How did you know you wanted to be an author?: The surreal story behind the birth of Trisomy XXI and Antitheus harken me back to Mark Twain’s old adage that “truth is stranger than fiction.” I’ll try to be brief, but please allow me to start from the beginning. A few years ago, I was rear-ended by a speeding, drunk driver, who totaled my car and landed me in the hospital emergency room. As a result of this devastating car crash, I sustained a closed-head injury, which not only adversely affected my memory, but also posed problems with my abilities to communicate with others. After months of seeing a neurologist and taking medication used to treat patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Dementia, my damaged brain slowly healed itself. But during my recovery, I noticed that something had changed in regards to my thought processes. As bizarre as it may sound, I had developed a newfound passion for writing, an overwhelming urge to pen a story—resulting in the birth of my first novel, Trisomy XXI. Somehow, the damaged neurons in my frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a new and different configuration, thereby enhancing the creative abilities of my brain (a rare form of savantism known as acquired savant syndrome, which is defined as “a person who acquires prodigious capabilities or skills following dementia, a head injury or severe blow to the head, or other disturbance”). Trisomy XXI, like my new novel, Antitheus, came to me from out of the blue, somehow spawned de novo in my mind. I didn’t choose to be an author…it chose me. Weirdly enough, it was a car accident that was responsible for my newfound passion for creative writing (a true story, even though it sounds like a twisted plot from a Stephen King novel). Prior to my car accident, I had neither the desire nor the training to write anything of a literary or creative nature, much less a novel. It was only after my brain had healed from the closed head injury that a number of ideas for dark stories erupted from my newly-enhanced imagination!
What is your advice for aspiring authors?: In my humble opinion, there are three important things needed in order for a writer to become successful: writing talent, discipline, and creativity (a little luck along the way never hurts, either)! Language is how we communicate. If you don’t pick the right words to use in a sentence, then you risk not being able to connect with the reader. Words to an author are like colors to a painter—you have to choose the most effective ones in order to create a masterpiece that will be enjoyed and appreciated by its observer. 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 make you a better writer. In order to hone your craft, read as many books by different authors as you can. Novice authors looking to get their work published by a reputable book publisher need to first write a great story, then compose a compelling cover letter and synopsis to catch the eye of the submission editor. If you truly have a love for writing, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged—and most importantly, never give up!
Do you have any writing rituals or practices?: I use no outlines, templates, or notes when writing my novels, transposing my thoughts to paper in a stream of consciousness, free-style manner. Since I’m a perfectionist, and a little obsessive-compulsive to boot, after I complete a chapter in my novel, I go back through it and make any needed revisions before continuing on to write the next chapter. When I’ve finished a manuscript, I go back to the beginning and re-edit it in its entirety. Only when I’m completely satisfied with my editing job do I submit the entire book to my editor and publisher for the final rounds of professional editing.
What message do you want readers to remember?: I write because it gives me the freedom to openly express my creativity—a way to transcribe my thoughts and allow my imagination to go into overdrive. I love the sense of fulfilment received while penning a story down on paper. Writing has allowed me to connect with others through my novels, hopefully stirring up those emotions that will bring excitement and entertainment to all of my readers. Writing also gives me peace of mind, a sense of accomplishment, and teaches me patience—a necessity for any author who wishes to write well. Just being able to put your thoughts down on paper, creating an entertaining story that can both be shared and enjoyed by others, will give you an adrenaline rush that no amusement park ride can even come close to. To me, that is what’s great about being a writer!
How can fans get in contact with you?: My author webpage is https://www.gaminton.com