Romelia: WHAT IS A SIGNIFICANT WAY YOUR BOOK HAS CHANGED SINCE THE FIRST DRAFT?
Faith Troyer: My novel, He’s The Goal, has changed significantly since the first draft. It was supposed to be a short novel, about 25,000 words in length, for a holiday anthology on Amazon. However, the collection ended up falling through, and I had to make a decision. ‘To publish, or not to publish?’ That was the question. I ended up tearing the entire first draft apart and made it into a full finished novel.
Romelia: WHAT PERSPECTIVES OR BELIEFS HAVE YOU CHALLENGED WITH THIS WORK?
Faith Troyer: My female MC, Vada, is a plus-size heroine. She’s mouthy and packs a punch. She gives Max, the male support character, a run for his money, and he eats it up. Though considering her past, she’s put up walls, so her ‘sassiness’ is mostly a front to keep men away from her, but it won’t work on Max. He eventually earns her trust and begins to take her walls down. I wanted Vada to be a woman with curves for a specific reason. Plus size women aren’t usually valued or found attractive in today’s media or literature, and I want to change that.
Romelia: WHAT INSPIRED THE IDEA FOR YOUR BOOK?
Faith Troyer: I’m a big fan of ‘women’s fiction’ and ‘sports fiction’ novels. I’ve read quite a few books with the ‘Mixed Martial Arts’ and ‘football’ tropes, but nothing with hockey. Some hockey-themed stories out there, though I wanted to put my spin on the ‘hockey’ trope.
Romelia: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BOOK’S IDEAL READER?
Faith Troyer: My book’s ‘ideal’ reader would be anyone who likes a wild ride; filled with tons of excitement, drama, intimate love scenes, and isn’t afraid to ask for the tissues. This book has its share of heartbreak. It’s a funny read, as well as a tear-jerker.
Romelia: HOW MUCH RESEARCH DID YOU NEED TO DO FOR YOUR BOOK?
Faith Troyer: I had to do my fair share of research. I’ve been to lots of hockey games, but to be honest, I don’t know much about it. To write an excellent sports-themed novel, I have to see what I’m talking about. For the first few weeks, I think I spent most of my days off from work, scouring the internet for factual information about the sport, apart from the scant knowledge that I had. I wanted Max to be on a fictional American Hockey League team, a semi-professional. I needed to familiarize myself with drills, plays, when the season began every year, etc.; researching well is essential because I want this novel to be as real as possible in the reader’s eye.
Romelia: HOW IMPORTANT WAS PROFESSIONAL EDITING TO YOUR BOOK’S DEVELOPMENT?
Faith Troyer: Editing is critical! I want my book to be as accurate as possible in every way. Professional editing is also costly, so I have a team of wonderful friends who not only edit but beta read for me as well. Two of these people are also indie writers, so they understand how important it is to have a professionally edited novel. They want to see me succeed, and the only way to do that is to have an error-free manuscript.
Romelia: WHAT WAS YOUR HARDEST SCENE TO WRITE, AND WHY?
Faith Troyer: The hardest scene for me to write had been when Max was grieving the loss of his mother. She was practically a stranger to him at this point; not being able to see her son for the past fourteen years had made quite an impact on them both. Max had decided not to see his mother, not knowing that she was sick, and a few months later, she died from cancer. Maxwell is so cocky and carries himself as if things don’t bother him. Still, this news was a shock to the system and showed a whole new side to him.
Romelia: WHAT CHARACTERS IN YOUR BOOK ARE MOST SIMILAR TO YOU OR TO PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
Faith Troyer: Monica. She’s Vada’s best friend. She’s similar to me in a lot of ways. In a nutshell, she’s me. Funny, bubbly, artistic, sensitive, and stubborn. Monica is a beautiful person, a very ‘ride or die’ type of friend that is always there for the people she loves.
Romelia: HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK?
Faith Troyer: It took me almost three months to complete ‘He’s The Goal.’ This is a first for me because I have a hard time finishing a WIP. I get too excited about a new book and end up leaving the current WIP unfinished. I’m proud of myself and will keep the rhythm going for future novels.
Romelia: HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE FOR YOUR BOOK?
Faith Troyer: I like to come up with the name before even plotting the storyline out. So not having a name for this book for almost a week was driving me crazy! I was brushing my teeth when I came up with the title, as funny as that sounds! I was debating on ‘You’re The Goal.’ or ‘He’s The One.’ But none of those sounded right to me, and then ‘He’s The Goal’ popped into my head, and I knew that was the right title for my book.
Romelia: WOULD YOU AND YOUR MAIN CHARACTER GET ALONG?
Faith Troyer: Vada and I would most definitely get along. We both need what the other needs. She’s a little reserved, even though she doesn’t want people to know that. She tries to be more outgoing than she is, but she’s naturally a little on the shy side. She has difficulty trusting people and wants to let her guard down more and not be self-conscious. I, however, can make a friend anywhere. I love to be the life of the party! I consider myself a ‘social butterfly/’ I can be a little naive, though, and I will admit that. I tend to trust a little too quickly; I sometimes think, which has gotten my heart broken a few times, both from friends and in relationships. I think Vada and I could learn a lot from one another.
Romelia: IF YOU COULD MEET YOUR CHARACTERS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?
Faith Troyer: I would say to Vada that she is a beautiful woman and to not be afraid to wear a sexy Halloween costume to a party with a room full of people. I say strut that gorgeous booty around and let your hair down. I would tell Max that just because he’s had his heart broken in the past, past doesn’t mean that Vada will smash it to pieces. Look at how she treats you! She’s obviously in love with you, so stop trying to act like you don’t see it.
Romelia: WHAT IS YOUR WRITING PROCESS LIKE? ARE YOU MORE OF A PLOTTER OR A PANTSER?
Faith Troyer: I’m what I call a Plotter/pantser. I don’t plot my stories for long, and I’ve tried, but I lose interest. However, I can’t just completely pants a novel either. I need some direction as to where I’m headed. I have the title, my character’s names and personalities all mapped out, and a general idea of where the plotline is going.
Romelia: WHAT DO YOU NEED IN YOUR WRITING SPACE TO HELP YOU STAY FOCUSED?
Faith Troyer: I need a good playlist focused on what is happening at the moment on that specific chapter or scene. Sometimes, I play YouTube videos of rain or ocean sounds, too, depending on if they are in a rainstorm or at the beach. I like to have my desk as mess-free as possible. I hate writing when my room, which doubles as my office, is a mess. I enjoy lighting candles or incense too for ambiance.
Romelia: IF YOU WERE TO WRITE A SPIN-OFF ABOUT A SIDE CHARACTER, WHICH WOULD YOU PICK?
Faith Troyer: Monica and Vada’s brother Jack! Maybe they’ll get together! Or perhaps about Max’s ex-fiance, Josie.
Romelia: IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ANOTHER POPULAR AUTHOR, WHOM WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Faith Troyer: Oh, man! This one is hard! I would say either Carian Cole or Corrine Michaels. They both have excellent books that I’ve eaten up and can’t get enough of. I would highly recommend them both!
Romelia: WHAT IS YOUR SCHEDULE LIKE WHEN YOU’RE WRITING A BOOK?
Faith Troyer: Two Words. CRAZY BUSY! I work full time as a housekeeper, second shift. So when I come home, I eat, take a shower, and write for about three or four hours, then I go to bed. So that’s a 12 hour day, four days a week. I’m tired all of the time, but it’s so worth it!
Romelia: HAVE YOU EVER TRAVELED AS RESEARCH FOR YOUR BOOK?
Faith Troyer: No, but it’s a dream of mine. I would love to see the world one day.
Romelia: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WRITING SNACK OR DRINK?
Faith Troyer: I love Bubly water! The lime and cherry flavors are my favorite. I like to pop open a can and have it at the ready on my desk when I’m deep into writing.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE WHEN YOU FINISH YOUR BOOK?
Faith Troyer: Well, He’s The Goal is my second finished piece, so I have found it a tradition to buy a bottle of wine and binge on a good tv series. I want to kick back and relax, which is rare while being so invested in your novel.
Romelia: WHAT RISKS HAVE YOU TAKEN WITH YOUR WRITING THAT HAVE PAID OFF?
Faith Troyer: In ‘Lay Me Down,’ which is my first story, I published to Amazon back in 2019 and just re-released it as a second edition; I knew coming into this story would be a hit or miss. It’s short, just shy of 14,000 words. It’s been described in reviews as a ‘whirlwind’ romance between the two characters Julia and Max, but their love is so red hot, the reader will never forget it. I was afraid that it wouldn’t resonate with readers because of the short storyline, but I wanted to take a chance. I’m so glad that I did! It has a four-star rating on Amazon and a five-star rating on GoodReads.
Romelia: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU GOOGLED YOURSELF AND WHAT DID YOU FIND?
Faith Troyer: I don’t Google myself often. I just Googled myself by putting in Faith M Troyer in the search engine right now, and my Author’s page for Amazon popped up and some short stories I have written for Reedsy.
Romelia: WHAT IS YOUR KRYPTONITE AS A WRITER?
Faith Troyer: I would say my ‘kryptonite’ as a writer would be trying to plot solely, not having any pantsing at all. However, this might be an impossible feat. Still never say never.
Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY FROM YOUR ADULT LIFE.
Faith Troyer: This was years ago; I think I was in my early twenties when this happened. My friends and I were at an ice – cream shop in town, and as we were at the window receiving our cones, a man came up, well more like stumbled up to me who smelled very much like a brewery and continued to lick my double scoop order of Blue Moon. If you haven’t had Blue Moon ice – cream, it’s the best! It’s mainly found in Ohio and Indiana, to name a few, but I digress. My eyes widened, and my jaw fell slack, as I couldn’t believe that he did this to me! The man stood there; the decadent treat was all over his mouth and chin, like a child. He looked as if he had just eaten a smurf! That’s how blue the ice -cream is. My only words to him were, ‘You ate my ice- cream.’
Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.
Faith Troyer: Something you may not know about me? I’m a cat person. I love all animals! But cats hold a special place in my heart, and I’m not too fond of the feeling of chalk, baby powder, and cotton balls. It just grosses me out. I would describe myself as a devoted person. I’m very passionate about what makes me the happiest, for example, my writing, friends, and family. Something I hate about the world? Rude people. I can’t stand it when someone is disrespected.