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Into the Mind of an Author: John Payne

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Tell us a little bit about yourself, anything you’d like your readers to know:
I have a history of doing things in three year cycles . . . I get bored and need new challenges. Much of this “itchiness” is due to my 20-yrear military career. I have had 3 small businesses, been a bank VP, consulted in the health care industry, managed interesting properties and taught business courses in several colleges/universities.

What made you do decide to become an author?
My wife and I managed a large apartment complex in San Francisco. To supplement my teaching goals, I decided to write a book on “How to Manage Multi-family Properties.” When I got to the chapter on security, I recalled the many events at the property that necessitated my involvement. I ditched the business book idea and begin writing my Three and Out trilogy. The first book is titled: The Saga of a San Francisco Apartment Manager.

Who are your favorite authors, and how have they influenced your writing?
Vince Flynn, Lee Child and Brad Thor. These authors have written about intrigue, murder, assassination and action-oriented novels.

Where can we find you online?
My website is www.johncpayne.com. Page Publishing has an author’s link. You can add Amazon.com of course, and as a last resort, one can Google me.

Tell us about your book
Stage Four is a cross between fantasy and paranormal. Three prominent individuals living in separate cities have been diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma and have less than six months to live. They learn on a YouTube broadcast that a scientist in South Texas has developed a cure for the disease. They each pay him a million dollars and travel to Texas for the cure.
In a converted barn in South Texas where the curative process takes place they are struck by lightning and succumb to a coma. When they recover, all evidence of their cancer has disappeared. Not immediately known by the scientists, each patient assimilates a new genome format from severe genetic mutations. The three now resemble the DNA structure of their pets.
Shortly after returning to their respective cities, weird things happen. On certain nights, normally when an electrical storm strikes the area, they physically morph into a larger specimen of their pet. The mutants collect their pets and head out seeking a human to kill. After several murders the pets tire of their masters’ rage to kill other human beings. They try unsuccessfully to stop them from perpetuating the unnecessary murders. Someone has got to stop them!

Everyone has their idiosyncrasies, what’s yours?
I get bored easily; thrive on change, new challenges.

What’s your favorite book turned movie and why?
I have two: Schindler’s List and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Re Schindler’s List, I am of German heritage, minored in both German and Military Science in college. Re Stieg Larsson’s book, my wife is Swedish . . . plus, I enjoy trilogies.

What’s your favorite genre to read?
Murder/mystery

Which do you do more, read or write, and why?
Write. Although I do enjoy reading, I have purchased too many books both digitally and in paperback that disappoint.

What is your writing process like, and what’s your favorite part of it?
I don’t like to use the word process as I’m all over the board. An example is my Three and Out trilogy. In the first book (light humor) I outlined the chapters. On about the fourth chapter, I tossed the outline in the trash. In the second book (a murder mystery), I wrote the last chapter first. In the last book (a PI suspense), I just sat down and started writing with no particular ending in sight.
My favorite part of writing a book entails the development of characters. Most of the main characters relate to me . . . my alter-ego, sub-ego, lack of ego or whatever. I’ve done many interesting things in my life to write about.

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