About Troy Young:
Troy has been many things in his career. Shoe salesman, waiter, newspaper owner, children's performer, actor, elected official, policy advisor, CEO and university lecturer. Now he wants to try his hand at writing.
His first attempt at writing is a novel called The (Extra)ordinary Life of Jimmie Mayfield. The genesis for The (Extra)ordinary Life of Jimmie Mayfield came while going for a walk in Placida, Florida where his parents have a winter home. While he navigates the waters of seeking a publisher for that series of books, he is writing short stories and working on a fantasy series, The Companions of the Stone; the first book "The Stone of Death" is out on September 1, 2020. Also published in September is a space western, "The Seeker of Solace".
Currently, if you are a fan of Lovecraftian Horror, you can delve into his series, The Other. The first compilation is now available, as are the individual stories of book 2. Book two will be available this October, with book 3 available in 2021.
Troy lives in Toronto with his wife, daughter and dog.
What inspires you to write?
I have always had a myriad of stories running around in my head. I would create scenarios and worlds, sometimes starring myself, sometimes others. I think it stems from being an only child and growing up in a rural area. I had me, my dog and 12 acres of woods to explore. I had to create these or be bored.
Now I find I get inspiration to write when I walk. Good thing two years ago we got a dog. It was while walking her I got the inspiration to write a short story about a sea monster. I remember as a kid travelling to Cape Breton and on the radio they talked about this unknown sea monster washing ashore. It turned out to be nothing, but what if it wasn't? That was the premise of my story. What was intended to be a one-off story became the first in an 18 story, three book compilation (the second book comes out in October). Since I've been bitten by the writing bug, I just can't stop.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
I've been struggling to read much lately to be honest. I was reading a lot of Stephen King, but as much as I appreciated his book On Writing and credit it for helping me immensely, I'm not a huge fan of his work (with the exception of Carrie). I find he's a tad repetitive and often overlong.
Where I am really stuck right now is on Robert Jordan's Eye of the World; he spent four pages describing crossing a river. And I've been reading the Percy Jackson books to my daughter at night. They're not great and I have trouble figuring out why they became so successful.
But the question was about who my favourite authors are. I really credit Robert E. Howard and the original pulp Conan stories for my love of fantasy. Of course, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Lord of Rings are huge too. I credit H.P. Lovecraft with inspiring my horror stories (they are set in his Cthulhu Mythos and draw heavily from his works). George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones was a brilliant read (the series faded off unfortunately) and I liked Raymond Feist (especially his Daughter of the Empire series) and Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman's Dragonlance series. And J.K Rowling and Harry Potter (although I recently read that out loud to my daughter as well and funny thing, but reading out loud you catch things you miss when reading in your head. She has a lot of things that make you scratch your head and realize there are some doozy plot holes). Oh, and I was at one time obsessed with Tom Clancy.
So I don't have a specific author I really feel the need to read everything they've written. My scope is fairly broad (no romance though).
Tell us about your writing process.
I tend to ruminate on my stories for weeks or months. I will construct them in my head, and once I am ready to go, I just start writing. I rarely make outlines (never for my horror stories).
For my novels I made very brief outlines, if any, pantsing it all the way. My fantasy novel (The Stone of Death) was started to have something to test the waters on self-publishing. It got sidelined quick once I started writing the horror short stories. Finally I decided I needed to return to it.
But for my space western, I kept thinking about it and thinking about it, and finally just sat down and wrote the entire 60,000 words in 12 days. I'm halfway through it's sequel (on preorder for December).
I've been self editing using both Grammarly and ProWritingAid, running the story through both multiple times. I then print it out and my wife and I read the print out. Then I submit for a print version and order a proof copy which my parents then read. I must be doing something right because I sent a manuscript to two different copy editors and they both returned it saying that it was well written and they had nothing to suggest. So I got that going for me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do. There is much of me in them, but also people I would never want to meet either. My works are very dialogue heavy. When I first started to write, I worried that my dialogue would be stilted, but anyone that has read my stuff says the dialogue is the best part of it (which is good since a large percentage of it is dialogue).
Writing dialogue I find leads you into new territory. Often in the midst of a back and forth conversation, something organically will come up and suddenly take me on a tangent that I didn't see coming and giving new life or flavour to the story. While I often know in my head where the chapter needs to go (and I break my process into chapters where I am flushing out the next one while writing the current one) but I don't know how I am going to get to the place I need to be.
At times like that, I trust the character's and their dialogue to figure out a way to get there, and none of them have let me down yet.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing. Like anything else you do, the more you practice at it, the better you get. Persevere. There are thousands of new books being published all the time. My sales are ok, but not great. I'm not buying a car or quitting my job on my author income. Yet.
Believe that you can one day do those things though. If you approach it as a hobby, that's all it will ever be. We'd all love to just sit back and write and let other people worry about the editing or promotion. But we can't. Keep plugging, take it seriously and write what you would want to read (I don't think I could "write to market" or in a genre that doesn't interest me just to try to make a buck. I think my work would suck if I tried that (although others make it work for them)).
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have a book I was trying to get traditionally published, but that is such a long slog. I've given up on that and it will be coming out in November. The only other option is of course to self publish. Amazon was a game changer for writers. My horror books are exclusive to Amazon and enrolled in KU (although I did publish the print copy through Ingram Spark and have sold 7 whole copies outside of Amazon in seven months; I sold 10 paperback copies of it through Amazon this month and it's only been 23 days). My fantasy book is wide, but I have not sold a single copy outside of Amazon. My sci-fi novel I have kept in Amazon (and KU). The great debate between wide and exclusive to Amazon rages, but I find most that are fixated on wide are doing so mainly on ideological reasons; they don't want to be dictated to by Amazon. Wide release has so far not been a success for me, but it has for others. I believe I may continue to be exclusive to Amazon in the future.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think you are going to see more tradtionally published authors begin to start self-publishing. If I'm Stephen King, yes I can get a big advance and yes the publisher handles all the heavy lifting. BUt you are going to get what, $1 a book tradtionally? (Ok, maybe Stephen King can get more than that from his publisher). But if someone of his calibre decided to self publish, they could make $5 or $6 a copy. They would have the large bricks and mortar retaillers agree to carry their work.
Ebooks will continue to grow. I have never read an ebook myself, but most of my sales are ebooks. For extreme readers, I think its great. Maybe someday I'll give it a try and get hooked. If they grow more, I think it gives self published authors a good chance to eek out a living from their writing.
Although I would love to one day be walking through an airport and see one of my books for sale at one of the newstands there. That will be the time I know I've made it.
What genres do you write?: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror, Contemporary Humour
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Link To Troy Young Page On Amazon
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.