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Troy Wilson (1970–) Biography - Personal, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

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Born 1970, in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada; Education: Attended Malaspina College (now University-College), 1988–90; attended University of Victoria, 1990–94; Camosun College, Diploma (applied communication), 2000.

Career

Writer. Summer camp counselor in British Columbia, Canada, 1990–98, 2000–01; British Columbia Ferries, customer sales and service representatives, 2002–04.

Troy Wilson

Honors Awards

Blue Spruce Award nomination, 2005, and Chocolate Lily Book Award nomination, and Florida Reading Association Children's Book Award nomination, both 2005–06, all for Perfect Man.

Writings

Perfect Man, illustrated by Dean Griffiths, Orca Book Publisher (Custer, WA), 2004.

Frosty Is a Stupid Name, illustrated by Dean Griffiths, Orca Book Publishers (Custer, WA), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including ChickaDee and Victoria, British Columbia's Monday Magazine.

Work in Progress

The picture books Save My Cat! and Snowless in Seattle.

Sidelights

Canadian writer Troy Wilson told SATA: "It's ironic, really. I was born and raised in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada. Surrounded on all sides by stunning natural beauty. Mountains, forests, crystal clear lakes, oceans—you name it. But I couldn't have cared less about that stuff. My three favorite activities were reading, writing, and cartooning. Heck, they were practically my only activities. I spent as much time in my room as I did outside. As long as I had a steady supply of books, comics, paper, and pens, I was as happy as a colt in clover. I wanted to be a cartoonist or a writer when I grew up or both. Partly because I loved comics and stories. And partly because I didn't believe I could do anything else.

"When I was very young, I sold comic stories to my mother and grandmother Nana. As time went on, though, I crafted fewer and fewer stories at home, saving my creative energy for school. Then, between sixth and tenth grade, my teachers didn't ask for stories, so I didn't create any. At Mt. Klitska Junior High School I drew a comic strip for the school paper called "The Roaming Reporter," in which a reporter interviewed various teachers and staff with comedic results. At home, I drew a comic about a monkey with super powers, As for writing, I did manage to get my first letter published in a comic-book letter column—a big thrill for me! It appeared in Marvel's Rom, Space Knight.

"When my family moved an hour south to Nanaimo, British Columbia, my writing took off. In grades 11 and 12, I took journalism, creative writing, and every other English-related elective I could. I even won a couple of prizes in a district-wide writing contest. As I entered the education faculty at Malaspina College, I landed my first publishing credit: a humorous essay in the now-defunct comics magazine, Amazing Heroes.

"When I transferred to the University of Victoria, I discovered I wasn't cut out to be a teacher and eventually I dropped out of the program. I wandered the employment landscape, working as a burger flipper, day care worker, summer camp counselor, Internet trainer, market surveyor, radio DJ/ producer, and customer service and sales representative.

"Nearing the end of 2000, I decided to get serious about my creative-writing endeavors. By the end of 2001, I'd When Michael's favorite real-world superhero hangs up his cape for good in Wilson's novel Perfect Man, the preteen is convinced that the man will come back into his life in another guise: but as who? (Illustration by Dean Griffitls.)won third place in the Victoria School of Writing's postcard fiction competition, published my first opinion piece in Monday Magazine, an alternative weekly in Victoria, and signed a contract with Orca Book Publishers for Perfect Man. A year later, I signed the contract for Frosty Is a Stupid Name.

"In Perfect Man Michael Maxwell McAllum learns lessons that I wished I'd learned at his age. He's too obsessed with a superhero named Perfect Man (just as I was too obsessed with comic books) until a teacher named Mr. Clark talks some sense into him and suggest he start living his life. Mr. Clark's advice to Michael is pretty much the only advice that might have convinced me (as a boy) to mix a few more real-world activities into my all-comics, all-the-time diet. But none of the adults in my life ever made their cases in quite the way Mr. Clark does. And even if they had, I probably wouldn't have listened anyway! The fact that Perfect Man was praised by one of my childhood idols, Stan 'The Man' Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man, Hulk, Fantastic Four, etc.) means more to me than any award the book has received."

On his home page, Wilson had this advice for budding writers: "Don't be afraid to make mistakes, because not only are mistakes inevitable, they are absolutely crucial. The goal is not to prevent all mistakes. (Prevent some? Sure. Prevent all? Fuhgeddaboudit!) The goal is to stop repeating the same mistakes again and again. The goal is to make new ones. You want to make as many different kinds of mistakes as you possibly can."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2004, review of Perfect Man, p. 451.

Resource Links, April, 2004, Linda Ludke, review of Perfect Man, p. 10.

School Library Journal, November, 2005, Lisa S. Schindler, review of Frosty Is a Stupid Name, p. 110.

ONLINE

Troy Wilson Home Page, http://www.troywilson.ca (April 12, 2006).

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