Introducing Author T. N. Payne
T.N. Payne (Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Goodreads | Pinterest) is the embodiment of science and fiction, usually spending her days in Dallas as a Research Assistant and her nights reading, staring at her computer or procrastinating (usually involving the previous two). A perpetual night owl, when she isn’t mumbling to herself about needing sleep and coffee, you’ll find her hunched over her writing notebook. Her dream is to publish at least one book in every category and to write meaningful, tear-at-your-heart-strings novels. Though it required killing her eardrums from the loud, constant stream of music needed to focus, her first short story, “Dead Man Hocking,” just made its debut with Xchyler Publishing.
That’s what you can read about her anywhere, I mean, it’s what’s on the author pages, book jacket, and everything else that has hit the book marketing circuits. Now, let’s talk, just you and me, because as usual, I have my own Notes. For me, this young person is something special.
If you follow me at all, you know that I love to see women succeed, so now I am ready to join the cheering section for an aspiring new author. Payne and I share the new paranormal anthology, Beyond the Wail. Talking with her, I admit I felt my age when she claimed “Hunger Games” but admitted to never watching “Star Wars” or “Star Trek.” She also loves Robert Downey Jr. and Batman is her fave superhero — something about the gadgets and the black. Nice choices, I agree. She hates blood, so I doubt we will see any vampires in the tales she is planning to tell us. What, then, does a young research assistant write about, with no blood to spatter into the anthology? Zombies, she says. Dead men. Hocking.
Make no mistake — Payne’s new story doesn’t skimp on gore. A world-weary zombie, a gambling addict when he was living, makes a dark deal to extend his life. In the end, not all sure bets are worth the gamble. The story is a clever one with a solid moral and intense imagery. After reading, I felt like monsters were “just folks” to Payne. When we asked her how she came up with the title, she responded, “Funny thing is, I came up with the title first before I wrote my story. I remember I was thinking about dead men during a break at work — don’t ask me why my train of thought went there because I couldn’t tell you. Then I just had a light bulb moment on the contents of my story and the rest as they say was history.”
Like almost every successful writer, T. N. Payne leans on the written word when life gets chaotic. Far from a drudgery of deadlines and wordsmithing, she claims that writing gives her an outlet. “For one,” says Payne, “it helps me deal with my emotions. I tend to get stuck in my head sometimes and writing provides a release so I can rejoin the world.” She also claims a certain addition to the craft saying, “It’s therapeutic and relaxing. I put everything I have into my words until I’m left exhausted, which is probably one of the only ways an insomniac like me can get a few hours of sleep.” No sleeping pills for this author. She’ll take a plotline instead, thank you.
Payne is in the enviable position of having many ideas in her queue. Although this is her first story in publication, watch for more from this dynamo. “A lot of things drive my writing,” she says. “One is when my head and heart feel there’s a story that absolutely needs to be told.” The author claims that there is an “inner fire that burns and yearns to affect the world . . . just like others have done for me.” She describes her tales as “forces of nature,” and for Payne, these “are not to be ignored.” Even when she perceives a “roadblock between [her] brain and [her] fingers,” Payne follows her passion to “sit back down and keep trying.”
A new writer trying new things, Payne has some solid advice for those who want to write. “Take a chance,” she says. “No matter how bad you think your writing might be, to someone else it may be amazing and/or comforting.” She claims that for her own part, she never thought she would have her first story published. Payne continues, “I spent the entire time going crazy while I was waiting to hear back, thinking the story was awful and shouldn’t have been exposed to the world. But it turned out to be all in my head.” For Payne, that was all it took to start the ball rolling. “That tiny act of bravery can cause a domino effect and change your life more than you would ever expect,” she says, “Like it did mine.”
Studious and dedicated, Payne shrugged openly when we brought up the topic of gaming. Asked if she preferred LARP or MORPG, she went straight to Google. “Oh!” she answered. “Neither. Not much of a role-playing gamer.” She isn’t all work, though. Asked how she unwinds, she told us, “Music. It works every time. All I need is to lay down and quietly sing along to my favorite oldies.” No CDs for this Millenial, though. She’ll be listening on Pandora. Good on ya, Author T. N. Payne. I’m delighted to share the book where you started your career.
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