Payback was my second published novel. It was also the second book I wrote, though the first will never see the light of day. Payback was not originally a novel at all. Many years ago while I was in college, I took a media writing class. We were given an assignment to write either an episode for a television show or a script for a movie. When it comes to writing, one thing I have never been able to do is short. So I opted for the movie script.
After turning in the assignment (no I don’t remember what grade I was given) I set it aside and moved on. But there was this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that there was something to the idea. So, at some point I pulled it out and started rewriting it as a novel. The beginning of the script is several chapters into the book. Beyond that, the rewrite changed the story to the point that only the concept and the main character remained.
I introduced more characters, more challenges, more twists and ultimately the ending became something completely different. I worked on Payback for years. It is the most revised novel I’ve ever written. Originally I called it The Lexington Project and at times I wish I had kept that title. But since most of the novel is based on getting even, Payback seems appropriate.
The theme behind Payback is that not all bad guys are completely bad and not all good guys are completely good. Many people live in the gray area between the two, it is only the shade of gray that differentiates whether they are truly good or bad.
Payback is a fast-paced action novel with suspense and a mystery that the main character is trying to solve. There is also an element of “not everything is as it seems”. When I write a mystery, I always hope that the reader will see the clues, but maybe not recognize them as such until the very end when all is revealed. Then I hope for an “I didn’t see that coming, but I remember the clues now” reaction. Sometimes I am more successful than others. I think Payback is successful in that respect.
Although this is a stand alone novel, it is one that I get a lot of requests for a sequel. Every once in a while I think back and wonder where Alex Dunn would be and what he would be doing after the original story ended. So far, some ideas have tried to come to the surface, but nothing that I feel would do his character justice has come to life. If it ever does, then I guarantee I will write it.
I write because I enjoy telling the story and I always hope others will enjoy reading it as well. Payback has always been one of my most popular novels. I hope if you give it a read it will be one of your favorites too.
To learn more about Payback visit my website: https://williamcoleman.net/books/payback/
To read it for yourself: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1096108062