Friday, March 8, 2013

Nancy S. Thompson Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Nancy Thompson makes her fiction debut with The Mistaken. She is an interior designer and California transplant, currently living with her husband near Seattle, WA.

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Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

Honestly, no. I never even considered it until the day I started writing The Mistaken, and even then, it was only after I finished it. I mean, I’ve always loved to write, but that was mostly in the capacity of helping my son with his essays or drafting letters or what have you.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

That I’m kind of old to be reinventing myself! I’ve been working as an architect and interior designer since 1988. That’s always been my creative outlet. But the economic downturn in 2008 forced me to look elsewhere. At first, that was in the kitchen where I loved to spend my time cooking and baking, but that only lasted two years. Then writing took over.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I started writing The Mistaken in March of 2010 when I was 47. It took me three months to write the first draft then another twelve or so to revise and polish.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

Hmm, that was so long ago! I think it was in sixth grade when my teacher taught us how to take notes and write an outline. That has served me well throughout my life.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Tenacious, ambitious, fearless

Did you learn anything from writing The Mistaken and what was it?

Besides all the things I learned about the craft of writing, I learned about forgiveness. I never set out to include a theme in The Mistaken. That’s just the way it turned out, what emerged. I realized I had a lot of rage and anger festering inside for the last thirty years and I needed to let it all go and forgive those who had hurt and betrayed me.

For those who are unfamiliar with Tyler, how would you introduce him?

Tyler’s a good guy, smokin’ hot. He respects the law, works hard as a building contractor, has a gorgeous new wife he adores, is expecting his first child, and has a brother who’s a bit of a screw up. He also has a dark side.

What part of Nick did you enjoy writing the most?

Nick was quite a revelation. He came out slowly in many layers, and I didn’t always know what to expect. While I enjoyed exposing his secret interest in his brother, Tyler’s wife, I loved how he turned the table on Tyler and proved to be much more than his brother ever believed him to be.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

I think Tyler should meet Mario Puzo’s Michael Corleone from the Godfather. They have a lot in common. While early on, they want to do what’s right, they let similar demons drive them to do things they wouldn’t have otherwise. Maybe Tyler could see, by Michael’s example, the dangerous road vengeance will lead him down.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Oh, that’s easy, John Hart, hands down. He writes such beautifully elegant and alarmingly emotional prose. Setting is always important to his stories and plays an important part, but it’s more of a character, steeped in deep, vivid emotion. That’s why he’s won the Edgar Award twice.

How many books have you written?

I’ve only written The Mistaken. I am working on my second, a sequel, but it’s still in the very early stages.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?

Live each day like it’s your last, because you never know what might happen.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

How many kids do you have? Yeah, it’s complicated.

What's the most memorable job you've ever had?

I worked as an architect for a tiny firm in San Francisco back in 1992 and ’93. The work was difficult and I felt completely underqualified. And my boss was a type-A tyrant. I had to commute 3 hours everyday on the BART train. I was stressed 24/7, but the work I produced was remarkable and will be around for decades to come.

What scares you the most and why?

I try never to let fear rule me, but, as a mother, it’s difficult not to fear something happening to my son. He’s accomplished so much in 18 years and is on the cusp of the rest of his life. I just don’t want something to happen before he has the chance to really live it.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?

I would choose love even if I knew I would be crushed by it someday. You haven’t truly lived until you’ve loved somebody else more than you love yourself, and losing someone teaches you how important love really is and what you are capable of.

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?

I call my husband. He never fails to make me feel better, to tell me how much he loves me, how important I am, how much I have to offer. He’s been my rock for thirty years now, and I love him more than ever. I could not survive without him.

When was the last time you cried?

I cried yesterday when I dropped my son off at the airport for his return flight back to college in Arizona. I’m not much for an empty nest.

Where can readers stalk you?

I can be found on: My blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads Amazon

Tyler Karras is an honest man, a transplanted Brit living the American dream, but his charmed life takes an unexpected turn when his brother, Nick, is coerced into joining ranks with San Francisco’s Russian mafia. Ty intervenes to secure Nick’s freedom, yet only succeeds in incurring their wrath. With no choice but to accept Nick’s new life, Ty returns to his own, but his dreams are dashed when his wife—pregnant with their first child—is killed, the victim of a reckless crime.

Despondent and bitter, Ty macerates his grief in alcohol. From the depths of the bottle screams a voice, howling for vengeance. His target is a stranger, the woman who drew his wife toward her death. He doesn’t know her, but he’ll find her, and when he does, he will make her pay, for a deal has been struck with Nick’s Russian associates, enslaving her into a life of bondage. But as Ty moves forward in a cloud of alcohol, he mistakes the wrong woman for his intended victim and now all his plans have gone straight to hell.

With his eyes made clear by the stark reality of his mistake, Ty is driven, compelled by remorse and a relentless sense of guilt to make amends and protect Hannah Maguire, the innocent woman whose life he has derailed. He vows to keep her safe and out of the Russians’ hands, but they’re holding Nick as leverage to force Ty to complete their deal and turn over the girl. Once again, he must fight to free his brother, miring all three lives in further jeopardy. But Ty can’t do it all: Save the girl, his brother and his own soul. One of them must make the ultimate sacrifice.

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  1. Fantastic interview. I really enjoyed learning more about Ms. Thompson. A great post. Thank you.

  2. That was a fun interview! Thanks for having me over.