Trussell Jones has a problem. He is crazy in love with a beautiful girl named Ellen. The problem? He has no car. His stepmother, who believes that she is spiritually connected to Queen Victoria, won't let him drive. Furthermore, she is afraid Trussell is trying to kill her. Not to be overlooked is the fact that Trussell is being pursued by a gang of armed redneck motorcycle hoods, while his neighbors are preoccupied with changing visions of St. Francis. Just another heartwarming tale of a boy in love with a girl? Hardly.This delightfully quixotic coming-of-age story, set in Columbus, Georgia in the 1950s, truly has something to shock and beguile even the most jaded reader. Its irreverent protagonist will take you on a road trip of hits, near misses, twists, and sudden turns that ll set you on your ear. You ll be unable to put the book down, until you reach its charming yet totally unpredictable conclusion.
Guest Post: Author Murray TillmanTopic: Why choose Columbus, Georgia as the setting of this story?Meet Me on the Paisley Roof is, of course, not the first novel to be set in Columbus, Georgia. Carson McCullers' The Member of the Wedding drops subtle hints of this locale. More recently, Shay Youngblood's Soul Kiss does the same. But unlike the other two authors, in my novel I refer to actual street names and places as my characters move around them. No doubt where you are in this story, especially if you're familiar with Columbus.My family moved to Columbus in 1950 when I was nine years old. I attended grammar school, graduated from high school, and later returned to teach in the public schools for a year. From those years, three events stand out very vividly. (1) When I was in the seventh grade and later as a teenager, I was madly in love with a beautiful girl in my school who, I thought, viewed me as a pest. (2) I had wonderful friends with whom I shared many nocturnal adventures, problems in our family lives, and dreams about the future. (3) I studied piano very seriously for a while and adored listening to the Classical and Romantic repertoire, if not on a record player, then in my head.
The story that I wanted to write comes from a well of feelings about my teenage years: a seemingly impossible love, friends who love, support, and test one another, and music that would send your soul soaring. Add to that the teen frustration of having to deal with challenging events without having any experiences to fall back on, emotions so intense, so alive, that I can feel them today, a half-century later. I wrote Meet Me On The Paisley Roof to share those feelings, expressed humorously, in a fast moving story.
So, why use Columbus as the setting? I think of it this way. How could I not use Columbus as the setting? The three major threads of the story were intertwined in the setting itself. If I moved the setting, I would have to change the story, a story that just flowed in my mind across the landscapes of my growing-up years. In short, I did not pick Columbus as the setting. Columbus came along with the story.
On the other hand, I did create fictional sites such as Loretta's Parlor of Beauty and WFAB-TV. Indeed, this is a work of fiction, a work that creates a world that never was, but one that plays on a borrowed stage.