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The insanely talented Paul T. Scheuring is adding another line to his impressive résumé: author. The Prison Break writer and creator has penned a new novel, The Far Shore, releasing on March 7, and BookTrib was granted inside access to find out more. Read on to see what Scheuring has to say about his book and the inspiration behind it. Plus, he shares a teaser for the rebooted season 5 of Prison Break, which premieres April 4 on FOX.
BookTrib: As the creator, writer, and producer of TV and movies, like fan-favorite Prison Break, what pushed you to want to write a novel?
Paul. T Scheuring: I think, like a lot of writers in Hollywood—who are subject to a constant barrage of notes on their work from executives, producers, etc.—I have an overriding desire to write something of my own from time to time, over which I have full autonomy, and is an undiluted expression of the things I value and think are meaningful. In a lot of ways, for a screenwriter, a novel is a creative declaration of independence. This is what I believe in, and it won’t be adulterated by the deadening slew of cooks in the kitchen that is the Hollywood notes process.
BookTrib: What was the inspiration behind writing The Far Shore?
PS: The Far Shore came into being, like a lot of my stories, from a chance brush with a character or notion. In this case, it was the idea of a World War 2 medic. I may have seen such a character in passing in a documentary, I really can’t remember. But I was struck by the hopelessness of such a job. Armed solely with syringes and bandages, he is trying to heal while at the very same time the war around him is destroying everything on a far faster and grander scale. I was intrigued by what would keep such a person going, the sort of perpetual attrition experienced by them. For every one they save, another 20, say, go down. How does one persevere in the face of such suffering? Which of course is a central notion in Buddhism, and being a Buddhist, I thought such a character would be a fine lens through which to explore this idea.
BookTrib: What would you say is your character Lily’s most challenging trait to overcome in the book?
PS: Lily’s most challenging trait is that she numbs herself to suffering, avoids it for the most part with well-honed workarounds. But generally speaking, the way to overcome suffering is not to avoid it, but instead to confront it head on. Her journey in The Far Shore ultimately forces her to do that, despite the fact she would rather not. And she grows because of it.
BookTrib: You’re returning for season five of Prison Break (which we can’t wait for!). Did your time on the show and writing the book intersect? If so, how did you juggle your time?
PS: I finished The Far Shore before beginning the writing of season five. I simply don’t have enough bandwidth to do two stories of such scope and complexity at the same time. Kudos to those that can!
BookTrib: What can you share, as a tease for fans, about the limited series run of season five?
PS: I would only say, regarding season five of Prison Break… don’t fall back on your original assumptions about the characters. For instance, was Michael Scofield in fact the guy you accepted him to be?
BookTrib: What do you hope fans and readers take away from The Far Shore at the conclusion of reading the book?
PS: My hope is that people will be a bit more bold in confronting their fears and limitations. We live in a world where it’s incredibly easy to numb out—with chemicals, the media, the internet—and generally speaking, that’s not the path to growth and fulfillment. There’s a need to charge into the uncomfortable places of your life, because in those places are the crucible within which fulfillment, strength, and spiritual growth lie.