T.N. Payne 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 requires killing her eardrums from the loud, constant stream of music needed to focus. Her first short story, “Dead Man Hocking,” will make its debut with Xchyler Publishing.
How did you come up with the title “Dead Man Hocking”?
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.
What is your writing drive? The power that keeps you going when your writing gets difficult?
A lot of things drive my writing but one is when my head and heart feel there’s a story that absolutely needs to be told. Another is an inner fire that burns and yearns to affect the world with my writing just like others have done for me. Both of these forces of nature are not to be ignored and so it forces me to sit back down and keep trying, despite the roadblock between my brain and my fingers.
How does writing impact other parts of your life?
For one, 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. Another thing is that 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.
What activities best give your brain a break? How do you unwind?
Music. It works every time. All I need is to lay down and quietly sing along to my favorite oldies playing on Pandora.
What is your advice to writers?
Take a chance. No matter how bad you think your writing might be, to someone else it may be amazing and/or comforting. I never would’ve thought “Dead Man Hocking” would be published. 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. So my advice is to take a chance. That tiny act of bravery can cause a domino effect and change your life more than you would ever expect. Like it did mine.
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