Thursday, October 6, 2016

Scripted Interview With Tory Allyn on His New Book ALTER EGO . . . .

Christal Cooper

Scripted Interview With Tory Allyn
About His New Book Alter Ego

What is the short summary of Alter Ego?
Alter Ego is different from any other mystery novel on the shelves today. It brings you into the world of three detectives who couldn’t be more different. Each has their specialty to help solve the case. Add in an ancient elixir, a beautiful journalist, an aggressive FBI agent and characters good or bad; you might be surprised to which side you’re rooting for.

Can you give me the step-by-step process of Alter Ego from the moment it was first conceived in your brain until final book form?
I’ve had Alter Ego brewing in my brain since the mid 1990’s, but never had the time to commit it down on paper.

Tory Allyn modeling in the 1990s.

When my father died suddenly in the summer of 2009, it made me ponder over my own life. My priorities were in disarray, so I developed a plan to set time aside every day and wrote my novel.

Can you give a short biography of your personal life and career history?
I currently reside in Upstate New York. Although born in Syracuse, I was raised in the quaint town of Baldwinsville with my brother and two sisters, who drove me into becoming the zany person I am today.

The Emita II passes through Lock 24 across from Paper Mill Island in downtown Baldwinsville.

As a child, I made up many a tale. Some funny; others dark and brooding, but all started me on the path to writing.

Today, my nephew, lovingly referred to as ‘The Monster Child’, is my partner in crime. Most days you will see us playing ball at a nearby park, going for a dip in the backyard pool, hitting the gym or snowboarding down a popular mountainside.

Can you give me a short biography of you as a writer?
When I finally made the commitment to write down my ideas, my manuscripts just poured out of me. I didn’t want to stop. Sometimes, I’d write all day, but the eyes became strained and my brain was drained.

Can you give me a short biography of your education history?
I have taken some courses, seminars, webinars and workshops to help me with various aspects of writing.

Where did you do most of the writing for Alter Ego?
In my man-cave. I could think in a quiet atmosphere and feel my characters. I touched the keys on my laptop. I smelled the chimney as it dispenses its aroma, and tasted the banter between the detectives. I’d see each of them vividly.

When you wrote it did you use pen and paper or laptop? Did you write at a certain time of day?  Did you have to have music playing, or a certain drink or snack?
I first used pen and paper to make a grid, but I typed it on my laptop in the early morning with a cup of coffee by my side.

How long did the process of writing Alter Ego take?
I wrote Alter Ego in the fall/winter of 2009. When finished, I had more to say…a lot more, so I kept writing…and writing…and writing. At the end, I had four novels, which include – Alter Boys, Altered State, and Alter Bound.  All are in a series entitled The Davenport Decrees.  

What was the most compelling part of the book for you to write and why?  May I include it as an excerpt?
It was definitely the beginning. It had to grab the attention of readers, so I worked on it for quite some time. Yes, you may include an excerpt.

What writers or books influenced you in writing Alter Ego?
There wasn’t one particular book that influenced me. Although I read many of John Grisham’s earlier work, it had no bearing on my writing.

I delved into actual books about writing, editing, marketing, etc. I also picked up, ‘Self-Editing Guide for the New Writer’ on Smashword. It helped me immensely and I recommend it for anyone who is considering a foray into writing.

Can you go into detail about the publishing process?
First and foremost, I went on the Internet and typed in, ‘Mystery publishers who are accepting unsolicited manuscripts (or whatever genre your manuscript falls under). I found three, so I contacted them, and because I had four manuscripts in my series, they all sent me a contract. I went with the best one for myself- Spume Publishing.

Anything you would like to add?

Never—and I do mean—never pay for a publisher to publish your manuscript. As a matter of fact, when you do find a publisher(s), check out, ‘Predators and Editors’. It will save you from going down the wrong road.

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Alter Ego

Sirens echoed in the distance as Jack Stanwick entered the rural town of Rockfort, Virginia. Another gruesome discovery led the local boys to claim jurisdiction—but the Bureau had their own ideas and about to pull rank. After he sliced through the necessary red-tape and secured the needed sanctions, FBI Director Gordon Weaver issued an order to survey the tragedy and retrieve all remnants from Granite’s Mill.
With hardly a resident looking his way, Jack hastened through the four-way stop and hurried up Old Gulch Road. He noticed the sparse trees had turned into a dense forest that dimmed an already cloudy sky. So after a quick flick of his wrist, the headlights came on.
As the car gained speed, it careened along the crushed-stone route. The loose gravel struck the undercarriage like a hail of bullets. At the same time, the screeching cry of police horns blared louder with each impending tread. It put him on high alert. While the adrenaline surged, he sped over a hill and caught sight of the glaring flares that inflamed his path, which improved his view. The crime scene now became visible.
Jack veered off onto a dusty road and pulled ahead of the pack of scattered cars. He shut off the engine, peered out the windshield and eyed the disarray of yellow police tape that encircled the crime scene. All the grave facial expressions gave weight to what lay just ahead.
Here we go again! His mind raced.
He reached over to unlock the glove compartment and removed a mini-recording device. Once his throat cleared, he pushed the corresponding buttons and spoke in a deep and sturdy voice, “This is Special Agent Jack Stanwick. It’s Sunday, the twenty-sixth of October and the time is…” He looked at his watch then continued logging the rest of his statement. When finished, he shed the blazer and put on his FBI jacket. He shoved the gadget into a pocket and turned it back on.
Jack unbuckled his seatbelt and thrust open the door. He emerged from the car and was overtaken by a brisk wind that stiffened his face and stirred his spine. With a quick zip of his jacket, he advanced toward the group of men who had gathered around as if in a football huddle. One of the local cops approached him.
“You must be the FBI agent?” Out came a hand. “I’m Deputy Morton Talbot.”
Jack grasped it. He noticed how the gun holster hung loosely around the deputy’s waist; seemingly held up by a uniform that was one size too big.
“You got here mighty quick.”
“I drove like a banshee.” Jack turned and stuck his head between the congregated men. “Why is everybody just standing here?” He looked down at a body partially covered with leaves.
“We don’t want to touch anything until Chief McAllister gets here.”
Jack pulled his head out from the group. “Where is he?”
“The chief is on his way up from Gallagher County. He’s been visiting his brother over the weekend.” The deputy glanced at his pocket watch. “He should be here any minute.”
Jack was raised to be respectful, but also knew cops from the South played by their own set of rules. If things weren’t done their way, an investigation could come to a screeching halt and critical clues would be lost. “I take it you haven’t started processing the crime scene? His eyes narrowed. “You know crucial evidence is disintegrating.”
“Like I said before, we’re waiting for the chief.”
Realizing the jig—a name he called the dance—Jack prepared for another whirl. “Can’t you can initiate things?” He wanted to plant the seed. “Aren’t you second in command?”
“Where’s my CSI team?”
“Right behind you.”
Jack spun around his head and noticed some FBI vans from Quantico, Virginia.
“We’ve got our folks standing by,” Deputy Talbot said. “I told your team that.”
“C’mon people, you can at least take pictures.” He pointed down. “I need those tire marks cast.”
Nobody moved.
“Damn it!” His body wrenched. “Where’s the camera? I’ll start this investigation myself.”
“Oh no ya won’t,” bellowed a loud, crass voice. The man bustled his way through the crowd. “This here’s my case that happened in my county that happened in my state.”
Jack stood in the presence of the South’s Wyatt Earp. He was a short, portly dynamo. Stuffed in an old suit with cowboy boots, he looked like a real hellcat. “You must be Chief Denton McAllister?”
“You’d be right, son.”
“I’m FBI Special Agent Jack Stanwick.” He stuck out his hand.
The chief ignored it, reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a cigar. He bit off an end, ran it under his nose then popped the blunt into his mouth and lit it. His eyes darted toward Deputy Talbot. “What’s all this excitement about?” His heavy drawl languished. “Have ya found Jimmy Hoffa?”
A sharp burst of laughter erupted from his men.
“No,” Deputy Talbot answered. “It’s more like a freak
“I wouldn’t call it that,” Jack piped up.
The chief took a steady puff of his stogie. “I reckon I’ll be the judge of that.”
Jack gritted his teeth. These were backwoods boys and he knew nothing would get done if they weren’t treated with kid gloves.   “You know by all accounts the FBI would be taking over this case once we were informed.” His voice remained calm and steady.
“I know the playbook, son.” The fiery tip of Chief McAllister’s cigar floundered with every word.  “Your boss called the governor and raised a hell of a dickens.”
       “I don’t know anything about that.  What I do know is I’ve got to haul this body up to our medical examiner, and soon, so I need my CSI team to do their job.”
The chief blew his noxious mist into the air.  “Can I at least take a gander at the body before those fellas get in my way?”
“Just don’t drop my ashes on the crime scene,” Jack countered.