Truth is stranger than fiction, they tell me. I’m a believer in that adage, because it happened to me and it has changed my life! This is how my new novel, Antitheus, and my debut novel, Trisomy XXI, came into being. Antitheus, which will be released October 16, 2017, is a dark, supernatural tale of horror that takes Good versus Evil to a whole new level. The way in which Antitheus and Trisomy XXI came into being is even more surreal than their storylines. Let me start from the beginning. A few years ago, I was rear-ended by a speeding, drunk driver, which totaled my car and landed me in the hospital emergency room with a closed-head injury. As a result of this devastating accident, I was left with memory loss and aphasia, resulting in problems with expressing my speech and communicating with others.
After numerous visits to a neurologist and months of taking medication used by patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, my injured brain slowly began to mend itself. But when the damage to my brain finally healed, I noticed something very different in my thought patterns. Now, I had this overwhelming urge, this compulsive desire to put on paper a fascinating story that my mind had mysteriously created. I can’t explain it, but my thoughts were now primarily focused on writing this tale of horror. That’s how Trisomy XXI was born. One could only surmise that the damaged neurons in my frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a different pattern, thereby enhancing the creative elements of my brain. God only knows…stranger things have happened! 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 something conjured up from the twisted mind of Stephen King).
Prior to my accident, I had neither the desire nor the ability to write anything of a creative nature. It was only after my brain had healed from the closed head injury I sustained that a number of dark tales spontaneously erupted from my newly-acquired neuronal network. I can’t put it into words, but these story visions came to me from out of the blue, much like an epiphany, or something spawned de novo in my mind. I’ve now amassed a long list of new concepts for tales of the macabre…I only hope that I’ll have the time to write them all! Antitheus, like many of my other ideas for stories, appeared to me while writing Trisomy XXI. As soon as I finished penning Trisomy XXI, I immediately started composing my second novel, Antitheus. Like Trisomy XXI, Antitheus was written in a stream of consciousness-like manner, taking me around three months to finish. I don’t use any outlines or notes, and my writing inexplicably flows in a freestyle fashion, starting with chapter one and ending upon completion of the novel. Coincidentally, when I finished writing Trisomy XXI, it ended up having 21 chapters…while the evil Antitheus has 13!
From my earliest recollections as a young child, I’ve always loved the genres of horror and science fiction, so that’s probably where Antitheus and Trisomy XXI were spawned—from the deepest reaches of my inner mind. As a result of my savant-like experience, I am now able to pen novels in a freestyle fashion, almost in a stream of consciousness, relying on no outlines, formats, or templates for any assistance. Fortunately, the narrative is able to flow freely from my vivid imagination, ending up with a thrilling storyline that contains an ordered sequence of events for its reader.
The definition of a savant is “a person who does not have normal intelligence but who has very unusual mental abilities that other people do not have.” Savant syndrome “is a condition in which a person with a mental disability, such as an autism spectrum disorder, demonstrates profound and prodigious capacities or abilities far in excess of what would be considered normal.” I do know that I don’t have savant syndrome, because I am not autistic, and my IQ has been measured at 161. Another form of savantism, known as acquired savant syndrome, is attributed to “a person who acquires prodigious capabilities or skills following dementia, a head injury or severe blow to the head, or other disturbance.” According to medical studies, acquired savant syndrome is an extremely rare condition, affecting very few people in the world. This is apparently what happened to me. I consider it to be a gift (though at the time, I didn’t think so), therefore, as long as I can retain this newfound ability, I will continue to write—especially since I do have a passion for it!
Because of the strange happenings associated with the head injury I sustained and the resultant ability to write creatively, it appears that my surreal experience is indeed a part of the whole scheme of things—I can’t wait to see what comes next! As a result, I have developed a passion for writing, which is now a labor of love for me. Writing has also allowed me to connect with others through my stories, hopefully stirring up those emotions that will bring excitement and entertainment to all of my readers. Penning a thrilling tale of horror provides peace of mind, a sense of accomplishment, and teaches me patience—a necessity for any author who wishes to write well. An author must always remember that “The pen is mightier than the sword!” My goal in writing Antitheus and Trisomy XXI was to produce a thrilling tale of mystery, horror, and science fiction that would mesmerize, enthrall, and horrify its reader. If readers derive enjoyment from my book and are unable to put it down, then I will have accomplished my mission!