Sunday, August 28, 2011

Up Close & Personal with Author – Phil Truman, Legends of Tsalagee

If you get a chance, check out Phil's interview with Patti Roberts: John Locke.

Where were you born and where do you call home? 
I’m a native Oklahoman. For the past 30 years, my wife and I have lived in the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow.  

How long have you been writing? 
During my wage-earning years I dabbled in writing; wrote columns for local and regional magazines and newspapers, did some freelance stuff, entered contests for short fiction, that sort of thing.  I’ve always had an itch to write, but I never considered my writing much more than a hobby…or a rash. So I stayed with “real jobs” while my kids were growing up. But once that was all behind me, and I retired from the work-a-day world, I took up fiction writing full time because I had the time, space, and attitude to maintain it.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
My latest release is the novel Legends of Tsalagee. I call it a mystery, adventure, romantic comedy. The story revolves around a hunt for the Lost Treasure of Belle Starr. There’s a murder, there’s some lovey-dovey stuff. Oh, and there’s a Bigfoot. It’s available in all e-book formats, as well as print, from the usual sources. How many words was that?

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
Hayward Yost – “Punch, are you always gonna be stupid?”
Socrates Ninekilller – “The white man has sold us many maps, but few have led to treasures. He miscalculated on casinos, though.”
Sunny Griggs – “Mother God is The Goddess, the supreme Creator of all things.”
Punch Roundstep – “Mother God? Is that like Oprah?”
Red Randy Brown – “My name’s Smith, and my partner here is Wesson. We’d like to ask you a few questions.”

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series?
Second question first: Legends isn’t part of a series, but it is sort of a follow-on to my first novel – GAME. It’s not a sequel but it does take place in the same fictional town thirty years later with some of the same characters. GAME is kind of a guy book, a YA novel. My original idea with Legends was to write a book which almost everybody (women) would want to read, by which I mean, buy. I’m currently writing a historical novel about a late 19th, early 20th Century Oklahoma outlaw. Expect to have it out by the first of the year.

What or who inspired you to write?
I don’t recall being inspired too often. To me, getting inspiration is something almost supernatural, something accompanied by a bite of genius or the Divine. Beethoven was probably inspired, Van Gogh, John of Patmos. But looking at these guys, there seems to be a fine line between genius and madness. I’ve not been accused of having either…yet. However, I have been influenced by many people and events over the years. Life experience is my wellspring.

How did you come up with the title and cover design?
I wanted to use something in the title which would evoke a sense of mystery and adventure, hence “Legends.” Tsalagee is the name of the town where the action takes place. It’s a corrupted spelling of the English phonetic spelling of the Cherokee word tsalagi (sah-la-GHEEY) which means “Cherokee.” I used that to convey a Native American/Oklahoma flavor. My publisher deserves credit for the cover design. He found the stock photo of a full moon shining in through a rocky cave entrance, both of which are story elements – perfect. I think it arouses feelings of mystery, adventure and, who knows, perhaps even romance.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
All my characters are based on people I know or have known, but they’re all composites…the characters, I mean. There is an actual legend here in Oklahoma about Belle Starr’s hidden treasure, loot from some of her escapades.

What books have most influenced your writing most and why?
Many of Larry McMurtry’s books, the Lonesome Dove series, the Berrybender narratives, especially the westerns, because of the dialogue, humor, sense of history.
Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain, Thirteen Moons. I like the historical context in which he writes – the Civil War, the Cherokee saga.
Also like some of Fanny Flagg’s work – her character building, humor, dialog.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
I don’t think so. Most authors I know write better than they converse. I include myself in that category. I shy away from celebrities.

Where do you prefer to buy your books?
On-line, usually Amazon. Now that I have a Kindle, I buy almost exclusively e-books.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
I’m currently reading The Return, by Charles Sasser. Been asked to review it. My reading queue seems to be growing. I try to support as many Indie authors as I can – e-books. I would encourage all Indie authors to BUY other Indie author’s e-books, especially the cheap ones, and voluntarily post reviews on Amazon, B&N, etc. We get so self-absorbed in promoting our own books, we forget our Indie brethren (and sistern) are out there doing the same. Why wouldn’t you get a book for less than $3 if it sounds interesting. Use it as a tax write-off while you still can.

Are you a self-published (Indie) Author?
Small press published – AWOC Publishing, but I consider myself Indie. I follow the John Locke philosophy in his “How I Sold a Million e-Books…” book. He doesn’t need my endorsement, but I highly recommend this book. It should be required reading for every Indie author.

What book do you know that you will never read?
I’ve never read a Harry Potter book and doubt I ever will. Flying magical children frighten me. Also, I have no desire to read any books involving teenage vampires; probably because I was once a high school teacher.

Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?
I already changed is so much it’s almost completely different from the first draft. I’m a compulsive re-writer.

What are your thoughts on book trailers?
I’ll probably sell mine now that I don’t have to haul all those book around. Maybe some college student could use it.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Wow, advice for writers. Well, let’s see…get the aces out as soon as possible when playing FreeCell solitaire; use adverbs sparingly; action verbs are good; eat more fruit than Twinkies when snacking; and, uh…oh, yeah – stay in school and don’t take drugs.

What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?
Don’t quit your day job.

Do you write under a pen name?
Only to the IRS

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
PJ’s? I don’t need no stinkin’ PJ’s.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs, but only those bigger than a rat.

Coffee or tea?

White wine or red?

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
Vanilla, in a mug of root beer.

What do you normally eat for breakfast?
A banana, OJ, and a cup of Jo (or two).

What are 3 things you never leave home without?
My keys, my wallet, and a “As long as you’re out would you pick these up?” list from my wife.

One of your favorite quotes -
“Writer’s don’t like to write, only to have written.” – E. Hemmingway

List 3 of your all time favorite books?
Grapes of Wrath, Lonesome Dove, Thirteen Moons

List 3 of your all time favorite movies?
Grapes of Wrath, Lonesome Dove, Fiddler on the Roof

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole (Science Channel. I’m a closet geek)

Where can your readers follow you?

My website:

Is your book in Print, ebook or both? -

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me and allowing us a glimpse into your writing word. 
PT Crophead 4.JPG
Thank you, Patti, for bringing me in. Appreciate the opportunity to share with your readers.

I hope you share this interview with your friends so we can all get to know you a little better.  Patti

PS: really enjoyed reading your answers - you  have a very quirky sense of humour :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...