This is the first post in a series of interviews with Indie Authors:
Today, we are visiting with Judi Thompson.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t make stories up in my mind. Probably the first time I actually put something down on paper was in the fifth grade. We had an assignment to put all of our spelling words into a paragraph or short story. That still stands out in my mind today because I had so much fun doing it. I can only recall one of the words, remuda. Since it was close to Halloween, I wrote a story about ghost horses on a ranch and made my script all squiggly like a ghost might write. I’m pretty sure I got an “A.”
How did you start writing? What first inspired you?
Who or what has helped you the most with your writing career?That would most definitely be my sister. She was an English and journalism teacher and always encouraged me to write. She gave excellent feedback, and I’m sure when some of my ideas were crazy she still said they were great.
Do you write everyday?In my head, I do. I think I may be just a little bit off that way. Anytime I have some down time or go for a walk I am devising plots and scenes. Almost forever, I have been putting myself to sleep each night with future or current books running through my head. When I’m working on a book I try to put something on paper at least every other day.
Do you have a special place to write (office, dining room, etc.)?I write in my office. It’s a nice size with a large window looking out on the back yard where I’ve planted impatients, canna and spider lilies, and roses.
Typically, how much do you write a day?I try to start and finish a chapter in one day. Usually if nothing else is going on I am able to accomplish that.
Do you use an outline? If not, how do you keep your story and characters together?When I first started writing I didn’t use an outline. When my sister and I started writing together it became a necessity. Now, I don’t know how I ever did without one.
How much do you rewrite? How many drafts do you typically have?Actual rewrites of a completed book, never. During the writing process things are changed or the characters may go a different direction, but once the plot and outline have been completed things pretty much stay the same, and then we are only looking for inconsistencies, spelling or grammar errors.
How do you feel about writers groups and have they helped you?I have never been a member of a writing group. I honestly don’t know if I would like it or not. Since I write with my sister, all of my ideas are bounced around with her.
What drew you to your genre of writing? A specific author, influence?It’s exciting to write a mystery and try to throw in all those red herrings. It’s the greatest complement when someway says, “I didn’t know who did it until the very end.”
What authors do you like to read?Oh, gosh, I am an avid reader. I like Karin Slaughter. I think her writing is brilliant. Some of my other favorites are Tami Hoag, Jayne Ann Krenz, Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen and Karen Rose for romantic suspense. For a good mystery I like C J Box, Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke.
Who is your greatest support?That would be my husband Roger. He has always encouraged me in everything I have ever done. He has much more confidence in everything than I do. He even thinks I can play golf, and I’m really terrible.
What do you think of ePublishing?I think it is a great opportunity for talented first-time authors to get their work out there for the general public to read. With only a few books being picked up by traditional publishers, it’s nearly impossible to get your work into a bookstore. When I read, it’s very rare that I don’t read an e-book. It is so much easier to download several books for a trip and just slip the reader in my purse.
What methods do you use to market your work?Just about anything that will work. Articles in local publications, Facebook. The Internet is a wonderful thing.
What are you working on currently?My sister and I are working on the third book in our Chance O’Brian detective series. It should be available sometime in February.
What advice would you give to beginning writers?I think the hardest thing you will ever do is write your first book. When you start you think it will be easy and that anyone can write a book. But, the reality is that it is very hard to get that first one done, and when you do it is an amazing feeling. My best advice would be to never give up.
My published books (writing as Tess Thompson) include:Accidental Angel
When an Angel Whispers
All of my books are only $2.99 and are available in the Kindle store on Amazon.com.