Richlands, Virginia, native achieves dream of being published author | Features


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GRUNDY, Va. — Even in first grade, Justin Trout wanted to be an author.

“I did a dinosaur book,” he said. “And I went to school and shared it during our reading time.”

Later, this native of Richlands, Virginia, wrote short stories and entered writing contests.

“And when I was about 13 years old,” he added, “I had an idea that would eventually become this series.”

With that, the 30-year-old Trout pointed to his books — including the 310-page “Song of the Earth” (2017) and the 285-page “Solace of Time” (2015). Trout published both installments of his “Enaya” series on CreateSpace through Amazon.

“I’ve wanted to be a writer for over 20 years,” said Trout, a former resident of Grundy, Virginia.

Trout’s first book follows a young protagonist “on probably one of the most devastating days of his life,” Trout said. “He’s watching the love of his life marry somebody.”

Though heartbroken, that character “finds this ancient artifact that alternates his universe and brings in this new, futuristic city.”

Later, that character goes on the run in a perilous adventure.

And, in following his quest to keep power, Trout said his character is slated to follow an eight-book series that is still ongoing.

Trout has been busy in recent months working on the third and fourth installments in between raising — and homeschooling — five children.

He also works as a children’s therapeutic day-treatment counselor for Cumberland Mountain Community Services in Lebanon, Virginia.

The covers of his books are clearly evident of the fantasy genre. In turn, Trout said he gets a lot of interest from folks who like comic books.

“I think it’s the market, like the fantasy young adult genre, that brings a lot from that,” said the author, who lives near Belfast, Virginia.

Trout considers his books “young adult” and appealing to readers “from 14 to 30.”

The first book, in turn, differs from the second.

In fact, he said, the second installment of the series was written through a dark time in his personal life — when his father-in-law had died of cancer at about the same time his wife had a miscarriage.

“It kind of picks up a little bit on these darker themes — not that it takes away from the young adult; it’s just a little bit more of an emotional, heavy story.”

Still, Trout says, that makes sense — after everything that happened in the first book.

“Not every day,” he said, “is a happy ending.”

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