Posted on December 6, 2022 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we're interviewing Alyn Troy, author of The Mystic Brews and Pixie Twist series of paranormal cozy mysteries.
In addition to Indiana, he’s lived in Southern California, where his Pixie Twist series is set, and has served as a history docent on a notable pier in SoCal.
In his past lives, he’s been a journalist, a wedding photographer, and an adjunct professor.
SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.
ALYN: When I started writing the Pixie Twist series, I was inspired by one of my clients from my days photographing weddings.
The groom had suffered a collision with a tree while bicycling, and was paralyzed from the waist down. He and all but one of the groomsmen were in wheelchairs, and actively participated in sports.
They shattered my illusion of what handicapped meant.
I purposely modelled the main character’s boyfriend after him. But I wanted to do more than just one character with a disability. So, the entire town is built atop the magical equivalent of a toxic area. Faerock surges create birth defects from time to time.
Inspired by my past client, as well as people I know with disabilities, I wanted to have a setting where they could show how they succeed in a world that doesn’t conform to their disabilities.
Eventually, I plan to write myself into the series. I’ll be the grumpy old cuss who’s hard of hearing and makes everyone shout to be heard.
SADYE: Which of your characters would you most like to trade places with?
ALYN: Basil the mini-dragon. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a mini-dragon, with the ability to teleport, a love of chili-cheese dogs, and an awesome Aussie accent?
SADYE: What have been the most surprising, rewarding, and challenging parts of your writing career?
ALYN: Surprising? How many readers have strong opinions of what needs to happen in the backstory.
For example, everyone who writes in about my Pixie Twist series is longing for the day that our backstory antagonist, Star Sinclair, is no longer in the stories.
However, without a good antagonist, it’s challenging to make the protagonist have a chance to shine on their own.
Rewarding? The interaction with my readers. I love hearing from those who have been touched by a story or a character. Even if they do wish a flaming space object would fall from the sky and take out Star Sinclair.
Challenging? Trying to find new readers. Services like the email newsletters (such as Fussy Librarian) are a huge help in that regard.
SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?
ALYN: Amanda in the Pixie Twist Mysteries is based on one of my top beta readers. With her permission, I named the local mermaid barista after her.
When mermaids come ashore, they magically shift to using legs. But, in that town, magical faerock causes all sorts of birth defects. Amanda’s tail, and legs, don’t work quite right, and both the real Amanda and the fictional one, use elbow crutches.
As the real Amanda was alpha-reading the latest Pixie Twist book, she noted where the main character, also with twisted leg, pointed out that people with disabilities want to do for themselves as much as they are able. The real Amanda left a note in the margin something like “Exactly!”
Being able to understand enough of someone else’s experiences, and be able to communicate them in a story – in this case without even trying — is what I’m happy to have developed in my storytelling.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
ALYN: Quirky, strange, and different are human qualities. Whether the quirk is in a coffee-bean-addicted feline, a pompous Pomeranian, a pixie with a wonky wing, or a super-spy-secret-agent with a crush on a local artist, it’s all good.
Everyone has a role to play in this game we call life. As long as you don’t harm someone else, I’m all about my characters, my friends, and everyone letting their quirkiness fly high.
Be you, and love every minute of that experience. Quirky people make life more interesting and fun.
* * *
Know an author you'd like to see featured? Email us with a recommendation!
Categories: Author Interview