by Lucian Barnes
Release Date: October 24, 2014
For Jason Lambert, a prominent M.I.T. geneticist, fear of natural death has become a thing of distant memories. His latest concoction has, in a sense, increased his longevity and made him nearly immortal.
Over the past one hundred years, the technological advances of medical science have rendered the deadliest diseases of the twentieth century insignificant. Cancer, heart disease, and AIDS are no longer a death sentence. Serums have been developed to eradicate the problematic cells and their growth.
When he meets a beautiful woman, his world is turned upside down. Add to this the government's sudden interest in his research, and things begin to spiral out of control. We all know what happens when the military gets involved. Greed takes over, and ethics are pushed to their boundaries. Will Jason be able to juggle his responsibilities without compromising his integrity, or will his experiments lead to the evolution of a new breed of monster?
You just released your newest book, EL-204, do you still get nervous when you release a new book?
Absolutely! Each book I publish infuses me with nervous excitement, much like I'm sure a new mother feels when ushering a new life into the world. After all, releasing a new novel is similar to giving birth. If you aren't nervous or excited upon its availability to the public, perhaps it's time to consider a career change.
EL-204 is about a geneticist whose research has caught the interest of the government. What was the inspiration for this story?
As is normally the case with my story ideas, the inspiration for EL-204 came from a dream. Although, in this instance, the dream only involved some of the disturbing imagery from the end of the book. However, it was enough to get the wheels in my head turning. Oddly enough, this nighttime vision coincided with the clamoring from some of my fans for me to write a romance novel. I couldn't resist laughing because the mere thought seemed ludicrous. As the story began to take shape, a few romantic and slightly erotic scenes developed. That being said, the book is still horror. It's just infused with other elements to keep readers off balance, and will probably be as close as I ever get to writing romance.
Before you start writing a book do you do any research or do you have general idea of how you want the story to go?
More often than not, I have a general idea of a story's direction before I even sit down to write. Most times these ideas pertain to how the novel will begin, but in the case of EL-204 everything came to me in a backwards fashion. With this book, the end was the first imagery to hit me, forcing my mind to figure out how things would transpire to reach my original vision. Although knowing where a story is supposed to go is one thing, and how it develops once I begin writing is a whole other animal. My characters have a tendency to throw curve balls at me, thus altering the path of the story. Sometimes these changes throw the book in a direction I didn't see coming. The way I look at it is ... if the characters are keeping me off balance, they will do the same for readers.
Since releasing your first book back in 2012, how do you feel you have grown as a writer?
I must admit, I made a ton of mistakes early on. Mixed reviews poured in, forcing me to take a long, hard look in the mirror. At times, I seriously considered giving up writing because I took the harsh reviews too personally. Somehow I managed to put these thoughts aside, probably because I couldn't stop writing ... even if some people hated my stories. After all, not everyone will find my books to be their "cup of tea". Instead, I taught myself to focus on things I could control. Every error a reader pointed out to me, I investigated. This was the beginning of my growth, and it's continued to grow by leaps and bounds with the aid of my beta readers, as well as my long-suffering editor. Every writer is constantly evolving as they learn new things and implement them, so long as they are willing to admit they're not perfect and continue to strive toward delivering the best story possible.
What has been your favorite part of writing and publishing books?
There is no one thing that I could claim as being my favorite part. Each step in the process carries its own unique excitement for me. Starting a new novel carries a nervous energy because the voices in my head stir into a frenzy of activity, eager for me to transcribe their thoughts and actions. By the same token, finishing a book can be just as exciting. The sense of accomplishment that you've completed a novel is beyond words. Then there's the giddy period of time when the first reviews start coming in. Getting a positive reaction from your fans is perhaps the greatest motivator to keep on writing, although most of us authorly types couldn't stop even if we wanted to. The voices in our heads won't allow such a thing.
Of all the books you have written so far, do you have a favorite among them?
That's a tough one to answer. It's almost comparable to having several children, then lining them all up like a bunch of suspects at the police station. *laughs* For me, each story has one or more scenes that could be classified as my favorite. The only thing that stands out to me about any of my books is the time I spent writing them. Outpost 13 was the novel I wrote the quickest, taking nearly half the time that my other books took me to write. I believe Outpost 13 was written in six weeks or less, and for me it seemed to flow like the projectile vomit of someone who has had too much alcohol. The incredible speed in which I wrote the book makes it stand out in my mind more than my other works.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Stephen King, JH Glaze, and Anne Rice.
In 10 words can you tell readers why they should read EL-204?
I've been compared to Stephen King, need I say more?
Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans and/or readers new to you?
To anyone thinking of picking up one of my books for the first time, I applaud your bravery! Most of my stories are not for the weak of heart or stomach, being similar in nature to "old school" horror films. If EL-204 is the first book of mine you pick up to read, don't be fooled. It is anything BUT romance, even though it may feel like it in the beginning. To my long-time fans, I hope my stories continue to haunt your dreams. I thank each and every one of you, fans new and old, for daring to enter my world! I'll see you again in your nightmares!
I spent most of my youth in rural Ohio and began writing stories at an early age. Many of these early attempts at story-telling were inspired by mysteries, such as those found in the old Hardy Boys books and the cartoon antics of Scooby Doo. As I entered my teenage years I began to drift away from writing stories, instead picking up my pencil to compose lyrics for heavy metal songs because my new dream was to become a musician. That vision remained hopeful for many years after my high school graduation, but like most dreams of this nature it died out as I became older.
After working several menial jobs through the years that followed, my thoughts again began to turn toward writing books. Inspired by my favorite author, Stephen King, I took an online creative writing course and slowly began to develop my skills. In late 2010 I was given a violent shove, both by the job market (which was horrible to say the least, and still is) and by the persistent encouragement of close friends, to pick up my pen and begin writing again.
In early 2012, I gave birth (that's almost what it felt like) to my very first published book, Desolace. Finally having a completed novel in my hand was the best feeling in the world for me, giving me a sense of accomplishment I had waited a lifetime for. Things have grown easier for me with each book I have published. Since the initial release of Desolace, I have released four more novels in the series. My latest work is a futuristic horror book titled, EL-204.