5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Indie Author Interview: Lucas Aubrey Paynter

Indie Author Interview with Lucas Aubrey Paynter - Author of the Science-Fiction / Fantasy Novel Outcasts of the Worlds.

Lucas Aubrey Paynter holds a Creative Writing degree from California State University Northridge--which looks really good when one talks about how they want to write for a living. A fan of engaging storytelling in any medium, he spent years developing the worlds, characters and conflicts that Flynn and his company encounter, before settling at his desk and writing Outcasts of the Worlds, the first part of a much larger tale to come.

Interview with Lucas Aubrey Paynter

Author Lucas Aubrey Paynter
Author Lucas Aubrey Paynter
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Lucas Aubrey Paynter: I've been part of a number of projects that have never seen completion, so while I've been writing for a long time, a tragically small amount has made it to the open world. Aside from this book, my only other published work is a short story I wrote in college called The Arm in the Wall—it was a miraculous combination of inspiration and success, and it made it into the school's literary magazine. It was a stroke of luck as much as anything else, and I published Outcasts of the Worlds under the imprint "Arm in the Wall Books" in hopes that it would enjoy similar, positive reception.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
Like any fantasy author worth their salt (and probably a few that aren't) I of course grew up on Tolkien. I read a great deal of Piers Anthony in high school—and while there are trappings and practices of his that I'm less fond of, I still appreciate his work.
That said, I consider myself more multimedia influenced, and consider Joss Whedon one of my biggest inspirations. Before Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I never paid so much attention to how characters speak and interact. I could list a host of writers in a variety of different mediums—from Himoru Awakawa of Fullmetal Alchemist to Ragnar Tørnquist, who wrote the game Dreamfall: The Longest Journey—who have impacted me in different ways. The list would get ginormous though, so we'll stop there.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
Back in high school I read Piers Anthony's Crewel Lye. The author's notes had Piers replying to a common question about how one becomes a writer and though I'd been crafting characters and plots for years, the idea that I could identify as a writer had never occurred to me ... for some reason. It became something I integrated into my identity and I spent some time teaching myself how to write through practice and observation.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The short answer would be Outcasts of the Worlds, but this is because so many of the ideas were rooted in different sources I developed from when I was a young boy to a teenager that some characters and concepts exist in the book by name only. It did exist in different forms in different stages and I kept coming back to it again and again for years before I buckled down and turned it into a novel.

"Half the time though, I'm revisiting what I just wrote the previous day."

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?

I try to find the right music—I usually use video game or (less often) movie soundtracks, as I tend to want ambiance without words. Sometimes I know where I'm going and dive right in. Half the time though, I'm revisiting what I just wrote the previous day. I do this in part to get back on the same groove, but also to edit what I recently wrote and see if I was half as smart as I thought I was the day before. This might mean I spend more time on a given day redrafting what I thought was finished than doing something new.

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
Messier than it should be. Comics to my right, collectible figures up above. I have a book about the human body for basic biological reference and a poster from the original Silent Hill video game. I have a stuffed crocodile named "Crocwalk." I clean up the odds and ends and then—wouldn't you know it? I buy more comics.

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
The easiest part is the brainstorming, which involves no actual writing. I think of ideas and scenarios and melodrama and I feel freaking brilliant doing it. Then I sit down and realize half the ideas aren't gelling because it turns out that between points A and C? There's a B I've got to account for.
I could probably make a detailed list of "hardest" to varying degrees, but I'll just leave it at "action scenes" for now. I love a good fight in any other medium, but trying to write something out and hoping people will visualize it half the way you described it is a frustrating endeavor.

"Having people read my work and like it."

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having people read my work and like it. When I write, I do so believing it means something to me on some level, but until someone connects to it, I don't know if I've succeeded or if I'm just blowing hot air. It's an amazing relief to know I wasn't just blowing hot air.

Lucas, please tell us a little about your SciFi / Fantasy Novel Outcasts of the Worlds.
Outcasts' plot ties around Flynn, a formerly amoral manipulator who, on the outset of the plot, has been struck with a conscience and is trying to reconcile what he feels now with the things he's done. As other people are drawn into his life, the question is repeatedly posed to whether or not he's just using the people around them or if some part of him genuinely wants to do the right thing, as well as what he can do and how far he can go to make up for all the people he hurt.
Flynn is joined early on by a brusque and dangerous woman named Jean and her all-too-easygoing friend, Mack, and by others throughout the course of the story as they escape the ruined Earth that was their home to other worlds, all seemingly different but connected by a darker undercurrent. The heroes are not always heroic and their foes may not always be so villainous as one expects.
Outcasts of the Worlds is the first book of a larger, worlds-spanning saga to come.

Outcasts of the Worlds (Lucas Aubrey Paynter)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
Once upon a time, the answer would have been just the love for epic fantasy/adventure stories. Strictly speaking, that hasn't stopped being true. Along the way though, I became more invested with the question of why heroic characters do what they do, and why they are the exception and not the rule of a world (or in this case, worlds) in peril.
Responsibility became a defining theme that helped the story find a great deal of focus, but it was ultimately the conflict of selflessness versus selfishness that made it what it is. I want dearly to believe in heroes but find the idea of absolute heroism a hard enough trait to find in one person, let alone many. If someone does stand up, is it because they're out to do the right thing or, on some level, are they in it for themselves?

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
If you like ensemble casts, you might like my book. If you like epic fantasy but don't want something traditional, per se ... you might like my book. If you're up for seeing characters struggle between what's right and what's right for them, you might also like my book! If you're looking for a Cold War political thriller... you'll be disappointed, but don't let that stop you!
I don't want to outright say, "if you like BLANK then you will like my book," since you might get something entirely different out of BLANK than I would, and guaranteeing anyone will like anything is probably a kiss of death.
But if you've come this far and you want to read it, it's available online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Feedbooks (where it's mysteriously on the best seller list) and probably other places. It can be purchased now in eBook and paperback! If you're feeling really bold, walk into a Barnes and Noble and special order it!

How long did it take it to write the book?
The story and characters of Outcasts has been in development for well over a decade, but when I buckled down and started writing, I began in February 2013 and I finished in mid-August. That same night, I began the first batch of proofreading, and wasn't able to call it "done" for another week and a half after. I did not know then how much more editing and proofing yet waited.

"Write hard because thinking is great but it gets nothing done."

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
Write hard because thinking is great but it gets nothing done. Also, try not to write for the sake of it or to fill space; have it mean something to you and make sure whatever you put into the story means something to it. Any advice beyond this will be scatterbrained; there's so much to say and no coherent channel to say it!

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
As mentioned earlier, Outcasts of the Worlds is the first book in a larger saga (purchasers of the paperback can confirm this with a big shiny "I" on the side!). As a longer road still waits, I'm already knee-deep in book 2: Killers, Traitors and Runaways.

"[...] an entire generation is raised entirely on Kindle" 

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I've heard about digital conquering in a variety of fields and, to be honest, I scoff at the notion. Digital is here to stay, yes, but it's not the be-all-end-all solution to anything. Book stores may (and I stress, may) become more scarce, but specialty stores will likely stick around and books themselves aren't going anywhere.
If the infrastructure is in place that an entire generation is raised entirely on Kindle, maybe we'll talk. But if they're all reading, that might not be an entirely bad thing.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
Though I've written a book that is assuredly ebooked, I've done little ebooking myself! I have done a bit of reading on my Android phone, and one book I read I alternated back and forth between said phone and my computer.
I'm more of an analog reader myself still, but there are definite pros to going digital. For one thing, I prefer to read one-handed, and fighting the ever-closing spine can hurt after a while!

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
If I'm not writing, I'm watching TV shows (live action or animated) or I'm playing video games or maybe (just maybe!) I'm reading. I do try to make sure I'm exercising regularly, since sitting vacantly at a computer monitor is a surprisingly sedentary lifestyle!

How can readers connect with you?
For general info, readers (prospective and otherwise) can check out www.outcastsoftheworlds.com
I also have a twitter account, @OutcastsWorlds
To be honest though, I'm a bit clumsy with social networking in general. Still, I'm a bit fonder of Facebook, since I don't feel pressured to spam information out in hopes that people will notice it. Anyone interested in Outcasts of the Worlds can find the FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/outcastsoftheworlds

Thank you very much for the Interview, Lucas.

About the Book Outcasts of the Worlds

Outcasts of the Worlds (Lucas Aubrey Paynter)
Click to Read an Excerpt
Beyond the remnants of Earth lie many worlds, connected by pathways forgotten and invisible. They were left by the gods and have been found by Flynn.

A confidence man. A liar. A monster. Flynn has seen himself for what he really is and has resolved to pay for everything. Even if it means spending the rest of his days locked in Civilis, a tower prison for society's unwanted - "half-humans" gifted by the fallout of nuclear holocaust centuries past.

Jean, a prisoner in the neighboring cell, has different ideas and despite himself, Flynn finds himself joining her daring escape. After rescuing her friend Mack, the three flee Civilis as Flynn pieces together the hours before his capture and finds himself drawn to an abandoned facility where a rift to another world opens at his nearing.

Together they will venture farther beyond the stars than humanity ever imagined, find others like them that will never belong, and tangle with forces both ancient and immortal. They stand alone, hated and scorned - and the last hope of making things right in a cosmos gone terribly wrong.

Links to the Book

Link to the Paperback Outcasts of the Worlds with Excerpt on Amazon

Link to the eBook Outcasts of the Worlds with Excerpt on Amazon

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