Complementing my daily blog interviews, tonight’s Author Spotlight, the thirty-fifth, is of fantasy and horror author Ty Johnston.
Ty Johnston was born in Kentucky, growing up in and around the central city of Lexington. After college he spent the next 20 years as an editor with several newspapers. All the while he was writing short stories, a handful of which sold in smaller publications. Several years ago, he was forced into a change of careers, a circumstance many have faced recently. He decided it was time to take his love of fiction writing and to make it his new, full-time career. With the patience of a loving wife, and the joy of a beagle and house rabbits running around his feet, he has managed to do what he had once thought impossible. He has become a full-time fiction writer.
Most of his novels and short stories have been in the fantasy and horror genres, though he has penned some few science fiction and literary tales. After years as a newspaper journalist, and now as a fiction author, writing has become not only his life, but his religion. To borrow a quote from author Jonathan Franzen, “I worship at the altar of literature”.
And now from the author himself:
As I’ve grown older, I have come to find travel overrated.
It’s not that I have disdain for those who are well-traveled, but I often don’t understand it. To my way of thinking, going to places where thousands or millions of people visit on a regular basis is kind of beside the point. Yes, I can understand the exaltation in personally experiencing a place, its sites and cultures. But for myself, I would not find education, enjoyment nor prestige in staring at a sight with a camera in my hand while a busload of others standing next to me are doing the same.
That being said, I do enjoy going off on adventures. I find a thrill in discovery, especially in regions remote. Sure, I’m likely treading on ground walked by others, but it is new to me.
Perhaps I prefer solitude, or small groups, over a pack of fellow travelers.
Again, I do not mean to disparage those who feel otherwise. To each their own, I say.
But as I prefer lone treks into uncharted territories, I must admit such lands are more and more difficult to find. I do not have the budget for trips to the moon or deep-sea diving. I can trek back into a mountain range or deep forest or jungle, if I wish, but I’m not as young as I used to be.
This is one reason I consider literature my religion. Through the printed or digital word, I can travel anywhere I wish whenever I wish. Literature can plant me in the middle of any era of history, or within worlds dreamed of only by the imagination. The written word is not limited by time and space.
If I wish to examine a world undreamed, I can create it myself. This is one of the reasons I write, to explore. Sometimes I merely wish to analyze a physical world, often different from our own. Other times I want to scout the inner world, that which is inside us.
Each of us has similarities, but each is also unique. Through writing, I can bound off to lands of my own, or for some little while I can plant a flag in the minds of others.
Within the bounds of the written word, I am my own infinite spirit. Nothing is beyond me. That which is locked away by my own imagination can be opened by the artistry of others.
I make no claims to be a great writer, merely one who is always in search of something new to experience, even to share. Sometimes that includes the mundane or the tawdry, even the darker passions of our existence. At other times my exploration reaches heights that are blinding to witness, that can bring shivers to the soul.
This is why I consider literature my religion, though I am not the strongest of devotees. Through writing and reading, I can discover all things, I can be all things.
Only divinity can offer as much.
You can discover more about Ty and his writing at:
To view the selection of his available e-books:
Thank you Ty.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with crime novelist Mark Billingham – the two hundredth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks at Smashwords.