Saturday 31 August 2013
Author Interview & Book Spotlight: The Cain Children by Brett Lane
Some say that Brett Lane has writing in his blood. His father made his living as a writer and both his father and his uncle had books published. However, Brett never followed in their footsteps and instead chose a life of service to his community. Brett has been doing his best to clean up the streets and make your neighborhoods safe at night for greater than fifteen years now.
Much of Brett's detailed stories stem from things that he has personally witnessed. These inspirations were not copied exactly and were tailored to fit the story and most were not very pleasant.
So how did this cop become an author?
Brett always felt that he had a story to tell, but never put much belief into his ability. That all changed when Brett located an app called "The Novelist" in the iTunes Store. The brand new app was created to bring aspiring authors together for a contest. Each week the authors when get an assignments and write a story using a certain number of words. Each week, fans would vote for their favorites and the one with the least would be out. The grand prize was the winner got their book published by the sponsors of the app.
Much to his surprise, Brett won the thing and now has his debut novel "The Cain Children" published and available for purchase through amazon.
Follow me on twitter: @brettlane0902
What stories do you like to hear, create and share?
I like to be shocked. I like books that leave you guessing where it is going to head, only to be wrong every time. I will usually be in the horror, thriller, or true crime genres.
If you were a teacher, what would be your best lesson to teach?
I would like history because there is a story to tell, but none of the strict guidelines or layout required in an English class.
What do you think is the best way to share a story?
Orally, you can put excitement and emotion into a tale and if there were any questions or misunderstandings, they can be addressed immediately.
Do you think you could survive in the wild, on your own?
I grew up camping, hiking, canoeing, backpacking, and was quite active in the Boy Scouts. I have no doubt I could survive.
What is the highest price you have ever paid for a lesson, whether teaching, sharing or learning?
I have seen guys that paid the ultimate price for lessons and mistakes. As a LEO, a simple mistake may lead to serious injury or death and sometimes the same results can come from no mistakes at all. We study the circumstances and do after action reviews to learn how to prevent the same thing from happening to others.
How do you get up every morning?
I don't sleep very well, or often. It is not unusual for me to find myself staring at the alarm clock, waiting for it to go off. When it does go off, I pull myself out of bed and take inventory of the aches and pains throughout my body.
What is the best thing a friend has ever done for you?
My wife is my best friend and she has given me the world. I often find myself not being very optimistic with my life, career, abilities, and writing... But she supports and comforts me when I need it the most.
Have you ever failed? What did you learn from the experience?
I have failed more than I have succeeded throughout my life, to the point it surprises me when something ends well. I have learned that I need to keep trying until I get it right. As an example, my best friend is the second woman I married, and this time is for good.
What is the worst thing you have ever done for or to a friend?
I am not very good at reaching out to others in their time of need. I shut down and don't want to talk when I am hurting, so I often assume others would want the same. Usually they need somebody to be there for them and I am terrible at being that guy.
Given the chance, how would you travel the world, where, and why?
My wife and I travel extensively. This is usually aboard a cruise ship, sailing somewhere warm. This is the best way to experience multiple destinations while being treated like royalty. I want to sail the Greek islands and also do a transatlantic cruise.
What place has technology in your life?
It's the focal point of my existence and I would be lost without it. I am especially in love with apple products. I wrote my entire novel on my iPad, with one hand, as I rode the train to and from work.
If your life was a book, who would you like to write it?
Dr. Seuss, it would be colorful, rhyme, and always have a happy landing.
Please tell me about your novel. Who or what was your inspiration behind it?
My novel is titled "The Cain Children" and is about scientists discovering the gene in a human beings DNA that makes them susceptible to killing for enjoyment. As the book says, not everyone with the gene turns into a serial killer, but every killer has the gene.
I have often had a curiosity for what makes killers tick, what makes them do it. There are no real answers, so I thought about what if they were just born that way and the story came from there.
What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write?
I like to scare people, I like to shock people, and truth be told, I don't mind grossing people out a little bit either.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?
My debut novel is only a few weeks old and I haven't received any feedback other than from my family. That is really the hardest part for me, being just another unread book author. If I got bad reviews, at least I would know what to change and fix for next time, but just being ignored feels like a waste.
I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the gasps and noises that my wife made as she read through each chapter of my book. She really liked it, but I guess wives are supposed too.
When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other?
Everything I have written, my novel, several short stories, several novel beginnings, and every entry I made in "The Novelist" contest was actually written on my iPads... With one hand. Most of it was while commuting to and from work on the train, so I held the iPad in one hand and typed with the other. Extremely time consuming
What do you do when you are not writing? Do you pick up some from you to be read pile?
What very little time I have left over between working, family, house/yard work, and an occasional video game goes to reading or writing. Lately there has been more of the latter.
Compared to when you first started writing, have you notice any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?
I appear to be getting better at making myself sound smarter and more put together than I really am. I often surprise myself because when I am not cussing like a sailor, I can hardly put together an actual grammatically correct sentence. I go back and read my work and think, wow, I wish I could always sound like that guy.
What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
I really like the horror genre. I look for something new and different. Ways to kill that I have never read before. Or new and unique bad guys. As an example, I thought I had been there and done that with every conceivable type of zombie a person cold dream of, but then I started reading David Moody. A whole new way to look at zombies that I really enjoyed.
What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?
Honestly my favorite part has been being in a position to strangle, stab, shoot, maim, and kill anyone in my fantasy world that I would like. I have been known to occasionally name a character/victim after someone that I don't really like.
My least favorite is not being able to do this full time. I could turn out much more, and finish much faster, if I didn't have a full time job getting in the way.
When you walk into a book store, where do you head to first? Why?
The bargain bin. I love picking up something new and interesting looking, but the price of new books, especially hard covers, are ridiculous. I would hate to drop 20 dollars on a book that can't keep me interested long enough to even finish it. I have several of those already.
Did you get to quit your day job and become an author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?
I wish I could quit my full time job (I don't call them day jobs because a lot of what I do goes on at night). I really enjoy writing and it is one of the few places in my life that I can completely control. I get to play God, or flying spaghetti monster, depending on your beliefs.
I won't say to many specifics, but I am a Special Agent with a federal agency. I have been in the law enforcement field for over fifteen years.
What has been the strangest thing that a reader has asked you?
To have sex with her, but once again my number one fan is my wife.
What is your favorite junk food vice?
Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do?
I love to travel, more specifically, cruise the Caribbean aboard a Carnival Cruise Ship.
Did you have any teacher in school that encouraged you to write? Did you take their advice?
Yes and no. In the true sense of the question, not while I was younger and in school.
However, I spent a few years assigned to a middle school as a school resource officer and I was taking night college courses at the same time. I often would ask some of the teachers I worked with to go over a paper I wrote before I turned it in. I got a lot of positive feedback from them which meant so much to me. They were professionals.
We all have our little things when it comes to reading, is there anything that bugs you when you read a novel? What is it?
I hate it when I feel like I was cheated on the ending of a book. There are times that I really enjoy a story, but by the end I get the feeling that the author can't explain why things are the way that they are, so they go with the old cliche it was aliens thing. Stephen Kings The Dome anyone? I mean even The Simpsons movie did a better job of explaining that one.
What do you listen to when you write? Do you find one type of music over another that inspires you to write? Why?
I don't listen to music when I write, my ADHD would kick in and I would never get any writing done. Just the sound of the train rolling down the tracks is the soundtrack to my writings the majority of the time.
On a typical weekend, what can we find you doing? Who are you with?
Spending time with my daughters, my wife, my mother, my yard, my grocery store, or our friends. I don't often find free time anymore and unfortunately writing takes a backseat to life.
What genre are you most looking forward to exploring during your writing career? Why?
I would love to write a children's book. I would to write something that my daughters could actually read and something that they would enjoy and make them proud of their old man.
Who was your current novel dedicated to? Any particular reason?
My family as a whole, but more specifically my wife for her support, input, critique, and her unbelievable ability to put up with me.
What are you currently reading?
The David Moody Hater series. I am on the third volume of the three, "Them or Us"
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King is the absolute best. I will also occasionally step into the fantasy world with hobbits, or wizards from Hogwarts.
What authors inspired you to write this particular novel? Why?
I try to copy Kings style, but I often think to myself about whether or not he would enjoy reading what I wrote. He is so versatile and has written so many different genres and styles.
What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?
Humorous, fun, morbid, motivated, dedicated, loyal, and Merlin
Is there anything else that you would like to share or say to those who will read this interview?
I want people to enjoy what I have to offer. I am certainly not for everyone, but give me a chance before you decide. I only ask for one thing from my fans, an opportunity.
Which is your favorite character in your book and why?
Mike. He is the good guy in every sense of the word. He saves the girls life, catches the culprit, and then reads to her while she is in a coma.
by Brett Lane
Could you take a life? Maybe, but could you kill a child?
What if you knew that the child would grow up to be a monster and there was nothing you could do to stop it... Other than euthanasia. Could you, would you, kill a seemingly innocent person (child) to protect society in the future? Would you detest those that sentence a child to the death penalty before they have even committed a crime?
In the not so distant future, scientists stumbled upon a discovery. They learned to isolate and identify the gene in a child's DNA that makes them susceptible to killing for pleasure, to become a serial murderer. Not every child with the gene kills, but every serial killer has this gene, called the Cain gene after the first murderer in the bible.
There is no cure for the gene and since not every child with the gene kills, a new government agency called the guardians is created. They are instituted to monitor the children born with the genes and to take appropriate actions once the genes manifests itself and they prove to be killers.
Only carriers of this gene can pass it along to their children, so even those that don't kill, can sire children that may.
There is the dilemma, end the outbreak by possibly killing the innocent, or eliminate all carriers to end all possible murder in the future.
Follow this story of the Cain children as well as the scientists that monitor them while posing as their parents.
This book is not for the faint of heart as it contains descriptive accounts of murders, rape, and torture.
Volume one. Jonathan Cain
- 1 -
Young Johnny came into the house after playing alone in the woods, as he was often known to do. He walked towards the kitchen to grab a drink and to see what his mom was making for dinner. The house was eerily quiet but both cars were in the driveway, so his parents had to be home.
As he turned the corner to the kitchen he could hear his mother's sobs and his father speaking in a low voice. The last thing he heard his father say was "he goes stage six," and his mother answered, "but..."
Before she said more, his father looked up, saw Johnny, and nodded in his direction. His mother, with her puffy, bloodshot eyes, looks over her shoulder at him. "Oh, Jonathan Cain, what did you do?"
Johnny didn't know what his mother was talking about, or better yet, he couldn't decide which thing she was talking about. She could be referring to any number of things, some of course were worse than others. He decided to go pull out the big guns just in case it was one of the latter.
His father left the room and Johnny walked towards his mother and was about to give her the puppy dog eyes that she could never resist. That always works.
He was almost at arms length from her when he was grabbed from behind. There was some type of cloth being held over his mouth and nose. Johnny’s head immediately started swimming and the back of his throat felt like it was on fire. The look in his mother's eyes was sheer horror, but not at whoever was attacking him. No, she seemed to be horrified of Johnny.
He heard his father whisper in his ear, "Goodbye, son," and the room was starting to grow darker. Johnny's hands that were grasping at that foul smelling cloth now weighed a ton and his arms dropped to his sides.
The last thing that Johnny saw in this world was his pet baby kitten. The kitten that he burned, skinned, broke, and tortured all while it was still breathing, before he finally brought it to its death. The kitten that he feigned being upset over it “running away” to his parents. The kitten whose body he kept in a shoe box because it sexually excited him to look at what he did to it. That box was laying on the table with the lid off. Then there was total blackness.
The following morning newspapers obituary section had Jonathan Cain's cause of death listed as a massive asthma attack exactly two months before his fourteenth birthday.
Books and Tales will be closing in January 2018.