Monday, June 27, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: J Christopher Thompson

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

I am 38 years old, I’ve been married for nine years to a gorgeous librarian (who enables my addiction to books), and I am currently a stay at home dad raising twin boys (aged 5).

I started writing when I was thirteen. I had these very vivid dreams, as cornball as it sounds, about this group of fantasy adventurers on a quest. It looked so great in my dream I wanted to write it. I did and it was terrible! I’ve been trying to write that dream ever since.

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How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

Between park visits and being a House Husband, it seems like I have no time for writing. I try to schedule my writing time in the afternoon and in the late evening. When the boys are asleep and when the house is quiet. It works out that I get to write during those times, more often than not.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

I prefer my PC to my Chromebook for getting the words down in a finalized format.

I’ve been known to use just about anything to get my words down. I have a sizeable collection of composition books that are half filled with my scribblings. I’ve even written on post-it notes because I had nothing else.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

Orson Scott Card described my favorite thing the best. He said. “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day.  The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” I love looking at the ordinary and wondering, “What if…” and going from there.

My least favorite part of writing. I dislike story problems. Plot holes, deus ex machina, writer’s block, etc. Really, it’s a love hate relationship. I hate it when it happens, but I love it when I have to work harder to make the writing better. Keeps me on my toes.

How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

The Lineage Saga was conceived from a few different sources.

I have always loved Arthurian lore. Show me a story of the Knights of the Round Table, Arthur himself, Excalibur, or anything to do with Camelot and I’m sold. I’m also a big fan Celtic lore, specifically the tales of CĂș Chulainn the Hound of Ulster.

What really set me to writing the first book in the Lineage Saga were three questions I came up with:

What if Arthur and Guinevere had a child that no one knew about?
What if Lancelot and Guinevere had a child that no one knew about?
What if more Knights of the Round Table survived the final battle? Would they carry on Arthur’s legacy? If so, how would they do it?

These questions led me to the back stories of an Academy on Avalon, the survival of Arthur’s line and the corruption it suffered, the journeys and fates of the Knights of the Round Table, the Rise of the Bane of Pendragon and so on.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I do my best to maintain a social media presence. I use an author page on Facebook, (search J. Christopher Thompson and you’ll find me), and Twitter, (@avalonacademyuk).

I also have business cards with a knight in armor and I sign bookmarks at public events with a phrase that will be found in a future sequel of the Saga.

“When you pass through these gates you will learn the art of peace and the science of warfare. As you are taught, always be mindful that might is not right, mercy is not weakness and cruelty is not strength. Welcome to Avalon.”

If someone purchases a book, or whenever I am on a panel, I have pen/styluses that I give out with the Lineage logo on them.

We are looking into other ways to market in the future.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I am currently working on the sequel to Book one. Book two will be called the Wild Hunt. The release of book two is indefinite, due to my publisher shutting down and changing hands.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I have a couple of big projects coming up actually.

As I said my publisher, Big World Network, is in the process of shutting down and they are changing hands. Those hands are mine and Jared Quan’s, President-Elect of the League of Utah Writers. Jared and I are hoping to transition the company to a non-profit entity and continue publishing the excellent writers that are, and will be associated, with Big World Network.

Writing wise I have my sequel, the Wild Hunt. Released at a time and date to be determined. I am also currently working on a collection of short stories with a darker theme to them.

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

If you ever think that you have no talent, that you’re a fraud, or that you don’t belong, remember this. Every creative person you look up to has those same fears. They have felt exactly as you have, and they all realized what you will. That their desire to achieve their goal was stronger than their fear.


A Question for Me: 

How do you maintain a positive attitude when you receive bad reviews on your books?

Great question! I have had both positive and negative reviews on my books. Initially, the positive ones keep me swimming, the negative ones, sinking, but as I reflect on the review through the days the same things always occur to me:

Not everyone is going to like or understand my books. Everyone likes different things. I once had a reviewer review a book knowing that it was Christian related. Let's just say she didn't review my book very positively, but that's primarily because she's atheist. She even admitted in her review that she probably shouldn't have reviewed the book.

What I've come to learn is to take the good from all reviews, taking into account that everyone is different, sort of like weeding a garden while remembering not to pull out the 'real' plants. There is always something to learn from a review, so I try to keep an open mind and only throw out those things that need to be tossed.


To learn more about J C and his books visit:

Lineage Book Trailer - We remember the stories

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the interview even though knowing a whole lot about you; I still can learn new things. You are my nephew-in law and I'm dying to read Book 2, The Wild Hunt, and it's just not fair that the book world has to wait for it. But since I also believe everything happens for a great reason, I can wait. But I do warn you....I'm not getting any younger here and I don't know if Heaven allows books...oh the horror!


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