The Book Hipster

The ramblings of things that make me…um, well…me.

The Random 5…Troy Aaron Ratliff Edition

Welcome to my very first ever “The Random 5…” in which I will be sitting down with writers (or people I deem awesome enough to interview if I am in the mood to switch it up a bit) and ask them five random questions. Yeah, I know this has probably been done before more than once, but I’m gonna do it anyway, ok? I’ve been part of similar interviews and thought they were so much fun that I wanted to include the same type of fun on my own blog. This will also give you the chance to get to know these people a little bit better like I have been able to and hopefully you’ll want to head out and get their great stuff! 🙂


My first victim…er…writer *snicker* is Troy Aaron Ratliff !!! I met Troy (@TARatliff) a few months back on Twitter through a mutual friend Steven Luna (@thestevenluna). Luna is always passing along great book recommendations and new writer friends to me…almost like a drug dealer. So far, I’ve not found one instance where a book or writer that he has passed along to me has been anything less than awesome, so I allow him to keep shoving the word candy my way. One day he told me I should pick up Troy’s short stories THE UNINVITED GUEST and LITTLE BERNIE’S MAP , so I did. Now, I didn’t read them right away. In fact, I had so many other things on my plate at that time, I just set them aside for when I was ready, like I do a lot of the books I’ve been downloading. In early July, I had 2-3 days off in a row and needed something lighter to read…after speaking with my “adviser”, I decided to tackle some of the short stories I had in my lot…Troy’s were first on the list!

They were AWESOME!!! So awesome that since then, I’ve downloaded and read his other two short stories…GOING DOWN and HIGH BRIDGE. He also allowed me to read his short story JUST PAST THE TREES that is being released TODAY!!! Plus, we have talked on Facebook and Twitter and I’ve found him to be a pretty cool guy all around…even if he won’t let me see what he actually looks like. 😛

Now, not only does Troy have a way with the words, he also is talented in other areas…


This is my personal favorite, aside from the space octopus. I’m not sure what it is about it, but it speaks to me and I love it.

More drawings/sketches HERE



More Photography HERE

I also heard a rumor that he is good at impressions. This is totally unfounded as I’ve never been witness to said impressions…maybe someday. You know, if I ever get to meet Troy in person. 😉

If you’d like to learn MORE about Troy, you can find him on his Website , Twitter , Facebook , Goodreads and Google+  AND if you want some of Troy’s sweet art or photography to own, visit his Zazzle store!!!

Moving on…

In talking with Troy one night, he gave me the final nudge to sign up and start this blog (after having a handful of others mention the idea to me before). For that, I promised that he could pop my interview cherry (ha ha ha!!!)…and to make it extra special for me, this is my David Tennant (10th) post so, without further adieu…

The Random 5…Troy Aaron Ratliff Edition

1) If you had to spend a whole day at Disney World working as a “costumed” character, which would you be and why?      

My first though: did Ursula have a husband?  He’d have tentacles, right?

Actual picture of Troy Aaron Ratliff…really…this is him! I’m not sure if this is what Disney would have in mind though. 😉

My second thought: Beast.  I’m six-foot-three and while the heat of Florida would probably bake me with all that luxurious fur, I’d at least have some headroom.  Besides, knowing I was the character with that towering library?  It just seems like a natural fit for a writer.  Dibs!

*sigh* This is nice and all, but I’m with Belle…where are the books? *snicker*

2) Your new novella is out August 24th (today!!!)…what was your inspiration behind it?

Almost every writer at some point in their writing careers will pen a love letter to the craft.  I suppose this one is mine.  Of course, the pretext of more sinister elements always draws in the crowds, which is why I had to throw that in as the drive of the story, beyond it being my natural style.

Gee…I have NO CLUE what you are talking about. I believe my exact words were “OMFG!!!” when I read Little Bernie’s Map, weren’t they? Btw, if you want to know why…read it!

There is a double meaning in the story that some – hopefully most writers, indie or traditional – will pick up.  It’s a message that transcends further than a simple mystery with a weird little twist.  Not that I’m against that.  Sometimes a story is just that: a story.  The Uninvited Guest is that, just a story for entertainment.  There is no bigger meaning involved or lesson to draw from.  It’s just the tragic experience at one doomed couple’s wedding with two teenagers acting like teenagers.  With Just Past the Trees, I had an idea in mind with the sinister element, but as I was coming to the halfway point of the story, I hit a lull.  I wasn’t sure I liked where I was going with it, or what it was going to end up to be if I finished.  At the same time, I had this hankering to add that extra ingredient to tip my hat to the art of writing.  I’ve been scribbling stories down since I was 11 and when I was coming up on my 17th or 18th year of doing, I realized I had never really acknowledged it.  There is a relief to doing it, like I’ve appeased the Literary Gods for a while.  Perhaps this small offering will lead to a blessing from their hand.

Huh…I googled “Literary Gods” and this popped up. I’ve read this…good book! I’m sorry…back on track.

3) You’re on death row…what does your last meal consist of?

Wow.  Can I say the tears of my enemies?  I guess not.  Of all the questions, this one has me stumped the most.   I guess, if I’m gonna die, there’s no use holding back.  I would have a three-course smorgasbord.  First, I would request Pad Thai Chicken from this place in inner Los Angeles I tend to haunt called Eagle Rox Thai, in the tiny liberal burg of Eagle Rock.  If you ever get a chance to go make sure you don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

Um…wow! There is some good looking food on that site…go look! I’d post a picture here, but I don’t want anyone shorting out their computers with drool. Instead, here is a cute picture of my cat, Isis. 🙂

I would follow it up with a meal at Boston Market consisting of chicken with green beans, creamed spinach and red potatoes.  Side note: if you want an idea of how life-altering Boston Market’s food is, I’m in the beginning process of penning a rather hefty series that touches on all kinds of different topics.  One of them happens to be Boston Market.  I think I mention the main character’s feelings toward the chicken house as the closest thing to what heaven would taste like.

You can keep your chicken, green beans, creamed spinach and red potatoes…I’ll take your cornbread, please! Ok, twist my arm, I’ll take some green beans too…mmmm…

Lastly, I would probably have to go out just like I came in.  Cincinnati’s very own Skyline Chili.  Being raised in the Greater Cincinasty area, Skyline has always been in my life and it just wouldn’t seem right not to go out with it.  A 4-way with onions and light me up.

Is there actually chili in there? All I see is cheese! Also, I totally love that you said Cincinasty…as a Michigan native, Ohio is like a foreign country…weird and smelly! Although, with chili like this, no wonder it smells! (Dear Ohio residents and my foreign country friends, I’m KIDDING!!! Sincerely, The Book Hipster) This also explains part of your answer to the next question… 😛

Bonus: my last words – “The Ratliff Roast is ready!  Come and get it!!!”  And then I would go out laughing maniacally to haunt the prison guard’s dreams.   I do a pretty good Ledger-Joker laugh that I would have to throw on them.  Sweet Dreams.

Mmmmm…Ratliff Roast… *maniacal laugh*

4) I know you’ve kept your online persona to yourself under the guise of a space octopus, but if you wanted someone to know the real you, how would you describe yourself/your personality using no more than 10 words?

Tall, hairy, funny, hungry, nasty, gassy, sleepy, dopey, sleazy, pervy.  The Ten dwarfs?

Not Pictured: Nasty, Sleazy and Pervy…go figure! I’m guessing the one with no facial hair is “Hairy” though, right?

5) If I were to look at your “to-read” list right now, how many books would be on it? And what would I find on top of that list? And what was the last book your read? (it is a 3-in-1 question…high five!)
I used to have at least three books going at once.  Now I have about eight.  I recently finished Timothy Ferris’ The 4-hour Workweek, which was excellent!  Right now, I’m listening to Stephen King’s Full Dark, No Stars on my way to work and sneaking peeks at Steven Luna’s Joe Vampire (which you have links galore on here, as well you should!)

This book? Why whatever do you mean “links galore on here”??? I’ve never mentioned this book before… *snicker*

and Mark Leyner’s The Sugar Frosted Nutsack.  Both are hilarious and pushing some funnier writing out of me.  Maybe I should try to channel Robby Benson and work on my Beast laugh while I’m at it.


Whew! There you go…the first ever “The Random 5…” I hope that you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! I’m not sure yet how often I’ll do these, but I’ve already got a couple more lined up. They already have their questions, I’m just waiting back for the answers. 😉

Don’t forget…Troy’s Novella JUST PAST THE TREES is out TODAY!!! Go grab yourself a copy as well as Troy’s other short stories!

Thank you Troy, for being my first…I just hope it was as good for you as it was for me. *giggle*


6 comments on “The Random 5…Troy Aaron Ratliff Edition

  1. Troy Aaron Ratliff
    August 26, 2012

    Thanks so much for this really cool opportunity, Stephanie! Means a lot that I was your first!

  2. hleannnelson
    September 3, 2012

    Bwahahaha, this was awesome. 🙂 Alas, though, I wanted to be Steph’s first. 😀

    • The Book Hipster
      September 3, 2012

      Sorry Heather…I knew Troy before you and I kind of promised him he could be my first. 😉 Even over Luna and Jesse (and that is saying a lot!)

  3. hleannnelson
    September 3, 2012

    That is saying a lot. But Troy is worth it. He’s all tentacl-y:)

    • The Book Hipster
      September 3, 2012

      And boy do those tentacles know how to move. Er…I mean…um…Hey, what’s that over there! *runs away giggling*

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