Marcus Lanehart has lived a lonely life in San Diego. He is haunted by recent loss in his personal life, as well as being disowned by his family for being gay. Most of the aristocratic, wealthy, and right-wing Lanehart family still live under one roof at Ten Points, a 197-year-old former cotton plantation in north Louisiana.
Marcus returns home after the death of his father, but a dysfunctional family of characters is the least of what awaits. His sister Flannery, a pariah for reasons only a select few seem to know about, is also begrudgingly welcomed back. It soon becomes clear their older brother Geoffrey has fallen under the influence of a demon named Conrad, whose sadistic and sometimes sexual manipulation of the household—and uninvited invasion of Marcus’ dreams—sets the stage for the affluent family’s ultimate destruction.
I wrote so many stories as a child, and I honestly don’t remember the first I ever wrote. However, when I was in kindergarten we had this “news” part of the class once a week or so. It worked kind of like “show and tell.” We stood in front of the class and talked about what went on at home, what we did after school, and all of that. For one of these, I had watched The Wizard of Oz on TV the night before. I started telling the entire plot of the movie to the class, as if I had thought up this story all on my own. The teacher disappeared from the classroom during my telling of this great story and then reappeared a few minutes later. I was sent down to one of the other classes to tell them the story! It went on and on throughout the day. By the end of the day, the sixth grade class was brought in to hear me rehash the plot of the movie all over again. I thought I had entertained everyone, and I guess I did. Obviously they all knew what The Wizard of Oz was, but I guess I added something special to it. I was only five years old, so I have no idea what it was that inspired the whole school to have to hear it from me! L. Frank Baum probably rolled over in his grave a couple of times that day.
As far as Atticus goes in Mockingbird, who wouldn’t want to hear from a guy who did the right thing, as unpopular as it made him, in the 1930’s Deep South? I would have to ask him what it was like to walk down the street each day, as he did, to and from his law practice as he faced oppression head-on — and won. Harper Lee created one of the most memorable and honorable characters in American fiction when she wrote that book.
Certainly not the traditional things. I have a great fear of the unknown. I am not a patient person. I want things to happen right here and right now, damn it, and I want a clear vision of what’s ahead much of the time. I think not knowing whether I will succeed or fail at something scares me, but I usually decide to take a chance anyway.
I’ve already spoken of Atticus Finch, who is probably my favorite hero, so I will have to choose a villain. I think that would be Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. I read this and Hannibal by Thomas Harris. Harris did an outstanding job bringing the character to life. Of course, Lecter is a psychopath, but he still takes on anti-hero qualities at times. In a strange and perverse way, he is fascinated with, protective of, and perhaps even in love with Clarice Starling. For some there is no doubt about the latter part, but let’s not forget what motivates Lecter. And who can forget Anthony Hopkins in the movie versions? I’ve only read the two books once, but I’ll stop everything I’m doing and watch The Silence of the Lambs anytime it plays on TV.
The hardest part for me is usually the first sentence. The rest will come. I can have the story I think I want in my head, but sometimes the starting point is the most difficult. And often it takes on its own life and doesn’t end up the same way it began. I based the architectural style of Ten Points in my novel The Incubus and The Others off the Nottoway Plantation near Baton Rouge. I downloaded a painted portrait of the house on my iPad and stared at it quite a bit before I could ever start to write on my laptop. Then when I did, the story flowed, grew like one of the great oak trees in the plantation yard, and went in directions I never expected it would go.
I love writing about the paranormal and things I don’t fully believe can ever happen. There are a lot of things symbolic and metaphorical of real life in what I write, and I make it that way intentionally, but I’m not sure I could write a novel about real people doing real things. That doesn’t feel interesting or intriguing to me at this stage of my writing career, but I never say never.
Trent St. Germain is the author of The Incubus and The Others in the Ten Points series. He’s currently at work on book two in the series.
St. Germain is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He lived for eleven years on the West Coast, returned to north Louisiana in 2010, and then made his way back to southern California in 2015.
St. Germain also enjoys the gym, running, other outdoor activities, and reading when he isn’t writing. He is also a self-proclaimed “pop culture nerd.” Don’t get him started on anything 1980’s!
St. Germain enjoys corresponding with readers and other writers. You can find him on his sitewww.trentstgermain.com, Facebook, and Twitter.