My First Interview
Hi Everyone! You may remember Aimee, she manages the literary blog 'Red Headed Book Lover' and recently posted a review of Dark Harvest on her website (which I reposted earlier in this blog). Well, in addition to her book review, Aimee has now posted the text of the interview we did together. Thanks Aimee! I have copied the text of that interview and have pasted it below. To see it on Aimee's site, here's the link:
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know, I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author David L. Thompson whose book Dark Harvest thrilled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love thrillers and action and adventure but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and David L. Thompson will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful David L. Thompson!
My world has always been a blend of science and art. As a high-school student, I loved writing poetry and short fiction. I also enjoyed studying music and the performing arts, but ultimately chose to pursue science at university. The years have been kind and I have enjoyed a great career in the field of Pharmaceutical R&D, but I have always missed the arts. Now that I am retired, I can finally turn my attention back to writing. I hope you will join me on this adventure. There are interesting characters for us all to meet and challenging conflicts to resolve!
Now, how wonderful does David L. Thompson sound?! David L. Thompson is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy David L. Thompson’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover!
1. Please tell us more about yourself.
I am a married, father of four who has had a wonderful career in the pharmaceutical industry. I led an R&D team that was spread out around the world, allowing me to travel broadly and experience many different cultures (and foods!). By way of education, I have a Ph.D. degree in Physiology and Biophysics, but I have also always loved the arts. Over the years I’ve performed in multiple concert bands and have often flirted with joining one of our local theatrical companies. My love for writing started when I was very young. In grade six, I saw a commercial on T.V. for a writing course offered by a local college. I tried to apply, but they kindly responded by suggesting that I wait a few years. I took them up on that advice.
2. Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
Dark Harvest is a political thriller which started out its life as a short story. I quickly realized that the plot could be so much bigger than what a short story would allow. So, it grew into a full-blown novel.
Dark Harvest is true to its genre. It is packed with action. Things get blown up and the police and military work overtime. I hope though, that I twisted the genre’s norms just enough that the reader steps back, even for just a moment, and rethinks their assumptions around what is good and what is evil.
As for inspiration, well, I really love the early works of Tom Clancy. I always thought it would be great to write something which captures the minds of others the way that his books captured mine. Of course, turning on the news and watching the almost endless stream of terrorist attacks going on around the world has also helped to keep me focused.
3. What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
You definitely need commitment. You need to write every day. I’ve heard others say the same thing and it’s so true. You need to keep the plot, along with all of its twists and turns, alive in your mind. You need to keep the voices of the characters and their personalities etc. straight. If you leave the writing for any length of time, you have to really work at getting back into the flow of the plot and the expression of the characters.
I also look at a book as a series of scenes, so I personally keep a table which lists the scenes in chronological order, giving the location, time and key elements of the scene. That way, I can quickly get a sense of the flow to the story by reviewing the scene list. Sometimes I see that there has been too much jumping back-and-forth between plot lines, and I will then move scenes around to make the flow of the book work better. Of course, you may have to go in and edit the scenes to make them fit their new position, but that’s really not as much of a problem as it might seem.
4. In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
In a word, conflict. Especially in the thriller genre. I try to end each of my scenes with some kind of conflict which makes the reader want to know what happens next. This will hopefully make them turn the page and begin the next scene. If the author can make the readers palms sweaty, then they’ve done a great job! That’s not the case for literature however. There, character development is really the key. The reader has to really identify with the characters and care about what’s happening to them
5. What is your writing process like?
I mentioned the scene list earlier. It’s really critical. And I always keep that list just a little ahead of where I am with the writing – no more than four or five scenes at most though. That way, if the story takes a sudden, unexpected turn – and they do that! – I haven’t invested an immense amount of time thinking through scenes that will no longer be part of the book. Believe me, I learned that one the hard way. And by having several unwritten scenes listed, I know exactly what I can start working on when I sit down the next day to write. I also like to make a cup of coffee – the smell and the process of brewing the coffee acts as a trigger which tells me that it’s now time to write. I also like to have music playing very softly in the background. For Dark Harvest, I had haunting Arabic music playing – it really helped to set the mood.
6. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I really love the research – but then, that’s part of my background and training. I really want what I write to stand up to scrutiny, and that means being honest about what I know and what I don’t know. Since I am not an expert on the Middle East, that meant a couple of trips to the region, discussions about the politics of the region with people who have lived there, and a whole lot of time with reference books and Google.
7. Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
Writing ultra-short fiction might be doable when one feels inspired, but if you are writing a novel, then I think you really need to keep at it, like I mentioned earlier. It’s not easy to keep at it, and interruptions are to be expected. But leaving the writing for weeks at a time really complicates things. Besides, I really like my characters, and I want to see what’s going to happen to them next!
8. Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I wish I could do more pleasure-reading, but most of my reading these days is non-fiction and almost always as research for my writing. With that said, Tom Clancy is still one of my all-time favorite fiction authors. I also really love the legal thrillers by John Grisham.
9. Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
Well, I am almost half-way through the first draft of the sequel to Dark Harvest. I’m really caught up in the plot, so the writing is going really well at the moment. I would hope to have the first draft done by the end of July and then the hard work of editing and polishing begins. So maybe it will be ready for release during the first quarter of 2020. Once that book has been turned loose on the reading public, I will begin writing the third (and last?) book in the series – I already have the 30,000 foot view of that plot. Then? Well, people can check my website – I have a bookshelf page which gives some of that away.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with David L. Thompson! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.