[Rodney M. Bliss] Your bio on the Word Addicts web site lists twelve different jobs; janitor, typewriter repairman, radio announcer, security guard, private patrol driver, police officer, electronic circuit designer, computer programmer, newspaper correspondent, an editor of a statewide Lion’s Tale newspaper and a small business owner. Were there any jobs that influenced your writing more than others? And what do you think the future holds for you?
[C.R. Truitt] I know this isn’t part of the question, but I actually did all those jobs. I started working at a job after school when I was fourteen in 1964. Just about everything in my life influenced my writing, including the jobs I’ve held. Let me answer the question this way; in my stories, there is usually a computer lurking around and police or security people making my character’s life difficult, if they aren’t one. Any of those jobs that involved electronics, writing or officer of some type would, of course, be the answer. However, being born in a small country town in Texas and growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in very interesting times such as the hippie movement, the Black Panthers and school riots, did put me in contact with many different kinds of people from all walks of life. In the Bay Area, I met people from around the world.
What do I think the future hold for me? Probably, not a lot. I’m nearing step two of seven decades of life. I’ve retired from all the push and shoving of a professional working life and I just don’t care to do it anymore. I have plans to self-publish two more novels, maybe four and my collection of short stories. After losing my “first editor” (The editor that edits my terrible first drafts), I think I’ve found a new person to keep me from doing what I’m best at, making a fool of myself. (Note–Shakespeare: It is better to appear a fool then open ones mouth and remove all doubt.) Unfortunately, I’m a compulsive writer. My stories will most likely float around out there largely unread after going to my small group of readers.
[RMB] Your stories feature strong female characters. Was this a conscious decision? How have readers responded to your choice of protagonists?
[C.R.]Yes, but not without some trepidation. My most favorite stories to read are first person. Why female? A very intelligent and strong person raised me. She also raised three intelligent and strong daughters. I have been married to a girl of the same caliber for a lot of years. Although I’ve had few girlfriends in my life, I’ve had lots of female friends—if you can catch my drift. Outside of some really close male friends, I prefer female company, mostly my wife. With many males, I have to work around that male ego that thinks they are logical. (The human race is not logical!) Most women use words like “I feel that…” or “I think that…” Those that become my friends don’t deal in absolutes.
Of my female readers that have supplied feedback, most (certainly not all) seem to enjoy my stores, where about half of my male readers do. Most of the reasons I get for not enjoying my stories are a strong belief it is impossible for people of different sex to understand the opposite sex.
[RMB] You grew up on San Francisco during a very different time. How has your writing changed, as you’ve gotten older?
[C.R.] I feel like I’ve been around the block enough times to know that really the generations haven’t changed since Adam and Eve. The only differences are our toys, our ability to make other people miserable, our ability to destroy the earth, and where our attitudes and bias are most popular. In the sixties there was a song with a line something like “a pendulum swings like pendulums do.” Certainly, since I was a teen in those years it had a profound effect on me.
The change from my early writing until now is that there is usually an “old guy” hanging around saying things that my young heroes and heroines haven’t a clue of what he is talking about. Since I write science fiction the “toys” are advanced, but living as long as I have it is hard to guess in what form they will take. To be a science fiction writer is to be dated.
[RMB] How did you end up in Central Utah coming from such a different early life?
[C.R.] That is certainly a long story. The Reader’s Digest version is that I was born in south Texas. My grandfather was a cotton farmer. When my parents got a divorce, I was ten and we moved to California where my mother’s parents had moved from the mid-west to the Bay Area.
The seed to moving to Fountain Green, Utah was planted when I was a baby. My mother became friends with a lady from Nephi, Utah who married a Fountain Green boy. My father and her husband were in different naval services and both were stationed in San Francisco, next door to each other. The ladies kept in touch for many years and finally my mother moved to Utah. I was twenty. The two ladies lived across the street from each other. Both have recently passed. The house I bought fifty years ago went to my son and now I live across the street from our family friends.
[RMB] Without giving too much away, what can we expect from your story in Miscellany Volume II?
[C.R.] For the two stories in the other anthology editions, that would have been an easy question. Not with this one. This one was a 24,000-word short story I made an error in trying to cut down to 10,000 words. It was a gritty period story mixed with fantasy elements. I tried to cut out all of the grittiness but my story elements are entwined. After six rewrites and the patience of my editors there is a Reader’s Digest version of story I can say, I hope people will enjoy it. That’s why I share what I write. After all is said and done, we are entertainers.
One thing I can say, there is point to the story. Look for it.
[RMB] Where can readers find out more about your writing?
[C.R.] I may be a technical person, but I don’t live on the Internet or care to know how to delve into the “social” aspects. The Internet to me is what I was to most companies I worked for—a necessary evil, but if you Google “The Super Mall C. R. Truitt” or “Messengers of the West Mountain C. R. Truitt” everything I’ve been involved in will pop up. My two novels you’ll find in a variety of online bookstores with a price ranging from $6.00 to $20.00. I even saw one for a $1.75 a long time ago. They are available at Barnes and Noble help desk. Our writers group books that I have had the privilege to be part of will also show up under books by the author.
Excerpts from the novels are usually with the book descriptions.
Thank you writers group and thank you Mr. Bliss.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Pre-order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here
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