What was the hardest part about being an author / writing your book?
For being an author, having to start writing a new book has probably become the worst part. This is more because I’ve just thrown away all that sense of accomplishment that the last one brought me. I do my initial work in Scrivener, so there’s something nice about seeing all my chapters and scenes neatly arranged and done, all the notes discarded. Starting anew means a return to the empty placeholders and the clutter.
As for the book, the hardest part comes when I have a vague idea but no clue yet how to execute it. i.e., about a third of the way into KT&R, I needed to get the group to get to a particular destination—an old manor, in this case—before the next sequence of events could unfold. I wrote, discarded and wrote this set-up several times before I found something I liked. In the end, it was quite different from my early ideas.
Can you give us a short synopsis of your book?
Well, without recycling the one on the book itself …
Killers, Traitors, & Runaways something of a half-inverted morality tale, where the heroes aren’t entirely good and many of their antagonists might be genuinely virtuous.
Our protagonist, Flynn, is a man with a sordid history trying to make up for the things he’s done. Among his companions—Jean, a powerful young woman like a force of nature whose torn up inside on the kind of person she is. Zella Renivar, a potential human sacrifice whose life—if given willingly—could tip the scales against our heroes’ favor.
And then there’s Poe, a man with a bloody history of his own, who yet stands to inherit the power of a god, and one of the few who might be able to stand against the benevolent ‘Living God,’ Taryl Renivar, who seeks to create a new and better world—at the cost of our own.
What inspired you to write this book?
Possibly the fact that I didn’t want to be the kind of guy that wrote the first book of a saga and then never finished it. :-p
In a quasi-more serious response though, Killers, Traitors, & Runaways was originally the second half of Outcasts of the Worlds. As in, they were literally just meant to be one book.
The learning experience involved with Outcasts, coupled with my realizing how long it was going to be if I continued as plans, forced me to split it, which was really the better decision all around. I think KT&R especially benefited from it, as I went in with a better grasp on my process and where I wanted to take things.
Name your top five favorite books.
Hmm … I’d be hardpressed to say anything I list would be my top five favorites per se, just as I don’t have a strong sense of priorities. But I’ll put some down that resonate with me for various reasons.
A Spell For Chamelon – I used to read a lot of Piers Anthony in my teens, and while I enjoyed a lot of his work back then, his first Xanth novel was what got me started.
The Hobbit – Oh, look. He cites Tolkien. How deep. But, seriously, I did actually grow up on Middle Earth and I would be remiss to ignore that.
I Am Legend – I’ll freely admit I’ve picked up a few things because I enjoyed an adaptation of it, but while I enjoyed Will Smith’s I Am Legend from the later 2000s, it was staggering how different the original story was, and how much more powerful the ending was especially.
Silence of the Lambs – See reasoning above. Except with Silence, it’s sort of the opposite. The movie is a near perfect adaptation, with very little lost in translation. Still, it got me reading Thomas Harris’ other Hannibal Lector books, which I generally enjoyed to varying degrees.
World War Z – I actually haven’t seen the film. I was given this book well before it was even in production, and really enjoyed the ‘against all odds’ atmosphere of hope many of the tales within actually had.
Also, fun fact: during the time I was reading World War Z, I worked as a background extra in Hollywood. We were filming on Malibu Beach, and I was reclining on a chair, waiting for things to start. When I thought they were about to, I asked “do you want me to put this away?” They said I could keep reading. So I did.
Do you write every day? Once a week? What is your writing schedule?
Erratic. I try to write most days when I can, but my day to day schedule tends to be unreliable. When things are steady, I’ll get at least a few days in and knock out several scenarios for whatever chapter I’m working on. During the periods where my schedule was more open, I was often writing daily.
What are you working on now?
As there is a Book II, so must there be a Book III. I’m presently chipping away at the next Outcasts of the Worlds volume, entitled Into Darker Hearts.
Title: Killers, Traitors & Runaways (Outcasts of the World II)
Author: Lucas Aubrey Paynter
Genre: Cosmic Fantasy
As reality nears its final days, worlds fall to ruin. A benevolent god is shackled, and when freed, will create a new one … allowing only the pure of heart. A company of seven have united on a bloody quest to stop him, but have little hope of emerging victorious.
The outcasts are adrift—they have a mission but no means to fulfill it. Airia Rousow, the fallen goddess who set them on their path, is gone. Guardian Poe, her intended successor, believes deification will absolve him of his sins and his remorse alike. And Zella Renivar, daughter of the Living God, is still hunted by her father’s agents, drawing danger on them all.
Trapped in this storm, Flynn is able to find and open the ways between worlds, but cannot discern which path is the right one. Since losing the trust of his closest friend, the temptation to fall back on his former, deceitful ways grows with every crisis he faces.
These are heroes not of virtue, but of circumstance—and it will fall on Flynn to keep them all together.
Lucas Aubrey Paynter hails from the mythical land of Burbank, California, where there are most likely no other writers at all.
Back in 2014, he published Outcasts of the Worlds, and he’s now releasing its follow-up, Killers, Traitors, & Runaways.
A fan of gray-area storytelling and often a devil’s advocate, Lucas enjoys consuming stories from a variety of mediums, believing there’s no limit to what form a good narrative can take.