Author Interview: Stephen Trolly

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Q. Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
I think that it’s something I discovered for myself. I always wanted to not be doing something because I wanted to have time to play out the stories I made up for my toys as a kid. When I got older, that turned into wanting to be by myself so that I could read, and eventually write.

Q. How long have you been writing?
If you’re only counting the time I’ve spent writing, it’s basically been a few months’ worth of time spread out over the past decade. But 10 years sounds better, so let’s go with that.

Q. What do you think most characterizes your writing?
That depends on what I’m writing. With my books, I really pushed myself for length and detail and intricacy. When I write short stories, I’m almost the opposite. I still try for detail, but if I’m told that a story has to be maximum x number of words, I’ll aim to be done in a quarter of that.

Q. What was the hardest part of writing this book?  
Finding the right storyline to tell. I started working on drafts of what became Rising Vengeance when I was about 13, but the one that became the book, I didn’t start writing until I was almost 20.

Q. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Finishing it. Isn’t that what practically every writer is going to say? But what I really loved about this book was doing something that got me slapped a few times by people who know me. It happens about two thirds of the way through, but I don’t want to give anything away.

Q. What inspires you?  
My girlfriend. She’s always pushing herself to be better or to be doing more, and that makes me want to do the same.

Q.Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?
I am definitely a part-time writer. Having a full-time job in addition to trying to write a series pushes the writing to a back burner, but I’m hoping that I can gain some recognition and that that will open up more time for writing.

Q. For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?
At the beginning is what the snark in me sort of mentally coughs into its metaphorical fist. But really, the theme of my work is sort of dependant on which character it’s focused on at the time, so the theme starts with whichever character you find you relate to the most.

Q. What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
I want to say that what I’m trying to do with my book is different from anything that I’ve really read, or that it says things I wish other authors had said. I really try to look at what’s considered the villain’s perspective in my books though, and I think that that really is something that isn’t done, especially in fantasy, where we sort of have this black and white ideal of right and wrong.

Q. Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two?  Summarize your writing process.
Get into the car. Drive and talk to myself as some of my characters. Wait until something one of them says hits me. Explore that and see where it goes. Put it on paper if it excites me. That’s more or less my whole process. Fortunately, I spend a fair amount of time in my car.

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Q. What are some ways in which you promote your work?  Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?
I try to blog some extra details, little things to flesh out the world or make characters more dimensional. This helps with my writing, but does take away from some of the time I actually have to sit and work.

Q. What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m working on the third (possibly final) book in my Anarian Chronicles series. I’m also working on the first book of another series that doesn’t have any real definition yet, and I’m working on a short crime novel or novella. We’ll see how long that actually ends up being.

Q. How do you come up with your characters?
By necessity. New characters reveal themselves when I need someone new. Until then, I try to let the absurd number of characters I already have do the heavy lifting.


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About the Author

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Stephen Trolly is a self-published fantasy author from Ottawa Canada. Stephen has been writing short stories and longer fantasy works since he was a camp counsellor at the age of thirteen. His Anarian Chronicles series currently has two books: Rising Vengeance, and its sequel, The Devil’s Dominion, both available on Amazon.