Troy Young Seeks Solace Through His Stories
The route an author takes to get to the next level varies by the writer. Some get there by planning for it throughout their entire lives. Then, some authors get there by a different trajectory and often find success later.
“I wasn’t someone who always dreamed of being an author,” said Troy Young, author of The Seeker of Solace, a space western series that is available on Amazon. “The first real thought of it came while I was teaching. I’m a part-time business professor, and I was teaching my students about their second career.”
Young taught his students the valuable lesson of chasing their dreams and thinking about a life they could pursue without the worries of money. But things took a turn when a student asked him what he would do. The question stumped him at the time because he had not considered it.
An idea hit him while he was visiting his parents in their Florida home almost two years ago. While observing the area, he noticed the sidewalks in the area. To his eyes, these were brand new. But he also knew that Florida was not an area built for extensive walking.
“After over an hour in the hot Florida sun, I was dehydrated and delirious,” he explained. “A story about a lazy man living in a trailer park appeared in my head. This was not entirely out of character; I often would create stories and scenarios in my head. What was different about this one was when I returned to Toronto, I talked to my staff and told them about this story.”
Young runs a non-profit association. And that was where ideas filled his head. One of his team members had heard enough and asked him when he would write these stories down, and that was the moment that motivated him to become an author.
“That wasn’t the first thing I published,” he added. “I tried to get Florida Man (now titled The Extra (ordinary) Life of Jimmie Mayfield) traditionally published. I did self-publish it in November 2020, and it is now up for the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour.”
Young learned early that it was relatively easy to self-publish a book. He put his work on Amazon and also learned about how much work goes into it. Some bigger hurdles he had to overcome included marketing and editing.
“This is why I’d love to be traditionally published one day, so I have other people as invested in my success as I am to help do some of these different parts of the job so I can focus on creating stories.”
He has had many ventures throughout his career. He was a newspaper owner, an elected official, and even a children’s performer. Young noted that elements of all those professions eventually made their way into his writing and helped him create great visual storytelling.
“Owning the newspaper helped me write under pressure and try to make the mundane interesting,” he stated. “Being an elected official and senior policy advisor gave me an understanding and interest in government. My time as a business professor and CEO has given me insights into people’s motivation, which I think contributes to writing a well-crafted character.”
His book The Seeker of Solace, available on Amazon, is the first in a space-western series that Young is constructing.
“The TV show The Mandalorian and the video game Red Dead Redemption equally inspired The Seeker of Solace,” he recalled. “This is a book that flushed itself out over six months in my head before I wrote it, but once I started, I ground out a 63,000-word novel in twelve days. I had never written like that before, and I think it was my most enjoyable writing experience. Unlike some authors who spend tons of time world-building before writing, I like to build as I go.”
He explained that Seeker of Solace draws on multiple established Western and Samurai tropes. The book starts with the principal character, Orlan, getting captured. He is a bank robber, and the town wants to take their revenge on him. Young details the character’s struggles of going through life, at age 50, and having to contemplate what led him to this place in life.
That is when he gains a second chance. As with many redemption stories, this one gives the Orlan a choice; return to the gallows or hunt down the gang’s remaining members and have the freedom to plot an alternative path.
The second book in the series, The Denial of Deliverance, is out as well. Young stated that this story feels like a mixture of Magnificent Seven and Seven Samurai, with some Mad Max added. A third book, Balancing the Ledger, is in the works, and Young stated that there would also be a fourth book featuring the Orlan character.
Along with this series, Young has several other books, including The Other, a series of horror stories. All of his work is available on Amazon.