Mr. JR Thompson Author Interview | Author Q & A
Quote from your Book | Favorite Quote “Well, poop on my boots.”
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a journalist, a police officer, a photographer, a veterinarian, and a teacher. I think my childhood dreams changed about every six months!
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I had my first book published in 1999 when I was nineteen years old! Unfortunately, as a young man I didn’t look into things too thoroughly and signed up with a publisher which has a horrible reputation. Oh well. Lesson learned.
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How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
I fell in love with writing when I was just a little boy. As an older teenager, I became somewhat of a loner and writing was my outlet. I wrote short stories all of the time and when I became an adult, I took one of those short stories and turned it into a novel. Since that time, ideas for novels have been inspired by different things going on in my life at the time.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Probably that my characters become so real to me that sometimes I actually laugh out loud or cry while I’m writing.
Do you like to create books for adults, youth and/or children? and Why?
I prefer to write books for adults and for older teenagers – somehow they are easier for me to relate to.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written a total of five books and my favorite is “Hidden in Harmony: Danger is Imminent,” a Christian mystery coming out on October 14, 2017. It is the first mystery I have written, but I had so much fun writing it that I’m now writing a sequel!
How long does it take you to write a book?
I have written books in anywhere from three months to approximately one year. It just depends on the book and how many other things I”m doing at the time I’m writing it.
Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day to you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)?
For the most part, I just get on my computer and start typing. There are times when I go back and edit and rewrite and repeat the process. If I get writers block, I’ll write up an outline of where I’d like to go with the book and then I can usually start writing again. I would say on average, I write for approximately three to four hours per day – sometimes a lot more than that.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family is excited about my writing, but sometimes feel I spend more time with the made-up families in my books than spend with them. Oops. Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted that one.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m an assistant pastor, youth pastor, and music director at a local Baptist Church. I guess one could say ministerial work is something I love and it occupies a great deal of my time. I also enjoy going hiking, camping, and exploring.
What do you think makes a good story?
I like suspense – stories that keep readers incorrectly guessing what’s about to happen next.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating/writing your books?
I guess I learned that there are some people out there who like to be very helpful and who will do anything they can to provide suggestions and guidance and at the same time I learned that there are some people who seem to get kicks out of bashing authors and trying to tear them apart over the smallest of mistakes or even over personal preferences.
What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
I’ve read a few of Ted Dekkers books, but I don’t know that any authors have a STRONG influence on my writing. I love to read the King James Bible – the greatest book ever written. It speaks to my heart like no other.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I do hear from readers on occasion and have received mostly positive feedback, telling me how they can relate to the characters. Sometimes they share stories with me about things that happened in their past and how my books brought those memories back into their minds.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Some ideas come from life experiences and others come from dreams and sometimes just from my creative imagination.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they
Proof your work, over and over again. Once you think you have it perfect, proof it again. Then have your spouse or other close relative/friend read it and look for errors. They’ll find one or two at least. Fix those and have someone else read it. The more times your work is proofed before you get it out there, the better off you’ll be.
Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions, or similar events?
I have not attended any book signings, conventions, or similar events.
Tell us about your most resent book?
“Revenge Fires Back” was released on August 1, 2017. It’s about a backslidden, lackadaisical Christian family who goes on a camping trip where everything goes wrong. Unforeseen circumstances, poor decisions, anger outbursts, and deception completely destroy the Clark family. Their only hope is God and He is still on His throne!
What’s more important: characters or plot?
I think both are extremely important, but if I had to choose one I would have to say character.
How do books get published?
I self-published my book using Createspace.
Do you write every single day?
I would say I write four or five days per week.
Ballpoint, uniball or fountain pen?
Any writing rituals?
No. Not really.
What’s the worst job you’ve had?
I worked for a real estate magazine production firm where there were far too many chiefs and nowhere near enough indians. There was a lot of immaturity in the office and it seemed that people were fighting with each other more than they were working.
Tell us some more about your book/s. I have a Christian mystery, “Hidden in Harmony,” coming out in October – a mystery centering around a devout Christian family who makes the decision to take in a homeless man desperate for food and shelter, only to learn he was formerly accused of terrifying acts. They next thing they know, their family as well as their entire community is in grave danger. They must rely upon their faith to get them through. You can find a book trailer for it on Youtube and the book is currently available as a preorder on Amazon.
Are you planning to adapt any of your stories to the screen? At this time, no. However, if God leads me in that direction, I’m not opposed.
How hard is it to establish and maintain a career in writing? It is extremely difficult. The majority of authors do it as a side-job because it takes having many, many books out there to develop a strong following and to make enough money to survive on.
Any last thoughts for our readers? Thank you for taking the time to read through this interview. If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, there’s no better time than right now to bow your head, close your eyes, and ask Him to save you. That was the most wonderful decision I have ever made.