Monday, August 26, 2019

Troy Carrol Bucher Interview - Lies of Descent

Photo Credit: © Rachel Bucher

Troy Carrol Bucher served thirty years in the U.S. Army, where assignments took him to three wars and places like Turkey, Albania, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Korea. His travels allow him to tap into a lifetime of experience working with diverse cultures and peoples, bringing multiethnic customs and realism with a distinct military flavor to his Science Fiction and Fantasy writing.

Over the course of his career he has served as a Battalion Commander, the Professor of Military Science at Oklahoma State University, a Brigade Deputy Commander, a Battalion Executive Officer, a Company Commander at the U.S. Army Office Candidate School, and both a Battery Commander and Platoon Leader in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. He also served as an enlisted Soldier for nine years before commissioning as an Officer.

Troy holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and is a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program. Before traveling the world for Uncle Sam, he spent his childhood traipsing around the Verde Valley in Arizona.

​Troy's first novel, Lies of Descent, will be released by DAW and Brilliance Audio on August 20, 2019; he is the co-editor of "The Razor's Edge," science fiction and fantasy stories of insurgency by ZNB, LLC; and he has published multiple short stories. He is represented by Ms. Jennie Goloboy at the Donald Maass Literary Agency.


What inspired you to pen your first novel? Do authors ever really get choice? 
I once read that if you feel like writing a book, you should take two aspirin, go to bed, and hope it passes by morning. If you wake up and still can’t shake the urge, you’re probably destined to write a book so you might as well get started. I have to have something to focus on. It used to be running marathons, but arthritis killed that. Believe it or not, it’s harder not to write than to write

Tell us your latest news. Besides the release of Lies of Descent? 
I retire from the Army after 30 years in October. I’ve always said I would use my Army career to pay for my writing career. I did a few more years, and a few more wars, than I expected to get here, and I sold my first book earlier than I anticipated. While I’ve learned to juggle the two together for a while, I’m really looking forward to spending my days working around my small ranch and being a fulltime writer.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way? 
Books. Thousands of wonderful Science Fiction and Fantasy books. I have a bit over two thousand in my library, and I’ve read them all—the better ones two or three times. There a hundreds more that I don’t have any more because I’ve lost them or given them out. That’s one thing that amazed me when I was completing my Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction, the fact that many aspiring writers are not well read in their chosen genre. Besides the pure enjoyment of diving into other worlds, of getting to know so many great characters, books are the greatest teacher. I mean, forget the writing guides and the “how to” books and use that money to buy more fiction. There are a million success stories only an Amazon click or a bookstore away.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel? 
I want them to read the book and feel like it’s a simple coming-of-age story—right up to the point someone asks them what it’s about. Like life, things build slowly, one thing after another, until suddenly it’s a lot more complicated than you realize. I also want people to understand that being “chosen” for a magic school or to serve in some romanticized sword and sorcery army is not all it’s cracked up to be. That behind it all, there are repercussions for learning to swing sharpened steel or wield magic against each other. I also go for realism in Fantasy. Sure there are fantastical elements and magic, but beneath it there should be a feeling of realism that brings authenticity to the characters.

Did you learn anything from writing LIES OF DESCENT and what was it? 
Not one thing, many things. First, it’s a lot of work. Second, that writing discipline and momentum are the most important things you can build and maintain. Third, that it takes a village of friends to keep a writer going. Finally, that finishing a draft is only the beginning. Through multiple revisions you have to learn and defeat your own bad habits. Every writer should have a list of his or her overused words or phrases, common grammatical errors, and blind spots. It takes a ton of passes to weed these out, until at last you realize you are changing happy to glad and vice versa. Then it’s ready to go out. Don’t rush to failure.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Riam and Nola? 
These two are like my kids. They do exactly what they want no matter how I try to persuade or push them in other directions. I’ve learned to listen to my characters more and have been pleasantly surprised at how often they are right. Not so much with my children, but I’m working on it.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 
This is a really cool question. I’d want Riam to meet Kvothe from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Kvothe would understand Riam’s suffering. I can see Kvothe picking Riam up from where he’s fallen in exhaustion on the cobblestone streets of Parthusal. When all around him people refuse to see him for his brand, Kvothe would come and lift him to his feet. “I see you,” Kvothe would say. “I have lived on streets such as these. Pain is transitory, and with it comes growth. You will be so much more than these people if you just keep going.” Ya…that would be a fantastic scene.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be? 
This is going to end differently than you expect.

What was your favorite childhood television program? 
That’s too easy. Doctor Who. Tom Baker will always be the true Doctor.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager? 
Can I just stick with the 80’s I had? So many great things from those years: D&D (Back when it only took the DMG to play), waiting patiently on the next Dragonlance or Shannara novel, and of course, Depeche Mode and Guns and Roses.

What are 4 things you never leave home without? 
Hmm...Cell phone, bankcard, MacBook, and my characters.

If you could live in any period in history, where would it be and why? 
Somewhere in a distant future—one where travel to other worlds is as easy as flying to Europe. While there is plenty to see on good old planet Earth, one of my worst fears is that we are trapped on this rock for eternity...or at least until we run out of resources. It’d be a great shame if all the life in the universe were kept compartmentalized by an insurmountable void.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today? 
Probably the war in Iraq. I was a Captain and my unit was assigned to patrol an area in southern Baghdad in early 2005. It was right about the time the roadside bombs (Improvised Explosive Devices) were becoming a serious problem. It was up close and personal, and I lost several good Soldiers. It made me realize the true costs of war. It also made me realized that we are trapped assessing other cultures through the lens of our own society. As long as we are stuck in this frame of reference, we will never truly understand each other.

What did you do for your last birthday? 
Ha ha. Really? I planted two trees in the orchard, repaired some irrigation lines, and did some mowing. Not exactly the height of excitement, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In this compelling fantasy from a debut author, two people must unite warring cultures to banish the gods who destroyed their homeland.

The Fallen Gods' War drove the remnants of a victorious army across the ocean in search of a new homeland. A thousand years later, the lifeless continent of Draegora is largely forgotten, a symbol for the regiments that remain. Demons to some. Protectors to others. The power of their god-touched blades has forged a nation, though many resent their absolute control.

Riam and Nola are unknowing descendants of the old world. When it's discovered they carry enough Draegoran blood to serve in the regiments, they are dragged away from their families to begin training. If they survive, they will be expected to enforce the laws of the covenant, to fight the Esharii tribesmen who raid along the border, and to be judge, jury, and executioners for those accused of crimes.

For Riam, who welcomes his escape from an abusive father, the power to protect those who cannot defend themselves is alluring. For Nola, who wishes to return home, it is a betrayal by all she holds dear.

Neither is given a choice...and neither may ever get the chance to serve.

Lies of Descent begins an epic trilogy of fallen gods, betrayal, and magic--where dark motives often dwell within the true and just, and where the things most feared sometimes lead to salvation.


"The opening salvo in what promises to be a dramatic and inventive new fantasy series." —Peter McLean, author of Priest of Bones

"Well-written and compelling, Troy Bucher's Lies of Descent depicts how factual accuracy, military culture, and religion all conceal a long-standing historical deception about to implode into a conflagration fueled by the lust for power and fanned by mythic misconceptions." —L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the Recluce novels

“Troy Carrol Bucher deftly twists all of your expectations into new and innovative directions. Unpredictable; readers will not know what to expect from this epic fantasy as the lies that the world lives by begin to unravel.” —Joshua Palmatier, author of the Ley trilogy

"This coming of age story will appeal to fantasy readers of all ages." —Booklist

"Troy Carrol Bucher’s debut novel shows how much promise he offers to the literary world with an inspiring imagination of secrets only touched upon." —Irish Film Critic

You can purchase Lies of Descent at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you TROY CARROL BUCHER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Lies of Descent by Troy Carrol Bucher.


  1. "If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?" The man who invented toilet paper, Bear Grylls who will figure out how to filter all of our water (preferably not through his socks), and the chef Marie-Antoine CarĂªme, who will serve food with a lot of very tasty heavy sauces!

  2. I would want to be with someone skilled in the outdoors with a knowledge of the wilderness--Theodore Roosevelt, who would also be great around a campfire. I'd add Clara Barton in case we were injured, and Seaman, Lewis and Clark's dog.

  3. I would want Chelsea Handler for endless entertainment, Jackie Chan to help fight off any pirates, and Rey Mears for everything survial.