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Not willing to send their citizens on a suicide mission, these countries banded together and created cyborgs, the first ever race of independent machines to counter the Americans' efforts. Now they only needed to decide who would throw the first punch, plunging Earth into what would likely be the war to end all wars.
When the first wave of cyborgs landed on American soil in upstate Maine, the U.S. was forced to defend itself. The Phoenix Project was born, dubbed this title to symbolize the United States rising from the ashes. Would their efforts be enough, or would life as we know it come to a brutal and bloody end for all of mankind?
As is the case with the vast majority of good writers, I'm not exactly "right" in the head. Obviously, if you've read any of my novels you are well aware of this fact. It's not a bad thing, however. I use this internal nutcase to come up with some very bizarre stories, to which there are now 9 when Wasteland releases in less than a week.
I don't have a fancy educational background, but my warped imagination more than makes up for that in my opinion. I have what I consider to be the best editor on the planet in Melissa Ringsted, as well as a dedicated team of beta readers who tirelessly comb through my work for flaws. This takes an enormous burden from my shoulders by allowing me to just tell my story and letting the professionals sort out the mess I make ... lol. Seriously though, I have grown considerably since I began writing novels, so there is far less for my crew to correct.
If you're curious about my personal life, there isn't much to see. I'm basically a hermit, rarely seen outside the house because I am generally in front of my computer working on one story or another. The dogs keep me company (mostly) while my fiance is away, leaving me to sit in what I refer to as "my torture chamber" (what most writers call a cave) and pretend I'm some sort of mad scientist or evil genius, preparing to take over the world with my stories. **insert maniacal laughter here**
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Why?
I can be a bit of both, actually. Most of my story plots swirl around in my brain until I jot them down. My characters rarely cooperate with these constraints, however, many times causing me to "fly by the seat of my pants" in one scene or another because they seem to have minds of their own. They have a nasty habit of changing the direction of a story, thus forcing me to adapt.
I grew up on a steady diet of Scooby Doo and Stephen King, with a side order of countless horror movies. I love horror, so it only made sense to bend in that direction with my writings. It just felt natural. After all, the old adage encourages each and every one of us to do what we love. In doing so, I believe I've taken the genre to a new level ... or perhaps reverted to a time forgotten. Nowadays, it seems most horror on the market is dependent on making the consumer "jump". I, on the other hand, wish to show my audience their worst nightmares, to sicken, repulse, and scare the bejeezus out of them ... like a train wreck that they just can't look away from.
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
Most of the ideas for stories originate in my dreams. Although, there are also times when I'm just chilling on the couch and watching a movie or show, when the gears in my brain start churning. "Hey, I think I can twist that around and make something truly terrifying." Inspiration can strike at any given moment, from even the most mundane of things. Some of these inclinations never see the light of day, while others find their way onto a page. I'm not afraid to throw an idea out if it doesn't feel right, or when it just doesn't seem to work within the parameters of a story.
If you could give advice to aspiring writers, what would you say?
The jokester inside me wants to say "quit now, before it's too late!", but all kidding aside ... if you're serious about making a career out of writing, the best thing you can do is surround yourself with a good editing team. Never think that you don't need others, or that you can do everything yourself. Rarely does this work out in your favor.
Listen to constructive criticisms and learn from them, but grow a thick skin. Some of the feedback can sound harsh, however, most are just trying to be helpful. This isn't to say that there aren't trolls out there, who want nothing more than to crush your hopes and dreams. Tune these people out. They are hateful and thrive on making you miserable. Do not fall prey to their vicious comments, which I'll admit has happened a few times to me. Have faith in what you're doing, and the team you surround yourself with.
Lastly, don't expect everyone to love your stories. You will almost certainly have "haters" as your audience grows, but you will also have fans. Focus on the people you bring happiness to.
What marketing tools helped with your success? What didn't?
I'm tempted to say that there is no such thing as bad marketing. In essence, every avenue you try to use will yield some result. Some things, obviously, work better than others. I try to exhaust all means of "free" marketing before resorting to something I have to lay down my hard-earned cash for. Of these free techniques, I find word-of-mouth to be the most effective. When fans brag about your work to their friends, good things generally happen. It doesn't equate to a ton of sales by any stretch of the imagination, but that will normally come over time. As your fanbase grows, so will your sales. The most successful alternative I've found is BookBub, although it is extremely difficult to get your promotion accepted. You pay them a set fee based on your genre and how much you're selling your book for, and they email the listing to their subscribers. The biggest drawback to using a service like BookBub, however, is that it almost guarantees you will get negative feedback on your book. Like I mentioned earlier, not everyone will enjoy your work. Some of these negative comments can be nasty, so be forewarned. Some will even go so far as to post reviews of your work that sound like a political attack ad. Ignoring these will go a long way toward keeping your peace of mind. It's hard, but the alternative is to throw your hands in the air and give up writing.
Are you working on anything right now? Can you share?
Rarely am I not working on something, as I'm sure many of you already know. I'm a virtual ghost online. Most of my time on social media is in the morning, before I begin writing. I'm kind of like a mythical creature that is only rumored to exist.
If you're familiar with any of my scribblings, then likely you've read one or more books in the Desolace Series. My current project is the final installment of the series, Throne of the Gods. If you haven't been fortunate enough to read any of these novels, and are a fan of dark fantasy/horror, you're missing out. Some have compared the series to the Dark Tower saga, written by the man who needs no introduction ... Stephen King. I do not, however, make any claims to such a thing. In my opinion, every book I have published is by far darker and more sinister than anything the horror master has written. I love the guy's books to death, but he doesn't go near the path I take down the road.
As for how Throne of the Gods will develop, and conclude the series, I can only say that the ending will not be anything my fans expect. I'm sure they know by now, it's almost guaranteed that I will do something that some won't care for, and others will applaud me for catching them completely off guard. I know there are fans who are hoping for some kind of romantic "hook-up" between a couple of the characters, but these individuals should know by now ... that's just not how I roll. Happy endings are not my thing.
Social media links
Website : http://lucianbarnes.wix.com/author
Twitter : http://twitter.com/LucianBarnes
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/lucianbarnesauthor
Goodreads : http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5761611.Lucian_Barnes
Thank you to Heather C. Myers for this interview.
Lucian began his writing career late in 2010, but has
spent most of his life writing stories. He is a fantasy/horror novelist whose first published works were released in 2012. Because this cause hits close to home for Lucian, the fifth
book in the Desolace Series, Cemetery Hill, will have a
portion of its sales donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Lucian lives in Pueblo, Colorado.
See a complete list of books by Lucian Barnes on AMAZON