictable.
Do you have anything new in the works?
I have a 12th book in production with Outskirts, it should be released by Jan 2011 titled “Tom and the Troubled Teens: Suicide Seth” Tom is unemployed, his benefits run out and he takes a job as a substitute teacher at a private school. The guidance councilor gets caught drunk driving and is forced to resign. Tom is asked to fill his spot and soon discovers secret files about the most troubled teens. He stumbles onto an online suicide club that some of the students frequent. One student 'Seth' poses as a councilor on the site and advises kids to confront their fears and end their lives. Tom is not a trained councilor and doesn't know what to do. He confides in the Principal, but she is aware of the problem and wants it swept under the rug since the school is funded by tuition and donations by alumni. The reputation for a safe and mentally stable school population is the most important thing to her, even if it's not so.
I have another one half done, targeted for March release 2011 'Brutus the Baby Snatcher.'
Where else can we find you on the web?
I will have Facebook up and running soon. I'm new at it; hopefully I'll be a quick learner.
Sounds like an interesting story! Thanks so much for stopping by Page Readers!