Tory, what inspired you to write your debut novel?
My father died unexpectedly and it totally prioritized what I wanted to say about my life. Some not so important things were relegated to the lower end of my list allowing my writing to take precedence. Once I made the commitment, a set time was put aside every day to write. I found a quiet location and let the words pour from my brain. Before I realized, the flooding of words gave me a total of four books which are a series entitled, The Davenport Decrees. My first novel is Alter Ego.
Tell us about the plot.
Informed by his Captain to retrieve the remnants of a disfigured body, Special Agent Jack Stanwick exited FBI headquarters and raced toward Rockfort, Virginia. As sirens echoed in the distance, he approached the old gravel road that led to Granite’s Mill. Jack knew what he was about to see, and with most of ‘the brotherhood’ dispatched away, outside help was needed. So the experts at the Davenport Detective Agency had to be hired. Bren Williams, Derek O’Rourke and Russ Munroe are detectives under the guiding eye of former police chief, Raymond Davenport. All four were ex-cops who turned over state’s evidence on corruption in their respective precincts, only to be ostracized by the remaining brass. If anyone can immerse themselves fully into Alter Ego, they can!
How did your characters evolve?
I’ve had the storyline jangling around in my brain since the mid-1990’s. It wasn’t until I committed my ideas to paper that they took on a life of their own. With each stroke, my characters developed personalities, qualities, temperaments, dispositions and so forth. As you will see in my first novel, writing for a variety of men and women is quite the challenge, but I loved every minute of it. What helped me most was writing out a ‘grid’ as I call it. The grid allowed me to write out each character’s name, age, physical features, education, employment, backgrounds, personalities and how they related to the story. I used it so much that it had coffee stains on it (I probably shouldn’t have admitted that)!
Advice to other fledgling writers?
Your story has to be hungry to get out. When you sit to write, let it consume all thought; just allow it to bleed from your mind. Do not worry about perfection. That will come to fruition during the editing process. Once you have finished the initial draft, go back and read it out loud. Awkward sentences will reveal themselves. Always hire a competent editor (check Predators & Editors to see if they are in good standing) and get a beat-reader (one who is not a family member) to make sure you manuscript is ready to be published.
Tory Allyn currently resides in Upstate New York. Although born in Syracuse, he was raised in the quaint town of Baldwinsville with his brother and two sisters, who drove him into becoming the zany person he is today. As a child, he made up many a tale. Some funny; others dark and brooding, but all started him on the path to writing. Today, his nephew, lovingly referred to as ‘The Monster Child’, is his partner in crime. Most days, you will see them playing ball at a nearby park, going for a dip in the backyard pool or snowboarding down a popular mountainside.