Today I’m interviewing Lucas Aubrey Paynter, the author of science-fiction / fantasy “Outcasts of the Worlds”. Welcome, Mr. Paynter!
1) How long have you been writing?
While I’ve been actively creating things since I was a kid, I began actively “writing” when I was in high school. I say “writing” because for quite a while I was teaching myself how to write. I wrote what was technically a very early draft of Outcasts of the Worlds, and sometimes I crack it open to say “Ah, yes. That was indeed quite terrible.” For a time I just engaged in blocking out plots and broad events with the rest of the material in my head. Over time, however, I felt the need to flesh those plots out more and more. I spent years working on other stories and getting involved in other (largely ill-fated) projects, but I always came back to Outcasts of the Worlds again and again.
2) Is Outcasts of the Worlds your first book? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
The other projects I mentioned were more of the multi-media variety: video game scenarios, web based projects and one television series. Most of this stuff hasn’t seen the light of day, sadly, and there’s a good deal I’m quite proud of.
While I’d dabbled a bit with short stories while I was getting my degree, I can promise that Outcasts is my first book. There’s a great many things fused within, from a love of redemption tales and ensemble character casts and winner-take-all, worlds-at-stake danger. There’s also a great deal of personal storytelling within, fueled by a sense of being lost and different and never really belonging. Actually, for a while, I had trouble figuring out the name of this book, and it was when I mulled over what my characters had in common that the title finally popped in my head!
3) Why did you choose science fiction/fantasy as genre for your book?
Choosing sci-fi/fantasy was easy. So, so easy. I can already see the world as it is (more or less), but writing fantasy lets me see things as I wish they were. Writing sci-fi lets me see things how they could be. These things aren’t always hopeful or pleasant but they are, to me, exciting.
To color that statement a little, both concepts appeal to me because they interest me in how they affect people. Elements we take for granted in our day to day lives could radicalize an alien culture. What interests me then is finding out how the average person lives with changes in their culture, and then figuring how those people who are anything but average are forced to cope with it.
4) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I could probably give a different answer every time this question is asked. Given enough time, I probably will!
For now, we’ll go with this: do your best. This is more than just “writing a good story,” though I don’t recommend putting anything into the world that you cannot care about on some fundamental level. If you can’t stand behind your work, then it’s not your work anymore, and so, why are you doing it?
But no, “do your best” is more than that. It’s knowing that your book is a little more than just you and that you have an obligation to it to present it to the world in the best possible state. Don’t let any part of it, anything that the world is going to see and judge, be “good enough.” If it’s good enough then it’s not good enough. Do your best.
5) Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?
As Outcasts of the Worlds is the first part in a series (which I’ve conveniently not named), I am happy to state I’m presently working on the sixth chapter of the second book: Killers, Traitors and Runaways. I prefer titles that promise happy tidings.
About The Book
Author: Lucas Aubrey Paynter
Genre: SciFi Fantasy
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.
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.
Currently residing with his wife in Burbank, California, Lucas enjoys reading in a variety of formats, potentially overanalyzing character motivations and arcs, and the occasional good, stiff drink.
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