Okay everybody, today’s T-roy Talks is going to be a little bit on the crazy side because you are getting two Troy’s for the price of one. If we were gold, you’d be rich. Instead, you get us…so ladies, you’re in heaven. Introducing fellow scribbler extraordinaire, Troy Blackford. He is the author of the new ebook Critical Incident as well as a Twitter monster, which is where I met him! Not only does he write, but he is a rabid blogger too! I was able to catch up with Mr. Blackford to see what kind of shenanigans he’s been up to.

Episode #3 - Troy Blackford – From One Handsome Troy to Another…

-Tell us a little about yourself

I'm a man of diverse interests, but the main thing people should know about me is that I am enthusiastic about things that are funny, moving, interesting, or crazy. If you combine those things in any way, I either already am a fan of your work or will be as soon as I encounter it. For example, I had never seen three of my favorite shows before this year. For all I know, the thing I like most is just around the corner. But it's undoubtedly awesome.

-How long have you been writing?

This is actually a more difficult to answer question than it would be for many writers! It is multi-layered. How long have I been writing words down for fun? All my life. But there is a very literal reading to that. When I was younger, I would literally write and write and write pages of what could really only be summed up as 'Word Salad' - writing whatever flowing phrases I felt filled the page with wondrous shapes and assonant sounds.

"I shall but not to empty the reprove of summer's morn, for as I walk and bake, and flower and grow I shall fill the fount with all the thundering fonts of fracture..."

That sort of thing. When I say I wrote and wrote pages of this, I mean pages. In consumer ed class in high school - screen off, fingers flying. Just glad it wasn't a loud click-style keyboard. I would print it out at the end of the class and take it with me. I would sit in a closet in my first apartment with an electric typewriter just filling up pages from this old dot-matrix style ream of 1,000 sheets of paper I had ever since I was 12. It was nuts. But the important thing to remember is that at this time I did not in any way think of myself as a writer. I often remarked to myself how odd it was, as I typed the pretty sounds, that I didn't try to write something with form, characters, plot... a story, in other words. Often, there wouldn't even be meaningful grammar to what I was writing. It was like prose poetry.

The issue becomes even more clouded because I actually later wrote a thing as a joke that ended up being a 'Short Story Collection that Grows Into a Very Complicated Epic Novel' in 2006, entitled GhostPopulace, Vol. 1. And even at this time I did not consider myself a writer. I didn't try writing more until December 2009.

In September of 2009, I decided to confront one of my then-girlfriend's (now wife's) biggest fears. Each Halloween season, we watch about two months of horrifying movies. That year, she made it clear to me that she wanted to end that particular Halloween season with the movie that had scared her the most as a child, the made-for-television 1990 Miniseries adaptation of the Stephen King classic IT. I had never seen IT. I had definitely never read IT. I had, in 5th and 6th grade, went through a brief Stephen King era where I read (because of the miniseries The Langoliers ) the novella-collection Four Past Midnight, followed by the short story collection Skeleton Crew. These were both amazing books, but honestly I was so disturbed by the child-rape scene in The Library Policeman in Four Past Midnight (which I shouldn't have read as a ten year old, except probably I should have because even though the story was terrifying as hell, it was awesome) that eventually I felt too afraid to read any more of the great man's work as a mere 'pre-teen.'

Once I started reading it again, at age 23 or something like that, I really started reading IT again, if you take my meaning. It was so incredible and epic and mindblowing that I felt like a ridiculous fool for not caring before that. I started reading another Stephen King book and another, and within a few weeks I had started reading every single one in order. On December 3rd, 2009, after reading Stephen King say that he got the basic core idea for Pet Sematary while burying his daughter's mauled cat, I had an epiphany.

That was the day I started writing my first actual novel, Under the Wall. It was actually not very good, but the lessons I learned from writing that, the book afterward (the pitiful short 'story' collection A Sudden Outburst of Cosmic Duck), the book afterward (Out the Door), the book afterward (Formland, good luck finding that one) and the subsequent works that are actually decent, helped me become the person I am today!

-What brought Critical Incident to life?

Honestly, I had been focused on short stories for months. I had finally started cracking into some publications, and was feeling pretty good about that. But I realized that I hadn't entered into the sort of 'Write a longer story, put it out' situation that had typified my earlier work, and I thought "Let me just get real lean and mean with some short novella and make it a Kindle exclusive." That was what was buzzing though my head for a week or two while I was finishing up some short story revisions. Then, I was walking from my awesome office job to the bus stop downtown, when this really raggedy homeless looking guy walked by, muttering incomprehensible things while consulting a wadded up piece of paper every two seconds like he was worried he would forget whatever it said on the page. I thought "I should make that into the premise of that novella I keep meaning to write. What would the story be?"

Then I just had somebody die every time things started slowing down. The rest is history.

-What is on the horizon for Mr. Troy (it’s still weird to say this)?

Ha! Fellow Troy, it will always be weird to talk to someone as cool as you, whatever their name is. But right now I have just come out with my latest book about cats with sinister powers, Through the Woods - you can find it on Kindle on Amazon. I'm putting out a paperback within the next week of that. I've just got Critical Incident available on paperback, as well. But I just started hardcore work on the sequel to Critical Incident, which will be out by the New Year and be quite freaky. I had three stories published in journals last month, and hope to keep the trend of externally published short stories going while I finish Emergent Pattern, which is the title of the Critical Incident sequel, and I also have a psychological crime/horror thriller called Fiver Films in the works that will be out either before or after the final novella in the Critical Incident trilogy releases in March. By June, I will have released Emergent Pattern, it's sequel, Fiver Films, a few more short stories, and... I dunno... a partridge in a pear tree?

-What’s on the long-term horizon for you?

Having kids, teaching them to mow the lawn and do dishes, and just sort of 'coasting.' I have so much on my short-term writing horizon, my long-term goals are to expand my short story publications and then leverage that into a professionally published collection. But it sounds so ridiculously normal and unfunny to say that I will just say my longterm goals are to become the sexiest and most talented possible mix of Martin Gore and Jon Hamm.

-What is one of your biggest goals in this writing life?

To be able to spend all day everyday working my fingers into nubs to be as creative as possible in an attempt to bring some mild amusement into people's lives. I think that however much I work at writing, it would be a bigger weirdness if I could spend even more time at it.

-What’s your favorite song right now?

Today I listened to the Allegro Con Brio section of "Waldstein Sonata" like four times in a row. Nice Beethoven piano sonata, but not typical of what I usually listen to. My favorite new band is thenewno2, and I recommend listening to their BRILLIANT new album thefearofmissingout if you have a chance. It's unbelievable. My favorite bands include Depeche Mode, John Lennon, and Rasputina. I am bumping 'Holocaust of Giants' by Rasputina, 'My Joy (7" Mix)' and 'Painkiller' by Depeche Mode, and 'Make It Home,' 'Station,' and 'Live a Lie' by thenewno2 every day lately when I write. And it rules!

-What line of prose are you the most proud of?

"A setting sun is rising every elsewhere," is the one I think of right off the bat. Not really a line, but the subtitle of the final chapter of my currently purposely out-of-print novel Out the Door. I bet there is one I'd mean more, but that's the one I remember without thinking so it seems an honest answer.

-What would you like to be remembered for?

Not having cussed out the people on the bus who suck while I'm writing. I know it's not their fault, but the people on the bus who yell stupid crap while I'm trying to drown them out with my Rooted Android phone (which can have volume turned up an order of magnitude beyond what an unrooted phone can do, literally putting my hearing at not risk but at gunpoint) and I can still hear them over music being pumped directly into my ear louder than anything should safely go - they sort of suck. They sort of make me want to kick things. The fact that nobody has died because I'm trying to write on the bus? Where's my freaking medal?

-Are you happy?

Hell yeah! I love my job, my wife, my cats, my house, and my work! I have plenty of time to write and even if it's never lucrative, I've gotten such great feedback from what little I've done and had so much fun doing the actual work itself that even if I had to pay to write, and only a few people ever had nice things to say, I'd be prouder than a peacock and happier than crap!

-Where else can we find you?

The easiest answer is just to head to my website: http://www.troyblackford.com - got links to everything else online there. The sidebar on the right has all my short stories published on other sites, in paper publications, and on my own site, in addition to links to buying my novels and novellas on Kindle and in paperback. I recommend everybody who reads this just sort of goes all swirly eyed and then wakes up in a pile of having bought and read all my stuff. Then, they should turn into mindless advertisement zombies who tell all their friends and family to pass out and wake up in a pile of having benefited me.

I should have just said: http://www.troyblackford.com, huh?

Thanks so much, Troy Aaron Ratlif, for interviewing me - Troy Arlen Blackford. The last thing I want to mention is that in that crappy first novel, Under the Wall, my main characters' names were 'Redcliffe' in a weird remix of 'Blackford' - and that's basically your name. Weirdo!

You can find Critical Incident here: http://www.amazon.com/Critical-Incide...

And Troy's newest Through The Woods here: http://www.amazon.com/Through-the-Woo...

Troy Blackford
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Published on November 16, 2012 11:40 • 3,091 views • Tags: amazon, author, authors, fiction, ghosts, horror, it, kindle, novel, sequel, short-story, stephen-king, twitter, weird, writers, writing
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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen Found this from your website. I will read the other from there as soon as I have time. Never stops for anyone.

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