It’s A Book Thing Presents: An Interview with L. R. Trovillion, author of JUST GODS, book #3 in the Maryland Equestrian series
Author’s Bio: As a kid, I loved the bad guy cartoon
characters Natasha Fatale and Boris Badenov on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. So, when I grew up, I decided to learn Russian and land a job with the U.S.
Federal Government. All kidding aside, at various times in my career I’ve
earned a living as a translator, language teacher, reporter, editor, and
Nowadays, I spend most of my time on my small horse farm,
which I share with my husband, a failed barn cat, and a Jack Russell
Terrorist…err, Terrier. Besides the novels, my work has appeared in Baltimore magazine and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Lawrence: What inspired you to write your book?
wanted to explore this issue: The theme of how to get past the big, traumatic
obstacles in one’s past that keep you from living a fulfilling, happy life in
the present. How to just move on and get past it? The main character has
endured trauma the same as the rescue horse she is trying to rehabilitate.
Their lives travel on a parallel trajectory until they both must finally face
the big obstacle they’ve been avoiding.
were some of the challenges when writing this book?
LRT: I envisioned the main character
as a young woman struggling with her sexual identity. I did not create her this
way to make a statement, but rather to explore another facet of the
coming-of-age struggles. She has a hard time in her relationship with her
father who holds more fundamentalist beliefs.
As a result, my usual editor
refused to work on the book because of her own personal beliefs and therefore I
was left to find a new editor to work with. I am happy to say it not only
worked out fine but I got another sensitivity reader in the bargain.
DL: Is there any particular author
or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
LRT: It may sound trite, but I credit
Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series with giving me the gift of reading. I
struggled to learn to read as a child due to undiagnosed reading disorders and
most children’s books at that time were dull as dishwater. When I discovered
the “girl detective,” I was hooked on mystery and devoured the series. That reading
practice opened up the wonderful world of books for me.
DL: If you could choose a superpower,
what would it be and why?
LRT: The power to flip a switch in my
brain that would shut off negative thoughts. I would love to be able to train
myself to face adversity with optimism and hope and to get out of the rut of
negative self-talk and criticism. It would make me (and everyone around me) a
DL: If you were hosting a dinner
party which three authors would be your dream guests and why?
LRT: I love this question! I would
invite Alexander Pushkin, the 19th century Russian writer. Before you roll your eyes,
get this—Pushkin was such a wild-child he liked to wear see-through pants to
the opera just to scandalize society. I’d also love to talk with Neil Gaiman. In
addition to his genius and creativity across many genres, he is also hilarious.
He offered advice to writers never to give up because eventually someone will
either be drunk or slip-up and offer to publish your book. Last but not least,
maybe Margaret Atwood because I would love to pick her brain on the future of
society and have her initiate a lively discussion…as frightening as that may
DL: What tips would you give to aspiring
LRT: If you don’t love writing, quit.
Seriously, because it takes a lot of patience, disappointment, pulling yourself
back up out of the depths of self-doubt, and sheer stubbornness to keep going.
If you don’t love it, find something else you do love.
DL: What do you like to do when
you are not writing?
LRT: An enormous percentage of my
time, energy, and money is spent on my horse, Lucida. I devote a great deal of
effort into learning the art of dressage and striving to become the rider this
sweet mare deserves. I love being around horses and they have taught me so many
DL: Would you like to share an
excerpt from JUST GODS?
LRT: Sure, this is a scene when Willow
defies rules to ride out alone and questions whether her friend, Rachael, might
be still alive…
I should get home. The clouds glide across the sky and blot out
the moon. Instead, I ride in the opposite direction. Away from home. Like
Tucker can carry me away. Like he can save me.
We stop at
the top of a ridge. Lightning flashes, illuminating how far we are from home.
The saddle is hard and flat against my hip bones when I lean as far back as I
dare, resting my elbows on Tucker’s hindquarters. The sky has turned into a
black bowl, lit up around the edges with cracks of light. I’m crazy to be out
here in the open. But I don’t care.
I sit up. “God,” I ask the brightest shining
star that hasn’t yet winked out. “If Rachael is OK, can you at least give me a
sign?” I feel stupid right away. A sign, really? Like the universe gives a crap
about me. Like it would care.
Tucker is no longer content to munch at the
grass. His head telescopes up on the end of his long neck. I catch the glint of
white reflected from his eye. My fingers crawl up the reins like spiders,
shortening them in case he bolts. His nostrils quiver, sucking in the scents I
rustle along the tree line catches his attention. I follow his gaze. As the
clouds glide away from the moon, the light hits an animal sitting at the edge
of the woods. It looks like a fox, but it’s glowing in the light. The animal
sits with a full, bushy tail wrapped around its haunches. His eyes black and
staring. But he’s white. Pure, almost blindingly white. We stop—me, Tucker, the
fox—with our breath captured in our chests, staring. The clouds cover the moon
and when my eyes adjust, he is gone.
DL: What new projects are you
currently working on?
LRT: I’m very excited about a new
murder mystery series about unsolved Jazz Age cold cases. The stories are told
in two timelines—1928 and today. From the dawn of forensic science to the
cutting edge of modern technology, two investigators a hundred years apart battle
personal demons as they take on the complicated, mis-handled
DL: Where can readers learn more about
you and purchase your book(s)?
LRT: Readers can learn more here:
Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/L-R-Trovillion/e/B00R0B3IVU
- Book Buy Links: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Gods-Eventers-Maryland-Equestrian-ebook/dp/B0B4PNZF4Z
DL: Thanks so much for being here
with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.
LRT: Thank you!