Author Bill Truran has taken a keen interest in learning about the past. His goal is to find ways to convey that knowledge to the new generations who make this land their home.
Bill began by capturing images and facts from the great mining operation that took place in his hometown of Franklin, New Jersey. This largely immigrant community has been known as The Model Mining Town of the East and is also widely recognized as the Fluorescent Mineral Capital of the World. Bill has likewise documented the history of nearby locales including Sparta, Hamburg, Hardyston, Ogdensburg, Sussex, and Wantage. This task consisted of sweeping up the obvious pieces of history that lay before him.
When actively looking to what has brought us to where we are, we many times stumble across surprising ideas and concepts. One significant figure who grew out of interviews and research on the above books was the colorful and prolific artist Louie Larsen, whose entire known works were cataloged and documented in Bill Truran’s coffee table full-color book Country Lanes: Portrait of an Artist Louis Larsen. This beloved effort was the result of finding pieces of history that were hidden from view, but which were there nonetheless. A little effort put forth to gather the missing parts helped make the picture whole for this painter.
Currently, Bill understands that our area has been affected over a long period of time by great people who have subtly rendered an impact. Much of their influence needs to be coaxed from the nooks and corners of the relics of the past. Gluing it all together necessitates artistic license and creative fictionalization, much like the grout upon which tiles create a mosaic. By doing so, we can discover a full story—major themes that affect the life of anyone; Everyman, if you will. These are stories of the human experience.
Bill is rolling out the Trilogy of Freedom, which includes three significant local Revolutionary War figures: Lewis Morris, who signed the Declaration Independence, Colonel John Seward, who served as a military officer in the Battle of the Minisink (whose offspring guided the nation alongside Abraham Lincoln), and Judge Robert Ogden whose leadership and moniker “Honest Lawyer” were tested by lawbreakers. Bill’s effort consists of creating each story from scarce evidence and interpreting the whole as a character sketch of the nature of man.
Bill Truran has a lifelong interest in history and its impact. He has a Creative Writing Certificate from UC Berkeley and additional coursework credits from Stanford University. He has another life at work in engineering and academics, including several masters degrees and a Ph.D.