InterviewThank you so much for joining me today Troy! When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I wanted to be a writer from a very young age. I was a young and advanced reader for my age. It was my escape. I wrote my first full book when I was six, titled George and the Giant Castle. I will be reworking the story and publishing it later this year.
I always find it so awesome when people know from a young age they want to write. I myself didn't discover my passion for writing until fairly recently, so I envy people like you a little bit :) What has been the most difficult part about being a writer?
Time management, by far. It is hard to balance family, kids, a day job, and endless hobbies and interests with time for writing and nowadays promotions, marketing, etc. Being a writer is a full time job.
Oh yes, time management is still something I have yet to truly learn! Who are your favorite authors?
Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Kurt Vonnegut, and Steven King top the list. I love John Irving and Ken Follett, plus some new Indie authors like Heath Lowrance, Allan Leverone, Luke Romyn and Tom Isbell to name a few.
I adore Vonnegut's work! He's among my all time favorite authors. What authors inspire you?
John Irving had a great influence on my upcoming book Temptation. Most inspirational are the indie authors like me out there pushing the edge of genre and convention.
I must confess I've never heard of John Irving but I will be checking him out :) Do you like to plan your scenes out or do you just wing it?
I plan scenes but I always keep an open mind. Many times the character takes over and says “This is what I would really do.” You have to listen to your characters and follow their lead.
I couldn't agree more. There's nothing wrong with planning, but you've got to be willing to let your characters lead if they try to take over. What type of books do you like to read?
I like mysteries and thrillers, but I enjoy literary fiction as well. I read quite a variety and try to be open
to reading new stuff. There are some great British authors right now.
to reading new stuff. There are some great British authors right now.
Mysteries and thrillers are so much fun! What do you like to do in your free time?
In the winter I am a skier. I’ve skied almost 30 days so far this season. In the summer I bike, hike, fish, and generally enjoy the outdoors. I am a terrible beginner golfer, primarily because I haven’t put much time into it.
Love skiing but haven't done it in forever. I need to convince hubby to take me skiing sometime :) Where is your favorite place to vacation?
Glacier National Park tops the list, although I enjoy almost anywhere with mountains. I love the mountain life. Of course, I live where other people go to vacation.
I've never been there but now I'm curious lol. What’s your best Valentine’s day story?
My wife’s birthday is the day after Valentine’s Day, so you can’t do a combo (don’t try it fellas). So for her 35th birthday got her a Valentine’s gift, and then on the 15th I gave her 35 roses. Although I am highly allergic to them I drove the 20 miles home from work with those roses in my Geo Metro to present them to her. By the time I got home I was nearly blind.
Awww that's one of the sweetest things I've ever heard!! You're a good husband :) And you're right, you definitely can't combine gifts haha. Why did you choose to write a psychological thriller?
This story snuck out of the dark and chose me. A psychological thriller is what the story turned out to be. I didn’t really think about the genre when I was telling it. After it was written I had to look back at it and decide what it was.
I love that the story dictated what it was going to be :) What has been the most fun about working on your books?
The fans. I have received incredible feedback that makes me feel humble and thankful. I’ve always loved to tell stories. To see those stories impact others has been the greatest feeling ever.
Fans really can make all the difference! What has been the hardest scene for you to write?
There is a scene in Redemption (I won’t say which one, but when you read the book you can probably figure out which one) that I couldn’t believe I was writing. It was where the character drove the story. When others read it, they can’t believe what they are reading. It was hard to leave the scene in the book, but it wouldn’t be the same story without it.
Well now I'm intrigued and want to read this even more haha, Do you have any favorite characters?
Actually Samuel Elijah Johnson is one of my favorite characters ever. I relate to him on many levels.
Since he's one of your favorite characters ever, tell us more about Samuel Elijah Johnson please.
Sam is a regular guy who got into some trouble as a young man. He’s sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit but he realizes he is far from innocent. His mother believes he is the next prophet or a savior of some sort, and although Sam denies believing it, he often acts like he does. He has a fragile arrogance that gets tested often.
Can't wait to read his character!! In your book, an ex-con becomes an attorney. How did you come up with that idea?
The whole idea of Sam started as a short story. My favorite question is “what if?” I thought if I was wrongly imprisoned and no one believed my story, what would I do? Law school seemed like a logical way out.
I love asking "what if" because it can lead you down so many varied and interesting paths! With your main character being a lawyer, did you find you needed to do a lot of research?
I needed to do some. The good part of that is that Sam isn’t as much a great attorney as he’s a great speaker and in some ways lucky. I do have to look up points of law from time to time, but I have a few close friends who are attorneys so usually I can get a good answer from them.
In some ways it's better not to focus on the law parts too much because I find books that are heavy in factual detail on things like the law can get very weighty and aren't as much fun to read. What are some of the ways you touch on the theme of redemption in this book?
Every character has something in the past or present they have done and that they feel the need to redeem themselves for. Every one of them seeks Redemption in his or her own way. For instance Sam tries to redeem himself from selfish motives and turn his skills into something that helps others.
Wow, this sounds so good. My TBR pile is definitely growing lol. Tell us more about book 2 that’s coming out this March.
Book two in the series brings back Sam, Peter, and a host of new characters. All of them are tempted by something. And they have to come to terms with that Temptation. There is more at stake than any of them know—perhaps even their very souls.
Well lovelies, be sure you grab Redemption so you're all set for Temptation when it releases! What's next for you?
This year will be a busy one writing wise. I have already started book 3 in the Samuel Elijah Johnson series, titled Confession. I just completed a coloring book project for the museum where I work. I’m writing a script for a documentary for them, a melodrama for the local community theater, the above mentioned children’s book, and a large non-fiction project later in the year. I also do research and technical writing, so it might be easier to answer what isn’t next.
Wow, you really are set up for a busy writing year! We are unfortunately out of time, but is there anything else you want your readers to know?
Stay tuned for more of Peter and Sam in Confession and then the prequel to the series titled Transgression (early next year). You can also find my work in a couple of anthologies including one titled Dragonthology published by Untold Press and two more coming later this year. Keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and my website. I’m often involved in cool giveaways and just general fun.
Thank you so much for stopping by Troy! It has been a blast and Redemption sounds fantastic!
Redemption...Buy it Now!
What do prison and church have in common? In both places you can learn of your need for redemption. You can even determine to right the wrongs you have done: you can determine to redeem yourself. However, true Redemption is not found inside the walls of a church or a prison. Sometimes you have to go further and do more to find it than you ever imagined.
Redemption is a dark psychological thriller that tells the story of an ex-con turned attorney, an insane man with a secret addiction, and a marriage spoiled by poor choices.
Samuel Elijah Johnson seeks to overcome his past by educating himself in prison. He graduates law school but has no clue what to do next until a fellow prisoner plants an idea in his mind.
Arthur Creed was raised in a strict evangelical church by militantly religious parents. He hides a secret addiction and a secret insanity. His sins come face to face with the rules ingrained into his memory by his parents.
Randy Peterson wants desperately to do the right thing, to be the kind of hero he feels his family deserves. He especially wants to convince his wife’s parents that he’s “good enough” for their daughter.
Things spin out of control. Their worlds all collide with a monumental crash. In the end, can any of them find Redemption?
Troy began his writing life at a very young age, penning the as yet unpublished George and the Giant Castle at age six. He grew up in Southern Idaho, and after many adventures including a short stint in the US Army and a diverse education, Troy returned to Idaho, but the north end of the state this time, where he currently resides.Connect with Troy
Troy works as a freelance writer and researcher by night, and the Museum Operations Specialist and Head of Research at the Wallace District Mining museum by day. He truly loves to write dark, psychological thrillers and released Broken Bones, a collection of his short stories, last September to great acclaim and with reasonable success. His new thriller Redemption is available now.
Troy lives with his wife of eleven years, two of his five children and two very talented dogs. He is a skier, cyclist, hiker, fisherman, hunter, and a terrible beginning golfer. The sequel to Redemption, titled Temptation will be released early in 2013.