Q&A With C.R. Truitt

C. R. is a writer of novels and short stories living in the mountains of the Intermountain West.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I always wanted to be a writer and a police officer. I have done both and in addition I became a programmer (now called a software engineer) where I worked for two companies programming accounting software, did a GPS timing program for a local scientist and three programs for Sanpete local businesses. I designed and built prototypes of in motion weighting for the Mornoi Turkey plant. I also designed and built a “multiplexer” that would pass digital, audio and vedeo, and several PC computer mechanical control systems (both hardware and software).

When did you write your first story and how old were you?

I was ten years old. I hand wrote a science fiction story that my grandmother typee up for me.

How long does it take you to write a short story?

Depends of the story. To write will take sometimes an hour to months and some aren’t done yet. Editing or refining them is continual.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I write when and wherever I can. It’s continual. My most productive periods are usually at night, but not always. Having a family, I never could schedule a “time to write” like many writers do. There was always something I had to do. Even now, when I’m supposed to be retired.

I worked for the two local papers in Sanpete for 13 years and most of time I started writing as soon as I got home. Delines were from several hours to four days.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

It was not always a quirk to write lots of description. When I took courses in High School and College description is very important. Now days, it seems to be found upon. Science fiction and fantasy writers tend to add more description because we are building a world that doesn’t exist.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?

That is the most asked question for writers. My answer is usually an unsatisfying one: Everywhere!!!

Some of my stories come from dreams like “For Sale”, “Snow Patrol” and “Daddy Sleep”. Others come from hearing part of a conversation that spur an idea. Some from traveling like “The Geo Man” and “The Invention”. Messenger and The Super Mall were partly conceived trips to mining digs in the Utah west desert.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Spend time with my son (happens rarely these days), my granddaughter and being with my wife.

My hobbies are building electronic projects, programming in Visual Basic and my train layout (a new hobby I’ve always wanted to do.)

Do you have any advice on how to be a better short story writer?

A short story is not more than the length of a chapter in a novel. Many writers put in too many “breaks” or space between scenes. Make sure the space doesn’t stop your story flow. For me, story flow, no matter what genre your writing in is the most important part of presenting your plot or subject matter.

Have you written any full-length books or do you have plans to? If so, what are they?

Yes. Four. They are Messengers from the West Mountain, The Super Mall, In the Eve of Doom (only one printing) and I finishing up on novel called Joey.

What do you think makes a good story?

I like to be able to live in the story. I want to see and feel it. Most of all, I want it to flow from sentence to sentence. That is always my goal.

Story subjects or genre are a matter of personal like. I don’t like vampire, super-human humans, zombies, needless sex, swearing or brutality. I don’t mind sex, swearing or brutality when there is a good reason for it being in a story.