Interview with Christopher Truscott

Today, we have Christopher Truscott with us. He is the author of Stumbling Forward, a dark drama/comedy about American Politics in the 21st century.

Some people write for a paycheck, while others do it for the love of the craft or to fulfill a promise to a loved one. Can you tell me what drives you to get up and write?

I really enjoy telling a story. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be glad to take a lot of money for this, but I write because it’s something I enjoy doing. It provides additional meaning to my days and I do love the good feedback I get from my very small group of fans.

What is the first book that you can remember having a true impact on you?

Easily Tom Sawyer. It’s not a deep story, but it was the first “chapter book” my mom read to me as a kid, so it’s always had a special place in my heart. On a broader level, I’d say The Great Gatsby and anything by Hemingway were influential—especially since they’re the only writers I didn’t Cliffs Note in high school and college.

What is one quirky thing about yourself… something that no one outside of your friends and family might know?

I don’t sleep much, but I have a lot of energy. That’s diminished a little as I’ve gotten older, but it’s still a skill (gift?) that I have.

What is your current project about?

Currently I’m writing the first draft of the fourth book in what will end as a five-part series. It won’t be published until the spring of 2012. The second (A Referendum on Conscience) and the third (Picking a Fight) will both be published this year. They’re in the editing process. Like Stumbling Forward, my first novel, they provide a behind-the-scenes view at life in American politics.

How did the plot and overall story for that project come into being?

Stumbling Forward was something that was inspired by my experiences as a reporter covering politics and then later as a campaign staffer who specializes in communications. I enjoyed doing it so much—and liked my characters so much—that I spun it into a series.

What really surprised me was watching the story take on a life of its own. I started writing Stumbling Forward knowing how the story would start and end. It was the stuff in the middle that caught me off guard, especially how the characters developed. My favorite character, for instance, was originally slated to play a very minor role. Then I got to her first real scene (Chapter 3) and liked her so much that she became a star—and continues as the central character in the four books that will follow.

Do you have any other projects on the burner somewhere (that you can talk about)?

I have an outline for a short Christmas-themed novel that I’d really like to publish in late 2011, though it’ll probably be a Thanksgiving 2012 release. It’s about a guy who doesn’t realize how good he has it—and how important he is to the people around him—until he sees what life would’ve been like had he made different choices along the way.

Quick!… without thinking, what are the first five words that come to mind?

Wow, OK … I’m not sure. That’s five!

What do you think those five words say about your personality?

They say I wasn’t thinking quickly on my feet this evening!

Do you have any pets? Can you tell us about them?

I have two tuxedo cats—Boo! and Benny. They’re both very active, especially Boo!, who’s 9 years old. Benny, who’s 3, is much more laid back—at least compared to Boo!

Thank you for taking the time to answer these interview questions. Before I let you go, I have one more question. If the world were to one day have your name as a household name (aside from your writing career) what would you want to be known for?

I really feel I should say something profound here, but if I were to become famous more people would probably hear a lot about my cats! I talk about them too much and post way too many pictures of them to Facebook and Twitter.

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